Martin Knöll

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöll

El-Lissitzky-Str. 1
64287 Darmstadt

Raum: L3|01 472

+49 6151 16-22167
+49 6151 16-22163


Research Group Urban Health Games

CV short

PDF (last updated 01 Nov 2019)




Martin Knöll is Assistant Professor of Urban Health Games (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)

• Urban Design & Mobility (Planning Policies, Intermodal Experience, Acces for All, Digital Mobility)

• Evidence-Based Design (Human Cognition & Perception, Space Syntax, GIS)

• Participatory Planning (Co Design, Serious Games, Health & Design for Young People)

Ongoing research projects

• Urban Design and Mobility, principal investigator (PI) in multidisciplinary research program Infrastruktur. Design. Gesellschaft. (LOEWE Schwerpunkt) 01/2018 – 12/2021.

• Frankfurt Book Fair for All, 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.

• Third Places – Perception and usage of innercity shopping centers, PI in funded research cooperation with industry partner ECE Projektmanagment G.m.b.H, 11/2016 – 12/2017.

• Active Learning Spaces – a pilot study on co design in healthy schools, Co Investigator in funded research project with Heinrich-Hoffmann Schule, Darmstadt, 08/2016-02/2018.

• Cities Changing Diabetes, PI in funded research cooperation with industry partner Novo Nordisk Germany, 03/2017 – 11/2017.

• 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

Professional networks & academic services

• Registered Architect AKH, Chamber of Architects and Urban Planners, State of Hessen

• SRL – Association of town and regional planners, Germany

• DIFU – German Institute for Urbanism, Member in expert group “Health promoting urban planning” / Arbeitsgruppe gesundheitsfördernde Gemeinde- und Stadtentwicklung (AGGSE)

• Member of the Ethics Commission at TU Darmstadt

• Member of Research Commission, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt

• Ad hoc Reviewer for Building & Environment, Journal of Urban Health

Scholarships and awards

• TU Darmstadt Strategic Partnership with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg and Washington DC, Travel Grant (12/2017)

• 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)

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 – 02/2013 Research Associate
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Architectural Design, Art and TheoryProf. Alban Janson, Karlsruhe, Germany
06/2012 Promotion (Dr.-Ing.)
Universität Stuttgart, Department of Architecture and Urban PlanningThesis Title: Urban Health Games. Reflective, Collaborative & ExpressiveSupervisor: Prof. Dr. phil. Gerd de Bruyn, Reviewer: Prof. Dr. Johann JessenFunded by a Doctoral Fellowship of the state of Baden-Württemberg (05/09 – 03/12)
05/2009 –03/2012 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 PlanningThesis Title: Sweet Blood: The diabetes epidemic in East HarlemSupervisor: Prof. Dr. phil. Gerd de Bruyn, Reviewer: Prof. Dr. Wolf Reuter

Selected publications

[1] Martin Knöll, Jennifer J. Roe, “Ten questions concerning a new adolescent health urbanism”, In Building and Environment (Elsevier), 2017, ISSN 0360-1323,

[2] Marianne Halblaub Miranda, Maria Ustinova, Thomas Tregel, Martin Knöll. “MoMe@school – A pilot study on a analytical and participatory tool for active learning spaces design.“ Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health (Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health), August 2017.

[3] 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:

[4] 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

[5] 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.

[6] 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.

[7] 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.

[8] 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

[9] 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.

[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 (5 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

[3] Gladys Vasquez Fauggier (since Nov 2017), Urban Design Strategies to Support Active Travel in Parents with Infants, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt

[4] Lanquing Gu (since May 2018): Restorative Effects of Streets in Densifying Urban Environments.

[5] Lakshya Pandit (since June 2018): Improving multimodal accessibility in urban agglomerations, DAAD PhD fellow.

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

[4] 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

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

[6] 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)

[7] 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


Website of the Research Group

Profile on ResearchGate


Course „Developing Urban Health Games (2013-2016)“

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