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(to be completed by the student) Student Name & ID: Yara Al Sadik Course Name:

Capstone Research

Course Code:

ARCH 5201

Section Number:


Instructor Name:

Ms. Suman Faruqui

Assignment Title:

Midterm Submission

Submission Date:


Declaration: • I certify that the attached submission is all my own work, based on my own research and / or design development, and that I have acknowledged all sources I have used to produce it. • I have read and understood the policies regarding Academic Honesty, cheating, plagiarism and collusion stated in the Student Handbook. • I understand that I may be penalized if I use the words, design or illustrations of others without permission and acknowledgement. • I understand that any written assignments may be subjected to a web plagiarism checker. • I understand that the late submission of an assignment will result in a 10% deduction of the assignment grade for each day that the assignment is late as per the course's syllabus. Signed (by student): YARA ALSADIK

Below is a copy of the University’s Academic Honesty policy, which is included in the Student Handbook and on the course syllabus: A university’s intellectual reputation depends on maintaining the highest standards of intellectual honesty. Commitment to those standards is a responsibility of every student and every faculty member at Dar Al-Hekma University. Cheating is a felony. Any form of cheating during exams will be taken seriously. Students will receive a grade of F on an exam if cheating is discovered. Breaches of academic honesty include cheating, plagiarism, and the unauthorized possession of exams, papers, or other class materials that have not been formally released by the instructor. Comply with the Student Handbook regarding Academic Honesty: cheating, plagiarism and collusion. Before you submit your assignment please check that: • This sheet is securely fastened to your assignment • Any written assignments are word-processed and the pages are numbered • You have included a bibliography of all books and articles consulted • You have permission of use for any images used and all images are referenced accordingly • You have kept a copy of any written assignments and/or have the computer files to any digital projects

Midterm Submission ARCH 5201 - Capstone Research Consciousness Architecture Yara Al Sadik ID 1510119

Consciousness Architecture: Through Contemplative Hubs

Abstract: In an era where technology is controlling our daily lives and taking over, it has become very difficult and unwary of recognising our self concepts resulting in an anxious population where the sense of human experience in buildings is lacking through the shift of modernity. Modernism arguably, have brought an ideology which focuses on a function and aesthetic into architecture, but the notion also resulting in a far less empathic architectural. Consciousness architecture serves the human’s mind by making the human come back to its basic senses through design furthermore architecture can contribute to this by evoking such states through mindfulness architecture.

Table Of Content 1- Abstract ………………………………… 2- Thesis Statement ………………………………… 3- Introduction ………………………………… 4- Case Studies:

• Duke Student Wellness Center ………………………………… • Ceasar Palace Las Vegas ………………………………… • Windhover Contemplative Center ………………………………… 5- Literature Review:

• Architecture As A Mindful Body ………………………………… • Mental Illness ………………………………… • Biophillic Design ………………………………… • Architecture That Heals (METHODOLOGY) ………………………………… • Analyzing Literature Reviews ………………………………… 6- Conclusion 7- References

Thesis Statement Human experience in the past years are evolving and constantly changing through the new dimensions of technology. Adapting to what seems the “norm” while losing sense of our actual senses by getting caught on the paradox of today’s world. The communication between an architectural work and the human body, which shapes the overall embodied experience of an architectural setting can be explored by the way a building is designed inside out.

Introduction “Conscious Architecture” Phenomenology concerns the study of essences; architecture has the potential to put essences back into existence. By weaving form, space, and light, architecture can elevate the experience of daily life through the various phenomena that emerge from specific sites, programs and architectures (Holl 1996:11) Contemplative hubs which isn’t a term that is used frequently here in Saudi Arabia usually a contemplative hub is associated with religion for example Holy Makkah or Al Madinah the feeling that results when visiting such places are associated with calmness but we can alter this concept in building such architecture that serves the human senses which in result can gives us a better society with a better healthy mindset and relationships, the factors of architecture design on the human’s mind is yet to be researched. “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us” mused Winston Churchill in 1943 while considering the repair of the bomb-ravaged House of Commons. Buildings and cities have this huge impact on us as citizens in terms of mood, wellbeing and sometimes it effects the patterns of behavior pointing that there is a specialized cell in hippocampal in our brain that is aware to the complex and composition arrangements of the spaces we inhibit.

Timetable For Submission

Week 4

A. Select Scholarly Sources B. Read Sources

Week 8

A. First Draft Paper B. Peer Review With Instructor

Week 12

Second Draft Paper

Week 18

Final Research Paper Due

Case Studies


1. Duke Student Wellness Center / Duda Paine Architects The center is located next to the university of Durham that has an area of 72000 ft2 The Center weaves health and wellness together into everyday student life, with Student Health, Nutrition, Counseling and Psychological Services, Wellness and Case Management programs coming together under one roof. This innovative new facility both answers the needs of clinical care and expands the role of wellness in ensuring healthy students. Strategically situated between athletics, student services and residential complexes, the building abuts Duke historic forest’s and a primary campus circulation path. The design’s transparent two-story entry brings natural light into the building and allows for views of the outdoors. To minimize the project’s environmental impact, oak harvested from the site was used extensively for interior surfaces and exterior seating. A contemplative garden reinforces connections to nature and extends to campus pathways. A monumental entry stair follows a translucent wall up through the lobby to celebrate the intersection of care, prevention and social interaction in achieving wellness. This gives me a possible site location where I can locate my architecture next to universities for students to go to after a hard day in universities.


