Summary of approved PhD theses

“Healthy” design in the interior design proces: Inclusive interior design for children with eye defect disease – amblyopia
Mgr. art. Margaréta Janecová, ArtD.

This thesis addresses the topic of furniture and interiors for children with binocular disorders, specifically amblyopia. It describes essential points for the design of healthy work desk and interior for children. These points were arrived at by reviewing relevant academic literature, evaluating a questionnaire and by consulting experts. First half of the thesis is aimed at colors, their impact and benefits for children with amblyopia. It also examines the forms of existing furniture in kindergartens and grammar schools in Slovakia and New Zealand. The negatives are highlighted and the thesis attempts to find solutions for improvement. The second part of the thesis demonstrates the theoretical knowledge practically — by designing a work desk for an amblyopic child. This design is aimed to help the correction process of amblyopic disorder and enhance the interiors in which children spend most of their time.

Typology of solar urban design: Energy cooperativeness of urban structures
Ing. arch. Peter Morgenstein, PhD.

The dissertation thesis is dealing with solar urbanism by means of compiling basic typology of urban structures and exploring specifications of urban fabric in relation to utilisation of solar radiation, as one of the most important renewable energy sources. The thesis is aiming to introduce aspects of energy activation of urban elements and offers possibilities to quantify their potential for local energy cooperation within smart grids. For this purpose, new urban indicators have been introduced — energy cooperation indicator and solar index. The research of solar and cooperation potential of urban structures is considering distinct aspects — the effect of change of layout orientation, number of stories, the ratio of solar active systems (photovoltaic and solar thermal) on the structures’ surface, insulation parameters of building envelope, consumption of electric power etc. Also the effect of change of orientation and inclination of a reference surface on the surface irradiation is examined. The research is focused on local legal and climate conditions of the city Bratislava, Slovakia. The simulations are run under terms of a weather file, containing data for the typical meteorological year in Bratislava. The results are specified for three simulation periods — winter / transition / summer, to provide detailed characteristics of examined urban typology in changing solar conditions of a year. The thesis provides resulting graphs and tables showing the solar qualities of given urban structures, based on values of newly introduced urban indicators. It is completed by software Evaluation tool, enabling individual variation of computational parameters and further research, as well as by the Catalogue of urban structures, depicting the characteristics of evaluated urban structures due to gain and utilisation of solar radiation. The dissertation thesis is a response to actual strategies and demands of European Union concerning decreasing of energy consumption, increasing energy effectiveness and increasing of renewable energy sources share. The thesis offers solutions regarding EU strategies targeted on nearly-zero energy buildings and smart international energy network, and seeks the answers at the level of urban design.

Senior housing: Assisted living facilities
Ing. arch. Daniel Szabó, PhD.

Housing for the elderly is particularly pressing issue due to global aging of population and the associated increase in population of post-productive age. Demographic development in Slovakia follows the development in all European countries. The number of people of working age in Slovakia will be declining for the next 20-30 years, while the number of people in the post-productive age (over 65 years) will increase significantly. Current forms of housing for seniors appear to be insufficient, while the system of nursing homes as outdated. Increase in the supply of affordable housing for seniors therefore requires seeking and implementing new procedures. In the introduction, we described the aging process in its three forms – demographic, biological and psychological. On their basis, as well as on several other requirements, we have formulated the general principles of designing facilities for the elderly. These were divided into the following categories: location, economic accessibility, support of individuality and independence, stress reduction through architecture and specific typological requirements for each space of such facility. Through selected methodologies, we further analyzed and evaluated the typological, sociological and economic aspects of the various forms of seniors housing in selected foreign countries (USA, Sweden and Austria) and Slovakia. Due to a lack of statistical data, we also conducted a questionnaire survey among facilities for the elderly in Slovakia. Based on these data, we were able to compare the differences between the selected countries and Slovakia. Based on the formulated general principles of designing facilities for the elderly and the comparison of data from the selected countries, we tried to apply the acquired knowledge in the economic conditions of Slovakia by creating an ideal model of assisted living facility for the elderly. For these reasons, we designed a flexible decentralized assisted living facility for the elderly, which would be feasible in the economic conditions of Slovakia.

The code of the city as an expression of the identity
Ing. arch. Simona Šovčíková, PhD.

