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Emotional Architecture


Emotional Architecture The architectural phenomenology through natural and genuine materials

Alejandra Betancourt

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Spring 2018


Contents

Thesis statement Thesis questions Senses and Architecture Neuroscience and Architecture Definitions Materials in Architecture Thesis project Blibliography


Thesis Statement


Vision has been the sense that predominates our society since the past century. This visual culture has changed the way we experience and create architecture. Nowadays, artificial materials that imitate nature’s forms, textures and colors seem to have taken over the architecture and design industry. Even though these artificial materials succeed in imitating natural materials, the spaces created with them have failed in connecting emotionally with the user. In order to have an impact in the user’s emotions, the architectural experience must connect to all of the senses, creating not only a space, but an atmosphere. This thesis aims to create awareness of the senses that tend to be forgotten in the design process of contemporary architecture. The impact of the architectural experience is significantly higher when the space incorporates natural materials as the dramatization of the elements that surround us.


Thesis Questions


1

How is the architectural phenomenology of a space constructed with natural and genuine materials different from a built environment based on artificial, man-made highly processed materials?

2

How does the emotional connection and user’s sensorial experience vary from one space to the other?

3

What makes the emotional conection to the architectural space stronger? The materials, space scale, light, sound, texture, translucency, color? Which element defines the architectural atmosphere?

4

Can we define a material’s relevance in a space by the number of human senses it affects?


rage

loathing

greif

amazement

anger

disgust

sadness

surprise

annoyance

boredom

pensiveness

distraction

contempt

remorse

disapproval

awe


terror

admiration

ecstacy

vigilance

fear

trust

joy

anticipation

apprehension

acceptance

serenity

interest

submission

love

optimis

aggressiveness


Senses + Architecture

1992

David Harvey, The condition of Postmodernity

The current mass productio vision from emotional invo television to newspaper, fro epiphanies, our society is ch vision, measuring everything transmuting communication

2012

Juhani Pallasma The eyes of the s

2015

Peggy D The Guggenh Competition: Value Pro

2017

Sarah Robi “The Spac Relation

2017

Juhani Palla Architectu Experien


on of visual imagery tends to alienate olvement and identification (...). From om advertising to all sorts of mercantile haracterized by a cancerous growth of g by its ability to show or be shown, and into a visual journey.

aa, skin

It is evident that “life-enhancing” architecture has to address all the senses simultaneously and help to fuse our image of self with the experience of the world. (...) The ultimate meaning of any building is beyond architecture; it directs our consciousness back to the world and towards our own sense of self being. Profound architecture makes us experience ourselves as complete embodied and spiritual beings. In fact, this is the great function of all meaningful art.

Deamer, heim Helsinki : What is the oposition?

inson, ce of n”

asmaa, ure as nce

“Part of the answer has to be the energy spent trekking through the plethora of architectural images that circulate on the Internet that, devoid of reference, make designing feel like image shopping.”

If the built environment fails to nurture our capacities for emotional intelligence, that environment could in some measure contribute to such deterioration (architectural). So how can we design to engage the emotions so that we might correct this damaging atrophy? How can we design to engage the full range of our senses, senses that include of course emotion? The needs and desires of the body (…) must now be invited fully into design. Our senses are intimately intertwined and the way we speak about emotion as feeling betrays this natural integration. Atmosphere (physically considered) is defined as the gaseous substance surrounding the earth. In architectural parlance, atmosphere is the phenomenological sensation (when interactively considered) of the prevailing mood of a place. The premise of our study is that our ambient comprehension of the atmosphere of a place derives predominantly from our peripheral vision.


Neuroscience + Architecture

Johann W. von Goethe, Color Theory.

1810

Goethe realizes tha by the mechanics of He denies Newton’s striking objects and

Nancy Kanwisher, Epstein et al.

1999

Fred Gage

2003

The Academ Neuroscien for Architect (ANFA)

2003

2009


at the sensations of color reaching our brain are also shaped by our perception, f human vision and by the way our brains process information. s aproach to color as a physical problem that involved only the process of light entering through our eyes. The Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA) is significantly more active when users view complex scenes such as rooms with furniture, landscapes, and city streets than when they view photographs of objects, faces. By place recognition, the authors mean the matching of current perceptual information to the memories of places that had been encountered in the past and stored in one’s cognitive map. The PPA are the dispositions of past experiences of buildings. • The brain controls our behavior • Genes control the blueprints for the design and structure of the brain • The environment can modulate the function of genes, and ultimately, the structure of the brain • Changes in the environment change the brain • Consequently, changes in the environment change our behavior • Therefore, architectural design can change our brain and our behavior.

my of nce ture

• Sensation and Perception (how do we see, hear, smell, taste, etc.?) • Learning and Memory (how do we store and recall our sensory experiences?) • Decision making (how do we evaluate the potential consequences of our actions?) • Emotion and affect (how do we become fearful or excited? or what makes us feel happy or sad?) • Movement (how do we interact with our environment and navigate through it?)

John Eberhard Brain Landscape

• The brain is hard-wired to respond to proportions based on the golden mean. • A distributed set of brain activities across the entire brain, including the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, the basil ganglia, the amygdala, and the midbrain, work together to yield a special sense of awe.


