Summary of approved PhD theses

Interior design as a therapy. Personalization of residential interior in terms of its dimensions
Mgr. art. Adriána Hofbauerová, ArtD.

The main theme of this dissertation is environmental design – interior design as therapy and its importance in the personalization of the living spaces as a tool for optimal adjustment of housing interior to achieve a full and comfortable life. This thesis describes the application of information and facts from cross-disciplinary sciences in the interior design as a form of environmental therapy. It has 6.65 author’s sheets and is divided into 14 chapters. It presents the context of changes in the housing dimensions in the context of changes in the society and the personality of an individual. It is based on both traditional and modern interpretations of neuro-ergonomics, psychology and sociology in the design of the residential environment. Emphasis is put on individual approach and customization of home interior dimensions of the residential apartment interior in order to accommodate the physical, mental and social needs of the user. The theoretical premise of this dissertation is in chapters 3, 6 and 7. Chapter 3 describes the current information in the area of environmental design. Chapter 6 defines the residential interior in terms of its dimensions. It further documents the objective quality of housing and examines the currently high demand for modern housing. The chapter explains the insufficient number of (typified) apartments and the possibility to influence the design of new (personalized) apartments. Chapter 7 introduces a system of personalization of residential interior design with regards to interior dimensions with the application of the principles of environmental design and implementation of subjective factors that affect the comfort of living into the personalization process. Chapters 8, 9 and 10 focus on research. They present a sociological insight into residential interiors as well as into the lives of the most numerous group of the Slovak population with the currently highest need for housing. These chapters analyze dimensions of the residential interior for this target group, especially the usable floor area, spatial composition of the interior and possibilities for performing activities associated with a healthy lifestyle. They offer an assessment of the variability of the internal layout and options for addressing the subjective comfort needs. Results of behavioural research were used for recommendations for optimal adjustment of interior spaces for this group of users. At the same time, these recommendations constitute the minimum requirements for residential spaces that enable them to live their lives to the fullest. A separate chapter is dedicated to case studies for the verification of the benefits of interior design created by personalization of home dimensions. We can gain truly valuable information if we understand the way these changes in the layout and composition of interior spaces and their causal relationship. The vision of the implementation of the residential interior design and principles of personalization of the residential interior in terms of its dimensions are presented in the final chapter.

Košice in urbanistic concepts and the town planning in the 20th century
Ing. arch. Ján Sekan, PhD.

The (doctoral) thesis is the first detailed summary of the development of urbanistic designs of the town of Košice. It focuses on the history of urbanistic concepts of Košice in the 20th century, regardless of the fact whether they have been realised or not. Presented plans have been collected from various archives and museums in Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as from private collections in Košice. Periodical publications and books from the relevant period were also used. These materials, many of which have been unknown up to now, are summarized into a coherent story of Košice’s urbanistic development. Firstly, this work presents individual plans concerning the whole city. Secondly, it presents plans covering smaller areas. Some plans are detailed while others are smaller studies or competition entries. While all existing citywide concepts from the 20th century were explored, only some of the partial concepts, those that either has been unknown or can be considered to be characteristic of their time period, were explored. The thesis also examines another regulatory instrument, which was the Košice building code and the legislation of each period. The author also examines previous periods, especially the 19th century. In the 20th century, the first attempt to create a plan was a competition in 1917, which lead to the creation of a zoning plan for Košice by Budapest-based architects László Warga and Jenő Lechner. The plan anticipated a large increase in Košice‘s population and growth and development of the industry. Its aesthetic aspects were mainly influenced by the ideas of Camillo Sitte. The plan remained unfinished due to the change of the government system. This plan was observed during the First Czechoslovak Republic, but only partially. Another attempt was the zoning plan of the Prague-based architect Josef Chochol who applied a modern approach and focused on the creation of logical and functional relationships and complex functioning of the city, taking into account modern forms of transportation. The plan was again left unfinished due to the First Vienna Arbitration (1938). During the Second World War, there were no new concepts created. After the war, a new Functionalist plan was prepared by Bohuslav Fuchs. His work was refused by the newly-established communist regime and instead, in the early 1950s, a new plan was created in the spirit of Socialist Realism by architects František Kočí and Jiří Hrůza. After the Stalinist period, the spirit of Modernism returned and in the plan of architects Milan Hladký, Ján Kurča and Ivan Bányai, Fuchs’s ideas were revived. Functional and formal characteristics were determined by the Athens Charter and industrialised building system. The normalization period, beginning in the early 1970s, was accompanied by the “Large Košice” plan of the architect Vlasta Michalcová. This plan, which is still applicable, is characterized by stagnation of ideas. Due to the inability to implement the basic idea of Michalcova’s plan to date, the ensuing improvisation continues.

Subjectivity of Virtual Architecture
MArch Ing. arch. Roman Hajtmanek

The ability of computational technology to record and process large data volumes changes the nature of the computational design. Technology virtually reflects reality better than ever before, in excessive resolutions. This way, virtual space creates an individualized interface that integrates its users into their environment. Together with the improvement of visualization tools of virtual reality, it is possible to track the user’s subjective perception and behaviour in this space. The dissertation further inquires into the relationship between virtual reality and real space cognition, which is explored through various experiments that focus on the collection of user’s data in virtual reality and express this relationship by means of various models. The result of the experimental research is the expression of this relationship via the machine learning model, which can subsequently be used as an evaluation tool of architectural design with respect to the predicting of spatial cognition of its future users. Artificial intelligence technology is now applied in every scientific field, thus changing our system of knowledge. Research of this area reveals the potential of this technology and further opportunities for its utilization in the architectural domain.

Keywords: FA STU, dissertation theses, town planning, architecture, research, design