student thesis 2020-2021

The Effect of Path Environment on Pedestrians’ Route Selection: A Case Study of University of Cincinnati, OH

Jing Tian. Master of Science in Architecture
Committee Chair: Ming Tang
Committee Member: Na Chen, Julian Wang


Accelerometers Image of the Three Participants in Route 2

In recent years, there are a growing number of researchers who have shown concern about the impact of the walking environment on human walking experience and route selection. However, most of the studies regarding the influence of the path environment on pedestrians’ route selection are concentrated on the urban level, ignoring the discussion on the architectural level. Taking the University of Cincinnati (Ohio, US) as an example, this study aims to investigate whether the difference in the environmental settings of each route will affect pedestrians’ walking experiences and future route selection, with the ultimate goal of ascertaining the underlying relationship between the route environments and the user behavior in the process of rout selection and implementation.

This study included three routes from the Langsam library to the CEAS library. The research methods included data analytics, questionnaires, and comparative analysis. Firstly, participants’ psychological and physiological data were collected through surveys and E4 Wristband, respectively. Secondly, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to examine whether there was a significant difference in pedestrians’ walking experience among the three routes. Thirdly, through the analysis of the collected questionnaires, the factors that play an important role in pedestrians’ route selection were determined. Finally, all information about the physiological change of pedestrians within in a particular route was compared, including Electrodermal Activity (EDA), Blood Volume Pulse (HVP), Accelerometer (ACCE), and Skin Surface Temperature (TEMP).

In the end, it can be concluded that the three routes with different environmental settings bring different experiences to participants. More specifically, the level of comfort and openness of the route significantly affects the route selection of pedestrians, while the degree of fatigue during walking does not. The thermal environment of the route also affects the pedestrians’ route preferences. The pedestrians’ physiological experience varies significantly in the elevator hall and stairwell, as key nodes at each route. To sum up, for the transition space from outdoor to indoor, the factors affecting pedestrian route selection include the comfort, openness, and thermal environment. Based on this, it is necessary to take special consideration of the related environment setting of the elevator hall and stairwell in the route design process, which will have a certain influence on the route experience and selection of pedestrians.

Full paper

Virtually Interactive DAAP

Rishyak Chowdhary Kommineni. School of Design. Master of Design.
Committee Chair: Ming Tang
Committee Member: Muhammad Rahman

The past few years have seen an increase in the use of virtual reality (VR) among designers in an attempt to create interactive projects to embrace technological innovations and adapt to the challenges of the digital era. While there are studies that examine the advantages of VR in presentations, meetings, and visitor’s experiences with it, there aren’t many studies examining the experience of designers who are responsible for the interactive space and narratives. The aim of this paper is to explore the practices, experiences, and perceptions of designers on the use of VR technology during exhibitions. The perceived advantages and challenges of such technologies and their requirements for the technology to be implemented in the field of design with virtual interactions are being discussed.
The paper provides an in-depth analysis of interviews with a number of designers based on a live example, DAAPworks, an exhibition that takes place every year at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (UC DAAP). It has been converted into a virtual platform in Behance due to the pandemic (Covid-19) in the year 2019. A working prototype of the exhibition has been created for this thesis to establish a starting point for the Virtually Interactive DAAPworks project. The ultimate aim is to offer a more critical and methodological examination and assessment of the use of VR for design exhibitions and to provide suggestions for designing and developing virtually interactive spaces in the future.

Full paper


Digital Landscape

Large open world simulation. ARCH 7014 VIZ 3. DAAP, UC. Fall. 2020.

Download the interactive game for windows. ( 1.8GB. Password needed)

Students: Brooke Adams, Jake Bayer, Kyle Beck, Xu Cao, Roger Chanin, Nick Chism, Shanmukhi Chittanuru, Nick Earman, Sarah Fall, Ashley Franklin, Christian Gilbert, Chris Gilmore, Danielle Hall, Anna Hargan, Mitch Hoffman, Gabrielle Kalouche, Stephanie Knechtly, Rishyak Chowdhary Kommineni, Kenny Li, Nathaniel Liesch, Rachel Magee, Joy Mullappally, Ben Paulus, Alex Phinney, Halle Potoczak, Priyanka Raghuwanshi, Camila Rivera Torres, Cassidy Rodgers, Crawford Rogers, Christine Sima, Gustavo Vega Ramirez, Victoria Wanstrath, Gabrielle Waters, Trent Wenker, Tyler Wilson

Return to the Third Places

Resilient Price Hill. UC Forward C19 co-LAB awards. PI: Conrad kickert. Co-PI: Ming Tang, Yexuan Gu. $17,986. 08.2020-01.2021

ARCH 4001. 
Return to the Third Places: Architectural intervention at the Price Hill, Cincinnati during the COVID-19

Publication:  “Social distancing and behavior modeling with Agent-based simulation”,  CAAD Future 2021 conference Proceeding. 16 – 18 JULY 2021.

