Team _Knoell

Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöll
- Head of Research Group -

Martin Knöll is Assistant professor and head of the Urban Health Games research group (UHG) in the Department of Architecture at Technische Universität Darmstadt. He holds a PhD from University of Stuttgart, Germany, on health-oriented urbanism. Dr. Knöll leads UHG in building new transdisciplinary collaborations between urban designers and health experts to address global health challenges such as social inclusion, sustainable mobility systems, access for all, physically inactive lifestyles, diabetes and urban stress. Previously, Dr. Knöll was visiting scholar at the Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts at Middlesex University, London, UK, and held a post-doc position in the Department of Architecture at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

Research interests

• Urban Design & Health (Walkability, Social Interaction, Environmental Stressors)
• Evidence-Based Design (Human Cognition & Perception, Space Syntax, GIS)
• Participatory Planning (Co Design, Serious Games, Health & Design for Young People)

Professional networks & academic services

• Registered Architect AKH, Chamber of Architects and Urban Planners, State of Hessen
• SRL – Association of town and regional planners, Germany
• Program Committee GameDays – Intern. Conference on Serious Games
• Member of the Ethics Commission at TU Darmstadt
• Member of Research Commission, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt
• Ad hoc Reviewer for Building & Environment

Scholarships and awards

• Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Washington D.C., invited researcher in delegation of young members of the German Bundestag, (09/2015)
• Doctoral Fellowship of the state of Baden-Württemberg (05/09 – 03/12)
• Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Fellow in Architecture (2009 – 11)
• Karl-Steinbuch-Fellowship, Medien und Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg (05/08 – 04/09)

Selected research grants

• LOEWE Schwerpunkt Infrastruktur. Design. Gesellschaft, investigator leading research focus “urban design and multimodal mobility systems”, 1/2018 – 12/2021.
• Frankfurt Book Fair for All, principial investigator (PI) in funded research cooperation with industry partner Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH, 9/2017 – 12/2018.
• PreHealth: Promoting education and jobs to enhance the use of urban blue and green infrastructure for health and fitness, coordinator in EU / DAAD: Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Program, 12/2016 – 07/2019.
• Smart Cities and Inclusive Design, PI with Dr Sabine Hopp in TU Darmstadt HSP Mittel, 09/2016 – 03/2020.
• Perception and usage of innercity shopping centers – Case study Aquis Plaza Aachen, PI in funded research cooperation with industry partner ECE Projektmanagment G.m.b.H, 11/2016 – 09/2017.
• Cities, physical activity and diabetes therapy of young people – A pilot study, PI in funded research project by Das zuckerkranke Kind, German Diabetes Foundation & Public Health Fonds of the City of Stuttgart, 2016.

Academic appointments and education
06/2014 Assistant Professor (W1)
Technische Universität Darmstadt, Department of Architecture
Urban Health Games Research Group, Darmstadt, Germany
02/2013 Independent Group Leader with Promotionsrecht
University Industry Collaborative (UNICO) Research Group, TU Darmstadt
04/2012 –
Research Associate
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Architectural Design, Art and Theory
Prof. Alban Janson, Karlsruhe, Germany
06/2012 Promotion (Dr.-Ing.)
Universität Stuttgart, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning
Thesis Title: Urban Health Games. Reflective, Collaborative & Expressive
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. phil. Gerd de Bruyn, Reviewer: Prof. Dr. Johann Jessen
Funded by a Doctoral Fellowship of the state of Baden-Württemberg (05/09 – 03/12)
05/2009 –
Visiting Doctoral Student
Middlesex University London, Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts, School of Arts and Education, London, United Kingdom Supervisor: Prof. Stephen Boyd Davis, Royal College of Art, School of Design
10/2007 Graduation (Dipl.-Ing. Arch.)
Universität Stuttgart, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning
Thesis Title: Sweet Blood: The diabetes epidemic in East Harlem
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. phil. Gerd de Bruyn, Reviewer: Prof. Dr. Wolf Reuter

Selected publications

a) Articles in publication outlets with scientific quality assurance

[1] Martin Knöll, Katrin Neuheuser, Thomas Cleff, und Annette Rudolph-Cleff. „A tool to predict perceived urban stress in open public spaces.“ Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science (SAGE Publications), Januar 2017. DOI:

[2] Martin Knöll: Bewertung von Aufenthaltsqualität durch Location-Based-Games – Altersspezifische Anforderungen in der Studie „Stadtflucht“ in Frankfurt am Main. MATI Mensch – Architektur – Technik – Interaktion für demografische Nachhaltigkeit, Edited by Gesine Marquardt, 01/2016: chapter: pages 266-77; Fraunhofer IRB., ISBN: 978-3-8167-9472-1

[3] Martin Knöll, Katrin Neuheuser, Yang Li, und Annette Rudolph-Cleff: Using space syntax to analyze stress perception in open public space. Space Syntax Symposium 10. London: University College, 07/2015.

