Getting lost in buildings
Seattle Central Library opened to great critical acclaim for its bold and impressive architectural design yet despite ample signs it is common for visitors to admit to getting lost inside. This is a regular experience in many buildings particularly libraries, hospitals and shopping malls. This article examines contributing factors and identifies: the spatial structure of the building, the cognitive maps that users construct as they navigate, and the strategies and spatial abilities of the building users. The article argues that an integrated framework is needed to deal with the issue. The authors put forward an illustrated analysis and conclude further work needs to be conducted within a proposed integrative framework to understand how the factors discussed interact.