Michal Gath-Morad

Michal Gath-Morad

ETZ Zurich

Michal Gath-Morad is an architect, urban designer and PhD student at the chair of Cognitive Science at ETH Zurich. Michalʼs interdisciplinary work aims to converge the fields of Architecture, Cognitive science and Computer science to support the design and evaluation of future, human-centred built environments. Michalʼs PhD focuses on the development of pre-occupancy simulation tools and workflows to support architectural design and evaluation of future buildings. In collaboration with ETHʼs Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, Michal applies her tools to simulate the impact of architectural design decisions on wayfinding behavior in mixed-use and crowded megastructure in urban city centres. Michal obtained her B.Arch and M.Sc from the Technion (Haifa), where she was part of a research group focused on simulating occupantsʼ behavior in hospital settings. Throughout her studies Michal won several architectural awards and was recently awarded with a Swiss Government Excellence Grant to support her PhD research.


Simulation of cognitive agents to explore occupants' wayfinding experience in future buildings

The ability to foresee how configuration and function related design decisions impact occupants’ wayfinding is a fundamental task in architectural design. Nevertheless, the majority of simulation tools in architectural design focus on simulating physical performance aspects, such as acoustics, energy efficiency and wind flow. In contrast, the development of building simulation tools that account for human-centric performance and experience in, and of buildings, have developed more slowly. The talk will focus on the use of agent-based simulations calibrated with empirical and theoretical findings from cognitive science to simulate occupants wayfinding across several building cases including hospitals, transit hubs and shopping malls.