[4] Martin Knöll, Katrin Neuheuser, Joachim Vogt, Annette Rudolph-Cleff: Einflussfaktoren der gebauten Umwelt auf wahrgenommene Aufenthaltsqualität bei der Nutzung städtischer Räume. Umweltpsychologie. 12/2014; 18(2):84-102.

[5] Martin Knöll, Tim Dutz, Sandro Hardy, Stefan Göbel: Urban Exergames: How Architects and Serious Gaming Researchers Collaborate on the Design of Digital Games that Make You Move. Virtual, Augmented Reality and Serious Games for Healthcare 1, Edited by Minuah Ma, Lakhmi C. Jain, Paul Anderson, 01/2014: chapter 11: pages 191-207; Springer Berlin Heidelberg., ISBN: 978-3-642-54815-4

[6] Martin Knöll: “Bewegungswissen – Active Design Guidelines.“ der architekt, Juni 2014: 28-32.

[7] Martin Knöll, Magnus Moar, Stephen Boyd Davis, Mike Saunders: Spontaneous Interventions for Health. Technologies of inclusive well-being: Serious games, alternative realities, and play therapy, Edited by Anthony Brooks, Sheryl Branham, Lakhmi Jain, 01/2014: chapter: pages 245-259; Springer., ISBN: 978-3-642-45431-8

[8] Martin Knöll, Tim Dutz, Sandro Hardy, Stefan Göbel: Active Design – How the built environment matters to mobile games for health. Context Matters – Exploring and Reframing Games in Context. Proceedings of the Vienna Conference 2013, Edited by K. Mitgutsch, S. Huber, M. Wagner, J. Wimmer, H. Rosenstingl, 12/2013: chapter: pages 181-93; New Academic Press.

[9] Martin Knöll, Johannes Konert, Katrin Neuheuser, Sandro Hardy, Tim Dutz, Michael Gutjahr, Annette Rudolph-Cleff, Joachim Vogt, Stefan Göbel: Interdisciplinary Course on Urban Health Games – Concept and first results of an interdisciplinary course on location-based games for health. Workshop on Smart City Learning – Opportunities and Challenges, EC-TEL 2014, Graz; 09/2014

[10] Martin Knöll, Magnus Moar: On the importance of locations in therapeutic serious games: Review on current health games and how they make use of the urban landscape. 5th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, PervasiveHealth 2011, Dublin, Ireland, May 23-26, 2011; 01/2011.


Supervision of PhD students

a) As Supervisor / Erstgutachter (2 ongoing)

[1] Marianne Halblaub Miranda (since Oct 2015), Active transitional [public] spaces – Case study Darmstadt, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt

[2] Chen Siqi (since Jan 2017), Socio-spatial Interaction (SSI): Design strategies to promote integration of elementary school-aged refugees in Berlin, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt

b) As Co Supervisor / Zweitgutachter (3, 2 completed, 1 ongoing)

[3] Christian Seemann (Disputation 16th April 2015): European Shopping Centre Architecture – In France and Italy, Erstgutachterin: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Annette Rudolph-Cleff, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt

[4] Tim Dutz (Disputation December 2016): Pervasive and Persuasive Serious Games, Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. habil. Ralf Steinmetz, Multimedia Communications Lab, TU Darmstadt

[5] Katrin Neuheuser (since 12/14): Environmental factors on human stress perception, Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Joachim Vogt, Department of Human Sciences, Work and Engineering Psychology, TU Darmstadt

c) As Member of Doctoral Disputation Committee (1 completed)

[6] Dipl.-Psych. Susanne Bartels (Disputation 15th September .2014): Aircraft noise-induced annoyance in the vicinity of Cologne/Bonn Airport – The examination of short-term annoyance as well as their major determinants, Department of Human Sciences, TU Darmstadt