The Visual Mechanisms of Seeing in Experiencing the Interior

Main Article Content

Issue Vol. 2 No. 2 (2019)
Published Jul 30, 2019
Section Articles
Article downloads 790
Submitted : Jul 29, 2019 | Accepted : Jul 29, 2019

Maria M. C. Sengke Triandriani Mustikawati


This paper discusses the visual mechanisms of seeing and their significance in experiencing an interior space. The discussion investigates what the observers can obtain from seeing activities. The aim is to emphasise on the role of seeing as a way of constructing the relation between human and the interior environment. The paper explores the mechanisms of seeing by focusing on two different ways, which are seeing in a static position from a point of observation, and seeing while moving through a path of observation. The exploration in a hospital setting finds out that seeing from a point of observation gave a visual range determined by the body's shaft motion, head motion, and eye movement. This way of seeing produces visual information on interior space, which consists of vertical and horizontal fields. Seeing while moving will create a path of observation that gave an optical flow containing dynamic and continuous visual information. The understanding of seeing mechanisms in interior environment can generate a design with better human-interior relation.

Keywords: seeing, interior, relation, visual mechanism, visual information

Article Details

How to Cite
Sengke, M. M. C., & Mustikawati, T. (2019). The Visual Mechanisms of Seeing in Experiencing the Interior. Interiority, 2(2), 213–229.
Author Biographies

Maria M. C. Sengke, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia

Maria M. C. Sengke is a doctoral student of architecture at Universitas Indonesia. Her research is on the visual experience of the patient in the hospital environment. 

Triandriani Mustikawati, Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia; Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia

Triandriani Mustikawati is a lecturer or architecture at Universitas Brawijaya, Malang. She is currently studying for doctoral degree in architecture at Universitas Indonesia. Her research is on the mechanism of wayfinding in hospital environment. 


Alexander, H. B. (1914). The perception of motion. The Journal of Philosophy Psychology and Scientific Methods11(11), 281-290.

Atmodiwirjo P., Yatmo, Y. A., & Bela, B. (2015). Exploring spatial stories of the patient experience in hospital environment to identify the spatial characteristicthe healing process. Higher Education Excellence Research (PUPT), Universitas Indonesia.

Atmodiwirjo, P., & Yatmo, Y. A. (2018). Editorial: Interiority as relations. Interiority1(2), 87-90.

Belfiore, A., Palmieri, V. O., Palasciano, G, (2015). Art in hospital: Is is possible? Italian Journal of Medicine, 9, 89-91.

Bernie, E. (1996). Games people play: The basic handbook of transactional analysis. New York: Ballantine Books.

Buci-Gluckmann, C. (2013). The madness of vision: On Baroque aesthetics. Athen: OhioUniversity Press.

Carpman, J. R., & Grant, M. A. (2016). Design that cares: Planning health facilities for patients and visitors. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Chang, C. Y., & Chen, P. K. (2005). Human response to window views and indoor plants in the workplace. HortScience40(5), 1354-1359.

Chen, C. (2014). Impact of nature window view on high school students stress recovery. Thesis. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Christenson, G. (2011). Why we need the arts in medicine. Minnesota Medicine94, 49–51.

Crysler, C. G., Cairns, S., & Heynen, H. (2012) The SAGE handbook of architecturaltheory. London: Sage.

Cusack, P., Lankston, L., & Isles, C. (2010). Impact of visual art in patient waiting rooms: survey of patients attending a transplant clinic in Dumfries. JRSM Short Reports, 1(6), 1-5.

Dali, S. (1932). The object as revealed in surrealist experiment. This Quarter2(1), 197-207.

De Certeau, M. (1988). The practice of everyday life, Volume 1. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Dunning, D., & Balcetis, E. (2013). Wishful seeing: How preferences shape visual perception. Current Directions in Psychological Science22(1), 33-37.

Enderle, J. D. (2010). Models of horizontal eye movements: Part I: Early models ofsaccades and smooth pursuit. Morgan & Claypool.

Eisenman, P. (1992). Vision’s unfolding: Architecture in the age of electronic media. Domus734, 20-24.

Gibson, J. J. (2015). The ecological approach to visual perception. New York: Psychology Press.

Heft, H. (2013). Wayfinding, navigation, and environmental cognition from a naturalist’s stance. In Waller and Nadel (Eds.), Handbook of spatial cognition. American Psychological Association.

Higgins, F. R. S. (1984). The visual ambiguity of a moving plane. Proceedings of theRoyal Society of LondonSeries B, Biological Sciences223(1231), 165-175.

Highmore, B. (2002). Everyday life and cultural theory: An introduction. London: Routledge.

Hitzel, E., & Gegenfurtner, K. R. (2015). Effects of peripheral vision on eye movements: A virtual reality study on gaze allocation in naturalistic tasks. Germany: Springer.

Ijsselsteijn, W. W., Oosting, W., Vogels, I. I., Kort, D. Y., & Loenen, V. E. (2006). Looking at or looking out: exploring monocular cues to create a see-through experience with a virtual window. Proceedings of PRESENCE (pp. 87-95).

Ingold, T. (2000). The perception of the environment: Essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill. London, New York: Routledge.

Ishak, S., Franchak, J. M., & Adolph, K. E. (2014). Perception-action development from infants to adults: Perceiving affordances for reaching through openings. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology117(1), 92-105.

Kahn, P. H., Friedman, B., Gill, B. T., Hagman, J., Severson, R. L., Freier, N. G., Feldman, E., Carrère, S., & Stolyar, A. (2008). A plasma display window? The shifting baseline problem in a technologically mediated natural world. Journal of Environmental Psychology28(2), 192-199.

