MindOpen: A Novel Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Developed for Architectural Design
The applications of brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) for ideation scenarios in architectural design have not been widely studied. In this project, the researchers developed and tested a novel BCI tool with a goal of enabling architectural designers to manipulate the placement and dimensions of windows in a virtual-reality room by thinking about self-selected body movements (motor imagery). Usability tests followed by semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 participants to investigate the BCI’s accuracy, users’ cognitive loads, and subjective reactions to the tool. The findings showed a wide range of accuracy (41%–86%) among different participants when using the BCI. Participants expressed enthusiasm for the tool and described it as a rewarding and creativity-enhancing approach. The main challenges reported were high mental loads and confusing visual feedback, some of which may be addressed by future technological adjustments. Potential directions for the development of BCIs specific to the design field are discussed.
Bill Xu, Saleh Kalantari