Architectural Building for All the Senses: Bringing Space to Life

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Image Credit: © Kuco | Dreamstime
Image Credit: © Kuco | Dreamstime

All too often, architectural designs rely more heavily on just one primary sense – the visual one. The other senses are unfortunately frequently neglected. This is unfortunate since it is through the senses that architecture can have profound effect. For instance, architectural building can more truly relate to the surrounding culture through all of the senses. Addressing historic, traditional or present-day cultural patterns can make a work of architecture a success when the senses are not ignored.

 

The architect must act as a composer that orchestrates space into a synchronization for function and beauty through the senses – and how the human body engages space is of prime importance. As the human body moves, sees, smells, touches, hears and even tastes within a space – the architecture comes to life.

 

The rhythm of an architecture can be felt by occupants as a result of the architect’s composition – or arrangement of all the sensorial qualities of space. By arranging spatial sensorial features, an architect can lead occupants through the functional and aesthetic rhythms of a created place. Architectural building for all the senses can serve to move occupants – elevating their experience.

 

Architectural space is about layering for all of the senses. Like a musical composition, spatial features come together into a symphony for occupants to experience. Bringing a space to life means that architectural function and form is not just primarily for the visual sense. By engaging all of the senses, form and function may be more fully expressed so occupants can have deeper, more meaningful moments – feeling the bouquet of their surroundings in all of its dimensions.

About the author

Maria Lorena Lehman

Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary artist, designer, and author focusing on links between environmental design, science, emerging technologies, and human potential. Lehman is founder of MLL Atelier, an art-based architectural design research practice. Maria Lorena Lehman is author of the award-winning book entitled, Adaptive Sensory Environments. She is recipient of the Harvard University Digital Design Prize for the "most creative use of digital media in relation to the design professions". Lehman also creates sculptures and paintings described as "visual poetry of motion that is a new inspiration" by Daniel Smith, the company that creates watercolors for artists worldwide. Maria Lorena Lehman holds the degrees of Master in Design with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture, Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech. She is internationally published and in numerous periodicals, including The Architect's Journal, Esquisses Magazine, Architect Magazine and Forbes.