This work provides the new urban look that is focused on the issue of code, based on mutual respect with the notion of identity. Unlike different views on coding subject it resolves the characteristic geometry of the city. It conceptually specifies the code to the spatial code. It serves to write specific geometric principles of the city which harbor identifiers as elements of the identity of urban structures. These expressions are perceived as an objective consideration of defining city identity. The importance and relevance of examining the spatial code is presented in an objective process of seeking expressions of operating urban structure identity. On their basis it develops the potential of urban structures in all parts of the city. This is the formulation and analysis of identifiers that are strikingly repeated in the geometric center of the city, thus creating a system that carries physically captured expressions of visual identity of the urban structure spaces. The theory also addresses the issue of identity, as a set of features and expressions on which space or an entity containing elements of the same group differentiate in full contexts. The concept of identity is based on the meanings such as uniqueness and identity. Space identity is objectified by eliminating of the process of subject’s identification with the object. It works only with the visual aspect of identity. During the research uses its own terminology, which was formed by applying terminology from different disciplines. Tackling the practical phase was verified by the example of a particular operational structure of Banska Bystrica.

Multimedia presentations using virtual reality tools
Ing. arch. Ondrej Miklánek, ArtD.

This thesis focuses on presentation of design using virtual reality tools, because technological progress provides effective digitalization uses. It’s practically impossible to be aware of new technological possibilities and to fully utilize them while creating design. My aim is to look beyond technical solutions in order to uncover philosophical implications, because they might prove to be more important. Digitalization of creative process and presentation are inherently bound to technology. Therefore, it is necessary to dissect the technical background. That is driven not by obligation, but by curiosity to understand hidden properties and their influence on humans; to discover why certain technologies became widely adopted and other ones didn’t. Adoption in this case means taking into account typological, physiological and psychological human needs in the most effective way. These could have been unknown before the adoption. Who knew that three-dimensional imaging would cause such wonder, but the users wouldn’t be satisfied with inevitable glasses. This particular problem seems to be unsolvable, because glasses free autostereoscopic imaging is encountering much greater opposition. Aim of this thesis is to uncover as much of the finesse and its influence on humans as possible, because it can prove that it’s not the advertised possibilities, but the form, that is the most influential factor. I understand multimedia presentation as unification of technology, philosophy, designed product, semantics, psychology of perception and economics. The function of design is not to create a product, but to react and accommodate human needs. Those needs may be easily recognizable, or they might be like Steve Jobs said “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Technology enables to show them in many ways, but it’s very unclear which ones are really effective. Each designed product is an aggregate of various features. Each of them is most effectively presentable in a different way. Garr Reynold describes transition into conceptual age in Presentation Zen. He doesn’t recognize logical thinking as the most important quality. Complementing emotional experience and unison of thinking and feeling are imperative in contemporary world. Main goal of this thesis is to form approach to multimedia, to present their possibilities, shortcomings, and influence; how they can make design creation easier, democratize the creative process and to transfer more decision making onto the client. By utilizing analysis of technology, its active use in my praxis, research aimed at both maximizing the effectiveness of use and pleasure of perception, and inspiration by art I try to create a guide on how to utilize multimedia presentation and virtual reality tools. A guide like that wouldn’t be complete without analysing the financial burden, because perfect technological possibilities combined with emotional acceptance are useless, if they are not profitable. At the end of this thesis I present vision of the future use of VR tools as the ultimate synthesis of all acquired knowledge. I try to prove that the open-minded ability to approach multimedia from many angles increases its usability even if limited by the number or simplicity of elements used; that technical sophistication is not paramount.

Colour in ceremonial space: Evaluation of significance of colour for final artistic quality of an interior
Ing. arch. Eva Teplanová, ArtD.

When evaluating interacting relations of the selected qualifying elements of the interior, such as colour, material, design of individual furnishing elements, other art works, it can be said that the component most often responded to by the public opinion is colour and its choice, then it is the selection of an art work, and lastly, the structure, or the texture, of material and design of individual furnishing elements. Our thesis deals with the theme of colour in the ceremonial space and with the importance of colour in designing these specific premises. The reason of this choice is our own experience with this topic and the relation of colour as an archetype of the long term memory of man. These two specific problems can provide a good example for better understanding of the importance of the relation of colour and the internal space. A lot has been written about colour, colour is encoded in our experience, and similarly as the DNA formula, in each of us. Despite this fact the spaces, and we can state that majority of internal spaces in Slovakia, do not comply with this criterion. It is not our intention to provide a method for elaboration of a colour scheme of an interior. We would like to initiate discussion on colour and interior, and stress the importance of colour composition in relation to an interior and its user.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Design at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava
Keywords: architecture, design, urban design, PhD thesis