2. Ceasar Palace Las Vegas Sensual Perception Caesars Palace was established in 1966 by Jay Sarno, who sought to create an opulent facility that gave guests a sense of life during the Roman Empire. Sarno followed the principle that no amount of excess was enough. In its first 50 years Caesars Palace has expanded from an opulent 14-story hotel with 700 rooms to a small city with six towers, 4,000 rooms and a 636,000-square-foot shopping mall. It’s initial concept was to depict the roman empire but to achieve it they had to play with light and depict colors to actually trigger the brain into imagining how did the roman empire architecture looked like without the use of colors, lighting, composition of interior the brain wouldn’t process these elements and depict it if it wasn’t with the help of our visual senses.

Architectural Elements Learned From Case Studies: The role of light and the composition of colors used within the interior can ultimately create the sense of experience, when also the materials play a big role in the visual clarity there is measurements of the materials of selection when designing a building that creates this experience to the users.


3. Windhover Contemplative Center The Windhover Contemplative Center is a public gallery on Stanford’s campus designed to be a spiritual refuge for the Stanford community, “intend[ing] to offset the personal cost that can be entailed by students, faculty and staff striving to reach the pinnacle of their fields. The concept of the building that it would pair art and nature to help facilitate contemplation, seeing it as a way to “recenter oneself”. From the beginning, student, staff, and faculty were consulted for the design. Aidlin notes, “Students wanted to use the space. We met with them early on and talked to them about their needs. Everyone has different patterns for when they are stressed out. Undergrads have different views than graduates.” Based on these differing needs, the final design offers multiple spaces and pathways for contemplation and reflection regardless of time of day. Working in conjunction with other campus-wide wellbeing efforts, Windhover helps to promote student, faculty, and staff wellbeing.

Visual Connection With Nature

Dynamic + Diffuse Light

Material Connection

Literature Review


1. MINDFULNESS (noun) Mindfulness is defined as “paying attention to what’s happening to the present moment in the mind, body, and external environment” (MAPG, 2015: 5)


“Sun never knows how great it is until it hits the side of a building or shines inside a room” Louis Kahn

Mindfulness Architecture The experiences we have with our buildings are based on our ability to interact with our surroundings. Unconsciously throughout the years our minds are trained in specific way making it easier for the brain to visualize what to expect when for instance walking into a building. Whether its different factors like high ceilings, the composition of buildings, whether it creates visual clarity or not etc. The orientation and complex of a space within an architectural design may to an extent affect the factors in which the mind acts up accordingly for example the experience architects provide for the occupants during their visit in terms of colors, sound, smell etc to an extent has an effect on humans. “Spaces determine our behavior — for the most part without our conscious perception” (Dr. Deinsberger-Deinsweger) the way a circulation is laid out for instance in IKEA The home furnishing chain’s mazy layouts are a psychological weapon to part shoppers from their cash, an expert in store design claims, a route a customer took through a store, they are designed to stop customers leaving The theory is that while following a zig-zag trail between displays of minimalist furniture, a disorientated Ikea customer feels compelled to pick up a few extra impulse purchases.


2. Spatial Sensation. The Science Of Architecture. “How you can kill a human with an apartment just as well as with an axe.” (Heinrich Zille)

Space gains its meaning when an architect feels it and experiences the space before actually creating it for the users, it's actually not a term to be just created rather felt. In architecture there are many factors affecting the people inside the building for instance light plays a big role. Humans are always surrounded in a space where, because of our senses they determine the phenomena and boundary of any space.

Light creates the feeling of relaxation because humans transfer most their information through the eyes, and vision is the most important sense of transition. “the eyes capture the pictures and perceptions are made by light in the nervous system” The space quality has an emotional impact on humans because it makes them active in the presence of light, it enhances their mood without even noticing it.


3. Biophillic Design Biophilic design can reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and expedite healing; as the world population continues to urbanize, these qualities are ever more important. Theorists, research scientists, and design practitioners have been working for decades to define aspects of nature that most impact our satisfaction with the built environment. Nature in the Space encompasses seven biophilic design patterns: 1.

Visual Connection with Nature. A view to elements of nature, living systems and natural processes.


Non-Visual Connection with Nature. Auditory, haptic, olfactory, or gustatory stimuli that engender a deliberate and positive reference to nature, living systems or natural processes.


Non-Rhythmic Sensory Stimuli. Stochastic and ephemeral connections with nature that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.


Thermal & Airflow Variability. Subtle changes in air temperature, relative humidity, airflow across the skin, and surface temperatures that mimic natural environments.


Presence of Water. A condition that enhances the experience of a place through seeing, hearing or touching water.