Student: Sarah Auger, Maddison DeWitt, Brittany Ellis, Andy Failor, Lisa Garcia, Ashley Kasel, An Le, Hannah Loftspring, Kyle Munn, Deborah Park, Sabrina Ramsay, Haley Schulte, Brayden Templeton, Pwint Wati Oo (Audrey) lead by Prof. Ming Tang.

Funded by the UC Foward, this 4th-year ARCH studio examined several “third places” at the Price Hill, Cincinnati, and propose architectural solutions to create resilient places allowing social distance during the COVID-19.  The ARCH Studio collaborated with Urban Planning ( lead by Prof. Conrad Kickert) and Landscape Architecture ( lead by Prof. Yvonne Gu) and presented research jointly with the Price Hill community including PriceHillWill, Meiser’s Fresh Grocery & Deli.

Thanks for the support of our partners!

The interactive game (Windows version)  can be downloaded here. ( 800MB)

Download student projects. PDF ( password needed)

social distance in two check-out scenarios.

Here is the screen-capture of real-time game play.

more information on the collaboration can be found at

The research has been presented in MIng Tang’s Paper “Social distancing and behavior modeling with Agent-based simulation” at the CAAD Future 2021 conference. The project was exhibited in 2021 DAAPcares.

VIZ-3 bus stop

This is a collective project with 35 students from VIZ-III course. Bus stops were designed in Rhino, 3dsmax, Revit, or Sketch-up and brought into Unreal. Please download the demo zip file ( 800MB) here.

Rural Mobile Living

ARCH 4002. Spring 2020
SAID DAAP, University of Cincinnati

Using the 10 miles rural area along I-90 at Lorain County, Ohio as the site, this Rural Mobile Living studio presents a study investigating the rural mobility with an emphasis on architecture as infrastructure and its connection to the means of transportation. Work closely with the Vehicle Design Studio in the School of Design, the research intended to realize the potential of the self-driving car, smart technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning into the architectural design process and address problems such as poverty, lack of transportation means and under-developed infrastructure. Ultimately, the studio looks to build upon the strengths of both vehicle design and architecture methods and explore the possible design solutions for the following five scenarios in the rural areas: “shared living, working homeless, digital nomad, disaster relief, and tourism recreation.

Faculty: Ming Tang
Students: Nick Chism, Maddie Cooke, Amy Cui, Noah Nicolette, Travis Rebsch, Vu Tran Huy Phi, Kristian Van Wiel, David Wade, Jamie Waugaman, Adam Baca. SAID, DAAP.

Collaborator: Vehicle Design studio. Juan Antonio Islas Munoz, School of Design, DAAP.


Thanks for the support from Autodesk Cloud-based computing BIM360.  


  1. Download our game here. “” (1.2GB) password “daapworks@2020”
  2. Unzip and Run the exe file


How to use the interface

  • use M to turn on/off Menu
  • use A W S D or Arrow key to move/drive
  • use C to switch the camera between the first person to the third person
  • use space bar to stop a car
  • use E to get in/out of a car
  • use F to turn on/off flying mode. Then use Q, Z to fly up and down. ( only as a host server or single-player mode)
  • walk into the “glowing green box” to teleport

For Multi-player game

A. Set up Steam on your computer

  1. Set up a Steam account and install Steam in your computer.
  2. Run the Steam program on your computer.
  3. Add Ming Tang as your friend. Friend code “301687106”

B. Join a multiplayer session.

  1. Make sure you use “Internet”, not “Lan”. Single-click the found session, not double click.
  2. You should be able to use “Shift + Tab” to turn on the Steam overlay. Ask questions in the Steam chat room.
  3. Choose the “Find games” option. Once you find an open session, double click the name to join the game.