|Monday, June 22|
Sense and Sensibility: A Time to Reconsider the Role of the Senses in design and experience of users
Susan Drucker, Hofstra University, United States
Gary Gumper, Urban Communication Foundation, United States
* Peter Hecht, Philadelphia University, United States
Richard Wener, New York University, United States
In The Eyes of the Skin architect Juhani Pallasmaa contends that modernist design at large has housed the intellect and the eye, but it has left the body and the other senses, as well as our memories, imagination and dreams, homeless. In the seminal work Understanding Media, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan asserted everything humans touch is both tool and extension, part of the techno-sensorium environment suggesting the experience of time and space is influenced by media technologies. Researchers from diverse disciplines have been concerned with sensory overload. Urbanization has certainly been a contributing factor in the increased awareness of this phenomenon. From Aristotle and Plato to McLuhan and Palasmaa, the senses have been seen as providing the interaction between body and the external world. Whether it is sight, hearing, smell, touch, or sound the idealized structure nurtures and address each of them. Since the Renaissance there was a school of thought that the embodied sensory experience of a building required full sensory engagement. How important is sensory perception in the experience of a building, place space? Further, the senses work together closely to enable the mind to better understand its surroundings and in so doing construct rather than reflect reality. It has been argued that Berger and Luckmanns The Social Construction of Reality be considered when considering sensory perception (Friedman, 2015). Focusing on the senses can enhance our understanding of the process of the social construction of reality. In Understanding Media McLuhan noted the media as extensions of the sense organs alter sensibility and mental process at once. This workshop will take the form of a roundtable and will consider how the senses may influence the behavior and choices of designers as well as the experience of users of settings, particularly those which recreate or represent other places. This IAPS workshop proposes taking a sensory approach to environmental design exploring the value of a multi-sensory approach to environment-behavior research. The workshop is planned to: Bring all the senses to bear in examining our relationship to the built and natural environments, particularly in a mediated augmented spaces; Reduce the near exclusive consideration of visual components in our person-environment interactions; Tie together contemporary neurology and neuroscience, biochemistry, multi-sensory cognition along with the functioning of proximal and distal sensory receptors.