The Perfect Design For urban dwellers Endorsed by Neuroscience
2017-2019 | Principal investigator
Funded by Joy Ventures: Innovating Neuro Wellness. Technion research. Collaborators: Prof. Simon Shamai Tsoory,  Haifa university and Architect Eran Chen – ODA, Architecture firm in NYC.

On a technical and practical level, it is possible to design and construct very dense urban environments, to compress people into small compact spaces both in their private and public environments. This could and most likely would result in crowded and stressful environments influencing the wellbeing and quality of life of their inhabitants. Some configurations have proven to be more acceptable than others, perceived as less dense, providing more privacy than others, or defined as well designed spaces. No in-depth study has been conducted to identify specific architectural schemes that can reduce stress and increase mental and physical resilience. This research proposal aims at understanding the impact of alternative architecture settings at different scales on human well-being; identifying the designs and spatial configurations that enhance positive emotions, relaxation, reducing stress in personal and social contexts and enhance an individual’s capacity to cope with daily challenges and stress.
The objective of this study is to apply the scientifically ratified results as design guidelines for improvements of existing urban settings and for better future design. The result of this study would have a vast impact on planning and design processes as well as on the quality of life and well-being of urban dwellers.

User perceptions modeling and 3D Visual structure analysis of building envelopes in dense urban environments
2015-2019  | Principal Investigator
Funded by the Israel Science Foundation

Understanding how interior and exterior architecture and urban design alternatives impact human experience is still a challenge. One of the factors that impact human experience is the visibility available to users given a location with respect to an architectural design. The objective of this work is to understand and quantify the impact of visibility under varying architectural proportions and settings on human physiological and emotional measures.

Integrated visual analysis and modeling for environmental and urban systems regarding interior space layout and functionality
2011-15 | Principal Investigator
Funded by the Israel Science Foundation

Cognition, Perception and Behavior in the Built Environment
2015-2018/20 | Prof. Dr. Christoph Hölscher (PI). Dafna is acting as consulting researcher
Funded by The National Research Foundation of Singapore as well as the Singapore-ETH-Center as part of the Future Cities Lab phase 2 within the SEC Singapore-ETH-Center

This research addresses the manner in which people perceive and process spatial information in high-density, mixed-use, vertical settings.
Dafna was invited to apply her visibility analysis methods to reinforce the expected ‘perceived density’ of user’s in the future proposed built environments.

How do architects think and design space? An interdisciplinary investigation on architect’s spatial knowledge, spatial ability and opportunities for pedagogical improvements in architectural education
2017-2020  | Prof. Dr Christoph Hölscher, Elsbeth Stern and Stefan Kurath (PI), Dafna is acting as an international collaborator
Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.