Kassem, A. (2019). Performative interiors: Terminological and theoretical reflections on the term ‘performative.’Interiority2(1), 95-106.

Lankston, L., Cusack, P., Fremantle, C., & Isles, C. (2010). Visual art in hospitals: Case studies and review of the evidence, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 103(12), 490-499.

Lappe, M., & Hoffmann, K. P. (2000). Optic Flow and Eye Movements. International Review of Neurobiology, 44, 29-47.

Lewis, T. T., Everson, S. S. E., Powell, L. H., & Matthews, K. A. (2006). Chronic exposure to everyday discrimination and coronary artery calcification in African-American women: The SWAN heart study. Psychosomatic Medicine68(3), 362-368.

Loomis, J. M., Silva, J. A. D., Philbeck, J. W., & Fukusima, S. S. (1996). Visual perception of location and distance. Current Directions in Psychological Science5(3), 72-77.

Marion, J. S., & Crowder, J. W. (2013). Visual research: A concise introduction to thinking visually. London: Bloomsbury.

McEwen, B. S., & Stellar, E. (1993). Stress and the Individual: Mechanisms leading to disease. Arch Intern Med153(18), 2093-2101.

Murray, E. (1906). Peripheral and central factors in memory images of visual form and color. The American Journal of Psychology17(2), 227-247.

Mustikawati, T., Yatmo, Y. A., & Atmodiwirjo, P. (2017). Reading the visual environment: Wayfinding in healthcare facilities. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal2(5), 169-175.

Mustikawati, T., Sengke, M. M. C., Atmodiwirjo, P., & Yatmo, Y. A. (2019). The role of local materials in creating a meaningful visual experiences in urban public facilities. MATEC Web of Conferences266(6).

Nanda, U., Chanaud, C., Nerlson, M., Zhu, X., Bajema, R., & Jansen, B. H. (2012). Impact of visual art on patient behaviour in the emergency department waiting room. The Journal of Emergency Medicine43(1), 172-181.

Ozdemir, A. (2010). The effect of window views’ openness and naturalness on the perception of rooms’ spaciousness and brightness: A visual preference study. Scientific Research and Essays5(16), 2275-2287.

Pallasmaa, J. (2012). The eyes of the skin: Architecture and the senses. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Pallasmaa, J., & Robinson, S. (2015). Mind in architecture: Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Future of DesignCambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Passini, R. (1992). Wayfinding in architecture. Michigan: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Peh, C. H., Panerai, F., Droulez, J., Peres, V. C., & Cheong, L. F. (2002). Absolute distance perception during in-depth head movement: Calibrating optic flow with extra-retinal information. Vision Research42(16), 1991-2003.

Pheasant, S. (2003). Bodyspace: Anthropometry, ergonomics and the design of work. London: Taylor & Francis.

Piotrowski, A. (2011). Architecture of thought. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Rowe, F. (2016). Visual fields via the visual pathway. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Samuel, F. (2014). Architectural promenades through the Villa Savoye. In P. Blundell Jones & M. Meagher (Eds.), Architecture and movement: The dynamic experience of buildings and landscapes. London: Routledge.

Sengke, M. M. C., & Atmodiwirjo, P. (2017). Using isovist application to explore visibility area of hospital inpatient ward. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering185(1).

Sengke, M. M. C., Atmodiwirjo, P., & Yatmo, Y. A. (2017). The quality of life of hospital inpatients: Exploring visual sphere based on seeing capacity. 3rd ABRA International Conference on Quality of Life, Kuching, Malaysia.

Siegel, S. (2011). The contents of visual experience. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sonke, J., Pesata, V., Arce, L., Carytsas, F. P., Zemina, K., & Jokisch, C. (2015). The effects of arts-in-medicine programming on the medical-surgical work environment. Arts & health7(1), 27–41.

Sowers, R. (1984). A theory of primary modalities in the visual arts. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 42(3), 271-276.

Sowers, R. (1990). Rethinking the forms of visual expression. Berkeley, CA: The University of California Press.

Teyssot, G. (2010). Windows and screens: A topology of the intimate and the extimate. Log18, 75-88.

Thalman, W. A. (1921). The after-effect of seen movement when the whole visual field is filled by a moving stimulus. The American Journal of Psychology32(3), 429-441.

Trevelyan, G. (1977). The active eye in architecture: An approach to dynamic and imaginative seeing. Herefordshire: Wrekin Trust.

Tschumi, B. (1994). Event-cities: Praxis. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Ulrich, R. S. (1991). Effects of interior design on wellness: Theory and recent scientific research. Journal of Health Care Interior Design, 3, 97–109.

Ulrich, R. S. (1984). View through a window may Influence recovery from surgery. Science224(4647), 420-21.

Valdez, P., & Mehrabian, A. (1994). Effects of colour on emotions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 123(4), 394–409.

Vall, R. V. D., & Zwijnenberg, R. (2009). The body within: Art, medicine and visualization. Boston: Brill.

Velarde, M. D., Fry, G., & Tveit, M. (2007). Health effects of viewing landscapes: Landscape types in environmental psychology. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening6(4), 199-212.

Verstegen, I. (2018). Arnheim, Gestalt and media: An ontological theory. USA: Springer.

Warren, W. H, & Hannon, D. J. (1990). Eye movements and optical flowJournal of the Optical Society of America A7(1), 160-169.

Yarbus, A. L. (1967). Eye movements and vision. New York: Plenum Press.

Yatmo, Y. A., & Atmodiwirjo, P. (2013). Sneezing as a form of transaction between active body and space. Senses & Society8(2), 193-208.