Keynotes > Dafna Fisher-Gewirtzman


3D models as a platform for urban analysis and studies on human perception of space


Dr. Architect Dafna Fisher-Gewirtzman
Faculty of Architecture & Town Planning Technion
IIT Haifa - Israel


The objective of this work is to develop an integrated visual analysis and modelling for environmental and urban systems in respect to interior space layout and functionality. This work involves interdisciplinary research efforts that focus primarily on architecture design discipline, yet incorporates experts from other and different disciplines, such as geoinformatics, computer sciences and environment-behavior studies. This work integrates an advanced Spatial Openness Index (SOI) model within realistic geovisualized Geographical Information System (GIS) environment and assessment using subjective residents’ evaluation.

We assume that the perceived density, the need for privacy or the requirement for open view are not the same for the living room, bed room or study. Likewise, they are not the same for the home, office or commercial space.

The advanced SOI model measures the volume of visible space at any required view point practically, for every room or function. This model enables accurate 3D simulation of the built environment regarding built structure and surrounding vegetation. The 3D digital simulation of the environment is inserted into the automated model for measurement. The same 3D model can be inserted to a virtual reality system, where people can be immersed in the virtual environment and comment in accordance to their perception and their reactions can be tracked. 

This paper demonstrates the work on a case study. A 3D model of Neve-Shaanan neighbourhood in Haifa was developed. Students that live in this neighbourhood had participated in this research. Their apartments were modelled in details and inserted into a general model, representing topography and the volumes of buildings. The visual space for each room in every apartment was documented and measured and at the same time the students were asked to answer questions regarding their perception of space and view from their residence. 

The results of this research work had shown potential contribution to professional users, such as researchers, designers and city planners. This model can be easily used by professionals and by non-professionals such as city dwellers, contractors and developers. This work continues with additional case studies having different building typologies and functions variety, using virtual reality tools.


Dafna Fisher-Gewirtzman is a Senior Faculty member at the Faculty of Architecture & Town Planning at the Technion. 

Dafna is teaching and coordinating various architecture design and interior design studios, such as third and fourth year architecture design and Interior design. 

Her research focus is in the field of visual analysis and simulation of urban and architectural space. In addition, developing topics concerning adaptive reuse architecture. Her research is generously supported by the Israeli Scientific Foundation (ISF).

Dafna published many papers in leading professional Journals, such as Environment and Planning B, Urban Design International, Architectural and Planning Research, Int. AR, and presented her research in many international conferences in Europe and North America. She received many prizes and was the recipient for the UNESCO fellowship. Dafna was a visiting researcher in many European universities and was a Visiting Scholar of Graduate studies at the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin. 

Many of Dafna’s students received national prizes and their work, was presented in exhibitions around Israel. In addition to her academic activities she is also practicing architecture and interior design and her work was published in local professional journals.
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