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Architecture For The Senses Essay

3305 words - 14 pages

Architecture for the Senses

“…Architecture is the art of reconciliation between ourselves and the world, and this mediation takes place through the senses." - (PALLASMAA, J., 1994) On the first thought, senses in architecture seem unimportant. Most frequently, buildings are created relying heavily on their visual aspects or on only one of our primary senses – the visual one. The creation of environments that are visually stimulating without taking into consideration of the user friendliness, multi-sensorial and functionality aspects, might end up creating spaces that reduces physical or mental accessibility. That is, creating ‘distorted space’. For instance, a ...view middle of the document...

, 1994). Occupants can feel the rhythm of an architecture through the arrangements and composition of all the sensorial qualities of the space. If we carefully arrange the sensorial features within a space, we can guide the users through the functional and aesthetical rhythms of that space. Designing spaces for all the sense can help to heighten the experience of the occupants (LEHMAN, M.L., 2009). I believe that architects should create buildings or spaces that are more exciting and profound rather than just physical objects for only visual pleasure. Architecture should be experiences not only in terms of appearance, but also in terms of touches, smells, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Sight, hearing, smelling and touch are part of our sensory systems that help us to perceive spaces. In other words, they help us to distinguish geometrical shapes in our surroundings, locate ourselves in a particular space as well as to identify objects in term of depth and directions. Information received through our senses is continuously processed by our brain to create a cognitive three dimensional representation of the environment, whether stationary or in movement. All of our five primary senses assist us in different ways in exploring the environment and have different a range of perception. Touch, smell and taste offer information of so called near space or haptic space, while vision and hearing have the capacity to identifying and give information of so called far space (PANAGIOTIS, H., 2013).


Architecture for the Senses | Antish Chennigadoo

Sight I believe that architecture can and must be through the combination of other senses rather than solely depending on the visual aspect of the project. Vision can also be expressed through other senses rather than only the visual sense. How architecture is perceived by a blind person is completely different from a sighted person as blind person is more in touch with his other senses. From early stages of our history, vision was seen as the leading sense. Plato identified vision as humanity’s greatest gift (PLATO (360 BC) IN JAY, M., 1994). Even today sight is one of the senses that we mostly rely on for our daily activities and this dependence is slowly drifting us apart from our built environment due to lesser physical interaction (HARGIS, D, 2014). “Vision and hearing are now the privileged sociable senses, whereas the other three are considered archaic sensory remnants with a merely private function, and they are usually suppressed by the code of culture.” – (PALLASMAA, J., 1994) Our fast developing technological sector makes in the world we live in move at a faster rate. Sight is the only sense that can keep up with this change, hence, resulting in architectural design that is meant for visual pleasure. All too often, architects create designs that focus solely on the visual aspects of the project and lacking in terms of sensual possibilities. While others architects focus on the visual...

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