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K-State Today

October 19, 2018

Architecture student presents research findings at international symposiums

Submitted by Lindsey Leardi

Alexandra Mesias, a junior in the Master of Architecture program in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design and member of K-State's Developing Scholars Program, presented her research findings at two international symposiums this year.

The culmination of two and a half years of work, Mesias' presentations discuss the effect of maturity and confidence on reaching a creative frame of mind. By using biofeedback technology, Mesias collected real-time responses of undergraduate versus graduate architecture students. Her research has the potential to yield insight into how technology affects the creative process.

The only undergraduate student among graduate students, doctors and postdoctoral researchers, Mesias presented at the 2018 International Association of Empirical Aesthetics Conference held in Toronto Aug. 30-Sept. 2 and the 2018 Academy for Neuroscience for Architecture Conference held at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, Sept. 20-22.

"Though it was her first conference presentation, Alexandra's talk at IAEA sounded seasoned and professional,” said Hanna Negami of the Urban Realities Laboratory in Waterloo, Ontario. "I think it's so great for an undergrad to have the opportunity to not only conduct exciting research but to share it with audiences of both architects and scientists at reputable interdisciplinary conferences."

Her work, "Assessing Architecture Students' In The Moment Creativity," was developed and co-authored with David Thompson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Bob Condia, member of the American Institute of Architecture, architect, professor of architecture.

"What is remarkable about Alexandra is her persistence and dedication to this work which begun as a Developing Scholars Program project," Condia said. "She has become skillful with our biological sensory apparatus and with the help of Dr. Thompson, learning the ways of statistical analysis. Her work continues in our lab with additional subjects and deeper analysis of the data, both biological responses and analog surveys."