Friday, October 16, 2015

Sensory Architecture

By Alicia Luthy

Hello all! For this week’s article, I decided to write about my thesis topic. I am creating an education center for the dual impaired with a strong emphasis on the senses.

Vision is often defined as a person’s dominant sense. Often, it is through the eyes that we collaborate with the body and perceive other senses. Sight is also the sense that is used first and is how someone analyzes the space. However when designing, it is important for spaces to be multi-sensory because people experience architecture with different strengths. It is said that vision suppresses the importance of the other senses but every sense is significant in creating and transforming a space’s experience. A person’s touch gives the human body perception of distance, resistance, and is what makes objects three dimensional. Touch provides humans with information on temperature, texture, weight, and also is important for their sense of space. Sound allows a person to achieve a complete perception a space. Ironically, sound is best represented through silence because it allows for the construction to become apparent.  The smell of things is often what triggers memories of spaces. The visually impaired often use smell as a way to recognize their location. There are more senses than the commonly known “Five Senses,” sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. The human body also registers temperature, intensity of light, aroma of the materials, and much more. Shadows are important for creating depth and distance and temperature can provoke different feelings of a space. This thesis will design a school for children who are deaf and visually impaired. Through this design process, research will be conducted how the dual impaired study, navigate space, and ways to improve their daily routines way of life.  It will help teach and rehabilitate those who have or had difficulties with daily activities. This building will emphasize the importance of multiple senses, and use these to create an architectural experience. There will be a clear understanding of the difficulties of deaf and visually impaired individuals in the design process.

“A profound design process eventually makes the patron, the architect, and the occasional visitor in the building a slightly better human being”.-Juhani Pallasmaa

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