Printing and Emotions in ARCHITECTURE

HP wanted to understand what role paper has in the future of architecture and how they can better support architects with their large format printers. To gather insights, we designed an immersive research program involving ethnographic observation and interviews in architecture firms in the US, Germany, and Japan. Observing architects closely, we learned that paper prints have important utility and emotional meaning that digital modeling doesn't provide.

Paper prints, for instance, allow architects to get away from their computers screens and engage in an enjoyable mix of activities (e.g. meeting with partners and clients, visiting a project site, getting away from the desk, etc.)—a key characteristic of satisfying work for architects. In addition, prints have important emotional resonance because they are the first externalization of the plans; the paper moves them closer to the finished product, the building. The print itself is a sign of forward progress. 

Overall, our work revealed the rich emotional meanings of paper prints and how our client can better support architects' work process using large format printers.