A Sensory Approach to Architecture
We experience the natural and built environments through our varied senses: smell, touch, vision, temperature change, sound and the movement of our bodies. In addition, symbolism and association can play a vital role in our overall awareness. Our experiences can be negative, neutral or appreciative.
This reality poses a number of questions that will be considered in this session:
- What are examples of multi-sensory architecture?
- Is there a hierarchy of the senses in a sensory experience? Are some senses direct and others indirect? In what way is our own choice important?
- Why is the visual sense so dominant in the education of architects, urban designers and planners? What steps can be taken in design education to encourage students to create a multi-sensory built environment?
- How can a multi-sensory environment be created to assist persons with varied disabilities and special needs?
- There appears to be a relationship between environments with a 'sense of place and belonging' and multi-sensory places and spaces. Why is this?
This workshop will allow participants to explore and discuss all of the above and more. No previous experience with architecture will be needed to participate.
Ian Davis has worked as an architect in the UK, Canada and the US. This work included the office of Minoru Yamasaki, the architect of the Twin Towers in NYC, and Chamberlin Powel and Bon in designing the Barbican Arts Centre. He then taught in the School of Architecture, Oxford Brooks University for twenty years, lecturing on various topics including sensory architecture. In 2020, Ian wrote 'Experience Oxford' where he brought together his ideas, lectures, walking tours and paintings to explore how the city he has lived in for fifty years creates a physical experience through its built components.