Faculty: Siddharth Srivastava

Perception in Architecture - An embodied and multi-sensory approach

Real-world experiences of architecture are suffused with the intermingling of visual, haptic, auditory, olfactory, and proprioceptive stimuli. This makes it an immersive and emotional experience rather than purely visual. This idea is reinforced when we encounter architectural spaces that leave us with a “deep” or “touching” experience, even when they do not offer a significant visual intrigue. The developments in the field of phenomenology and neuroscience in the last few decades have created a fecund ground for a better understanding of our perception of spaces as multi-sensory rather than only visual and therefore an outcome of our overall bodily being. The idea of the whole body as a perceptual agent has been discussed in the past by art historians such as August Schmarsow and Heinrich Wölfflin, and in recent times by architects such as Juhani Pallasama and Harry Mallgrave along with a few more. Interestingly, the last two decades of research in neuroscience has been able to shed more light on how human perceptions are essentially multisensory. Many studies have hinted towards how one sensory stimulus such as touch can inform and influence another sense such as vision. Works of philosophers such Merleau-Ponty
and more recently Alva Nöe, Sue L. Cataldi, Matthew Ratcliff and more have articulated about how the multisensory perception influences important decision making in humans while moving inside a space. Therefore, this essentially cross-disciplinary study aims at finding how the multisensory approach can help know more about perception of
architectural spaces.

Student DRP