Concepts


Biophilia Refers to a purportedly instinctive drive that impels humans to favor certain aspects of natural environments. While the term has been attributed to psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm who described ‘a psychological affinity for life’, it was renowned entomologist E.O. Wilson who popularized the term. Wilson has defined biophilia as ‘an innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes’ suggesting that from infancy humans are attracted to living things ‘like moths to a porch light’. Moreover, animals seem to have played a pivotal role in human evolution; interactions with animals appear to have shaped our cognitive capabilities. Stephen Kellert and E.O. Wilson among other scientists have argued that because humans have evolved within ‘nature’ (here meaning biotic environments), and since the human mind is an evolutionary construct, humans may be genetically driven to value or seek out (some) natural environments. Jason A. Byrne, 2010

Neuro-Architecture The growing interest in the psychological aspects involved in the architectural perception of environments and the rapid development of insight in the field of cognitive neuroscience have facilitated the creation of a new discipline known today as Neuroarchitecture. Neuroarchitecture can be defined as the study of the relationship between health and the management of space. In particular, it studies the relationship between brain processes and architectural environments and how these last have an impact on people’s emotional and physical health. Laura Angioletti, 2009


Materials in Architecture

1910 Adolf Loss

“One should remember that quality materials a ornamentation; they far surpass it in luxuriousn

Peter Zumthor Atmospheres

1998

2012

2013

Juhani Pallasmaa The eyes of the skin


and good workmanship do not simply make up for a lack of ness. More than that, they make ornamentation redundant.”

“I try to incorporate not only the forms, but the substance of the materials, the togetherness of the materials, how the light falls onto the materials and is reflected in the space and the sound… that is the magic of the real.”

Architectural theorizing, education and practices have primarily been concerned with form. Yet, we have astonishing capacity to perceive and gasp unconsciously and peripherally complex environmental entities and atmospheres. Atmospheric characteristics of space, places and settings are gasped before any conscious observation of details is made. Despite the obvious importance of atmospheric perception, it has hardly been introduced in architectural discourse. Again, neurological investigations suggest that our process of perception and cognition advance from the instantaneous grasp of entities towards the identification of details, rather than the other way around.

Brent Dzekciorius

We believe that great architecture is made from elements that tell a story about their time and place. Our holistic approach to materials making respects the achievements of the past while advancing future possibilities. We aim to create products with artistic significance, that allow architects and interior designers to forge meaningful new relationships between people and the spaces they occupy.


Materials in Architecture According to Oliver Vanbiesen

Natural Material

Artificial Material

Biotic or biological material. Derived from living organisms. Contain carbon , capable of decay.

Synthetic Lacking of spontaniety Produced by humans Omitating nature.


Wood

Granite

Crystal

Paper

Marble

Stucco

Leather

Cement

Brick

Soil

Slate

Porcelain

Sand

Limestone

Ceramic

Clay

Alabaster

Plaster

Mineral

Iron

Paint

Resin

Alumminium

Acrylic

Rattan

Steel

Plastic

Textile

Copper

Asphalt

Stone

Brass

Synthetics


Embodied Energy of Building Materials All figures in kg CO2/kg of building material


Aluminium

11.5 8.1

Fibreglass 4.5

Brass 3.2

Lead

2.9

Zinc Plastic

2.7

Steel

2.7

Copper

2.7 2.6

Vinyl 1.9

Insulation Cement

1.0

Glass

0.9

Ceramics

0.7

Plasterboard

0.4

Timber

0.3

Brick

0.2

Concrete

0.1

Straw

0.1

Stone

0.1


Thesis Project


In order to understand the impact that different materials have in a space and how the connection to the user varies from one material to the other, this project is based in create an experimental sequence using artificial and natural materials and document how people react and relate to each one of them. This sequence will be composed of three individual atmospheres, each one separated from the other by a transition area. The three cabin-like spaces will be made from different types of wood, since this material has several varieties and imitations in the market. The transition space will simulate a cleansing area with no sensorial stimulation in order for the user to have a more dramatic experience in each cabin. The main objective is to have each material built into an individual space where the user can sense how it reacts to light, sound, time, weather, and usage, as well as experiencing the different textures, smell, temperature and overall atmosphere aiming to create an emotional reaction in the user. Each cabin will be equiped with sound, artificial light and a hidden camera to document peoples’ reaction to the space.


Elements


hardwood

vinyl wood

ceramic wood

wood wallpaper

sound

video

light


Installation


Option 1

Option 2

Option 3


Bibliography


* Peter Zumthor. Atmospheres. * Juhani Pallasmaa.The eyes of the skin. * Michael F. Ashby: Life-cycle materials, Materials and Design: The art and science of materials selection in product design. Materials and sustainable development. * Joey Zeldon: Emotional ergonomics for human-connected design. “Touchy-Feely” * Smithgroup JJR: Material transparency. * Gail Peter Borden. The new essentialism. * Victoria Bell. Material for architectural design. * Gail Peter Borden. The new essentialism. * Blain Brownwell. Transmaterials * Bergman, R. and Bowe, S. 2008. Environmental impact of producing hardwood lumber using life cycle inventory. Wood and Fiber Science 40(3): 448-458 * Jönsson, Å. 1998. Life cycle assessment of building products – case studies and methodology. Graduate dissertation, Department of Technical Environmental Planning, School of Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. * Rick Fedrizz: WELL Building Institute. * Anders Abrams. Nine architectural conditions between liquid and solid. * Thomas Heatherwick. Building the seed Cathedral. * Kashmira Gander. How architecture uses space, light and material to affect your mood. * Carnegie Melon Architecture University Listing Material Library. * materialconnexion.com


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