Markus Schröppel | Postgraduate student in the Faculty of Art and Design

My doctoral dissertation, "Rethinking the Visible" derives from the idea of finding one's way in a built environment using indicators of visual information other than elements of information graphics, or infographics, as this system of communication seems to fail when needed the most and collapse when strained.

My project will consist of research in various areas of the field of visual research, including the perception psychology of guidance and orientation systems in public space and buildings. It seeks to challenge the semantic and semiotic function of the signs used and analyse their effectiveness. It aims, furthermore to delve into the particularities of the cognitive organisation of human spatial memory from an evolutionary perspective.

The paradigms of spatial orientation and memory are key functions: they help us to adapt our navigational strategies according to the situation we are in. Is it possible to use this ability to construct spatial representations of the outside world, and store them in an individual's memory as a guidance system? Are we able to use the hidden path of imagination, these simpler navigational mechanisms which have preserved our evolutionary history, as a tool for decision-making and organisation? A possible application of this idea could be, for example, the development of new service strategies in the non-aviation areas of Düsseldorf Airport. This project is supported by and in turn influences the research component of my work.

Markus Schröppel

Postgraduate student in the Faculty of Art and Design