Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Interior Design


Interio r Design

First Advisor

Daejin Kim


Doorways are a necessity to interior environments but are often placed with intention toward maximizing spatial capacity as opposed to creating a spatial experience. Previous studies have shown that memory for information introduced to a person is harder to remember after traversing a doorway than it is without a doorway present (Pettijohn & Radvansky, 2010, 2016; Radvansky et al., 2011, 2015; Radvansky & Copeland, 2006). However, in a designed space, there are many additional sensory factors present when changing rooms and their impact has not yet been explored. The goals of the research were (1) to identify how sensory input might affect the doorway phenomenon through a literature review and (2) to investigate the effects of visual depth on the doorway phenomenon using a Virtual Reality construct created with a program used specifically in design fields. The literary analysis indicates that sensory perception, emotion, and ability have been shown to work interchangeably in their effect on human experience, including memory (Augustin, 2009; Curiel & Radvansky, 1998; Herz, 1998, 2004; Herz & Schooler, 2002; Mackworth, 1965; Proffitt, 2006a, 2006b; Tyng et al., 2017; Witt & Proffitt, 2008) and may be integral in the influence of the doorway phenomenon on memory recall ability. The VR trials were unable to determine that visual depth has a significant impact on memory regarding the doorway phenomenon. This research is an initial step toward enabling interior designers to make the best-informed decisions about how doorways can be used as a tool to manipulate a user's experience of a designed space.


Copyright Owner

Bree C Howard



File Format


File Size

64 pages