19659 - Psychology of Shapes

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Marco Costa
  • Credits: 5
  • SSD: M-PSI/01
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Architecture (cod. 0881)

Learning outcomes

The course will focus on architectural psychology. 

Course contents

Perception and perceptual segregation of space
Perception illusions
Space perception, perspective, 3D visual cues
Biophilia and the use of phitomorphic geometry in architecture
Fractal geometry and applications in architecture
Architectural aesthetic: cognitive and evolutionary perspectives
Emotional and cognitive associations of geometrical shapes. Use of these associations to convey specific emotional and cognitive states in architecture.
Color perception, color measure, color choice and use in architecture and design
Acoustical assessment in architecture. Techniques of noise reduction, noise cancellation. Noise stress and annoyance. Functional music in shops and stores. Soundscape.
Proxemics and interpersonal distances
The contribute of environmental psychology for the design of residential, educational, healthcare environment.
The contribute of environmental psychology for the design of green spaces. 


Costa, M. (2013). Psicologia ambientale ed architettonica. Milano: FrancoAngeli Seconda Edizione

Hachen, M (2007). Scienza della visione. Spazio e Gestalt, design e comunicazione. Maggioli Editore

Booth, N. K. (2012). Foundations of landscape architecture: Integrate form and space using the language of site design. New York: Wiley

Teaching methods

The students will be actively involved in the course with drawings, watercolors, site analyses and the design of architectural spaces.

Assessment methods

Attending students:

At the end of the course there will be a dedicated exam for attending students that will be focused on the assessment of graphical assignments, watercolor renderings, and course notes. Prerequisite is to have accomplished all the graphical and watercolor exercises assigned by the teacher during lessons. 

Non-attending students:

The examination will consist of six open questions, graphical drawings, watercolor renderings. Time limit: two hours.

Each answer will be evaluated on a 6-point scale (0-5). An evaluation of 5 for all the 6 questions will lead to a 30 cum laude grade.

Teaching tools

For practical sessions the students should have:

- drawing tools: pencils, india-ink pens, set-squares, compass.

- A4 drawing paper 200 g/m2;

- A4 watercolor paper 300 g/m2;

- Watercolor set (it is enough a basic set with 12 half-pans);

- Watercolor brushes;

- India ink. 

Office hours

See the website of Marco Costa


Good health and well-being Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.