The non-visual perception of space

December 4, 2013

I feel so insecure when I can’t see anything. But when you have to sharpen and trust your other senses you will instead be  able to experience new things.

Architect’s get trained a lot in visual communication. Of course it’s important and something we should be good at. But sometimes it’s good to do things in a totally different way.With that said, I think it’s time to bring in the other senses as the main characters in the play.

I dream about working on a project where the visual perception was a forbidden sense to consider. No drawings. No renderings. No text. Everything you considered and designed where how it felt to touch the fake-marble window sill, the oppressing sound of closing the front door or the sauna like smell of the wooden closets when they warm and the wood expands a little in the bright summer afternoon sun.


As a source of inspiration:
Peg Rawes, ‘Introduction’; ‘Touching and Sensing’ in Peg Rawes, Irigaray for Architects, London: Routledge, 2007.


3 Responses to “The non-visual perception of space”

  1. nenander Says:

    I share your excitement and curiosity for the non-visual aspects of our profession. It is truly problematic that our educational training is so focused on the visual. Material knowledge is not the same as material experience, and small pieces of samples, which in best case is the closest we get, can never replace full size experience. As it is now, we get very talented in imagining materials and spaces, but I would love a more tactile educational set-up.

  2. nicoleguo Says:

    Drawing is a common design tool, which all of architecture students must learn and get used to. I am eager to see that in the future, there are many other design tools (maybe smelling, singing, touching and sensing etc)applied in architecture education!

  3. Katla Maríudóttir Says:

    In a similar tone, I have often thought about how much fun (and difficult at the same time) it must be to design a building for someone who has a different sensory hierarchy than I do – blind people for instance. I imagine the design process to be a bit different. And like you say, how would we as architects “draw” the design?

    By the way, beautiful images!

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