Architecture Encompasses All the Senses–A Book Review
As architects, we (I don’t know if I can call myself that quite yet) recognize the fact that architecture is more than just visual stimulus. Architecture enhances all the sense and combines the sensual experience to form a memorable recollection of the space. Whether the space is confining, inspiring, frightening, or depressing, architecture is used in a way to elevate our human experience.
This post is to recommend a book I hope you’ve already heard of: Juhani Pallasmaa‘s The Eyes of the Skin. Don’t judge a book by the cover–it is not a Renaissance medical journal. What it is is a fabulously written and inspiring book of what he thinks is great sensual architecture–and how our senses fueled by the architecture amplify our experience.
If you have read it, I would like to know what you think. He claims that modern buildings today mainly alienate the senses besides visual satisfaction. Flashy architecture, he says, with abstract angles and reflective glass, make buildings become withdrawn from the epitome of humanity. What do you think?
Despite this argument, his writing about sensual experience is very inspiring and philosophical in nature and I highly recommend reading it.
I will leave you with a quote from him:
“Architecture enables us to perceive and understand the
dialectics of permanence and change, to settle ourselves in the world, and to place ourselves in the continuum of culture and time. In its way of representing and structuring action and power, societal and cultural order, interaction and separation, identity and memory, architecture is engaged with fundamental existential questions…our domicile becomes integrated with our self-identity; it becomes part of our own body and being.”