Dynamic & Diffuse Light. Leverages varying intensities of light and shadow that change over time to create conditions that occur in nature.


Connection with Natural Systems. Awareness of natural processes, especially seasonal and temporal changes characteristic of a healthy ecosystem.


4. Architecture That Heals (METHODOLOGY) Mental Illness in Saudi Arabia is pretty well neglected or not acknowledged of as a physical issue that needs to be addressed, nowadays people are ashamed of addressing their mental illness regardless of the root and causes of these problems. I conducted a survey with 100 participants answering questions regarding the wellbeing and health of the individual with addressing the idea of how do they feel in terms of architecture impacting their mood when visiting any building to see the relationship of architecture with the wellbeing of the individual. One of the questions was how do they rate themselves in terms of being healthy/ kind to themselves the average answer was 6.7/10, when asked how often do you feel stressed 54% answered often and the 20% answered always. When asked if they ever sought to manage stress 65% answered no, this indicates that 6 out 10 people never really managed stress from having so much on their minds which results in an anxious population.

Survey Results


Rush, F. (2009). On architecture. New York: Routledge. Goldhagen, S. W. (2017). Welcome to your world: how the built environment shapes our lives. New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Fred Rush is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the university of Notre Dame, and the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory (2004). He argues on his book “On Architecture that architecture is a philosophical puzzle and that although we spend most of our time in buildings, we rarely reflect on what they mean or how we experience them. In On Architecture, Fred (2009) argues, “that this is a consequence of neglecting the role of the body in architecture. Buildings are lived-in, communal spaces and their construction reveals a lot about our relation to the environment as a whole.” (p.34). Rush takes the fact that when we apply the term "architecture" we are in an unconscious way referring to the built-world as something that is “experienced" rather than built or simply just designed. The aim is not to introduce the typical journey of an experience through the built word but rather through much of the resources that Rush argues about in his resources, such as the phenomenological philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Rush instead formulates the question of experience in terms of how one might an architect build, were one is to build with "experience in mind" (p. ix). Arguably he talks about the body and architecture spaces relation, referring to one of my topics architecture as a mindful body and spatial sensation he examines the concepts of what leads to an experience within buildings such as haptic experiences which is a greek terminology used years ago where our spatial experience rely mostly on the haptic sense and our capacity as humans to perceive architecture through our senses.


Sara William Goldhagen was a professor that taught in Harvard’s University in the School of Design for ten years and was the new republic architecture critic She is currently a contributing editor at Art in America and Architectural Record, she is an award-winning writer who has written about buildings, cities. She wrote the book Welcome To Your World “How The Built Environment Shapes Our Lives” which talks about enlightening studies in neuroscience and cognitive psychology that reinforce the deep relationship between our buildings and ourselves as wholes and the way we perceive buildings in terms of our senses and how we experience it. Sara (2017) states that “It is a truism to state that architecture composes the immediate physical environment of our lives,” she argued. “But, we too often forget that high-quality architecture is also a social good, one that more than repays the investment” (p. 55). Goldhagen then talks more in details of culturally, aesthetically, and environmentally weak-designed buildings with examples that she calls four sorry places. She starts talking about the drawbacks of simplicity which creates the notion of “Less Is More” Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe because it aims to minimize complexity and visual sensation to the occupants. Goldhagen argues that designers must aspire and aim to achieve "patterned complexity," which approximates how we encounter the natural world ourselves while Rush (2009) on the contradictory argued that “the association of architecture with experience suggests the potential of essentially programming the latter out of the technical resources of the former” (pp. 120-121) so although the idea behind the large scale projects which potentially gives life to the city and potentially shapes our built environment. When we start giving the word experience its value it would bring us the rewards of a better life so architects should design according to the spatial experience rather than just a simple word to that is being built and designed.

Conclusion Analyzing both my literature review topics and sources that reflects deeply on what Consciousness Architecture means it is very important to grasp the idea that Architecture Heals, whether it is an actual building or just the idea of tackling the senses through urban street life or an actual wellness center for example. It is hard to discuss how one can perceive the experience of a built architecture but there is no debate that with all the elements discussed in the paper the overall embodied experience that an architect can deliver to the user is well distinguished to ensure the wellbeing through resources of cognitive psychology and demonstration of understanding the body and how people behave through certain patterns and behaviors.


Salk Insitute for Biological Research, Louis Khan,1964 Aguilar, C. (2015, March 18). Windhover Contemplative Center / Aidlin Darling Design. Retrieved from Ted. (n.d.). Retrieved October 14, 2019, from the_emotional_impact_of_archit. Saieh, N. (2010, June 3). Orhidelia Wellness / Enota. Retrieved from https:// Shīrāzī Muḥammad Riz̤ ā. (2016). Towards an articulated phenomenological interpretation of architecture: phenomenal phenomenology. London: Routledge. The Effect Of Light And Colour In Architectural Design. (n.d.). Retrieved from https:// Wilson, E.O. (1984). Biophilia. Harvard University Press, 157pp. Sternberg, E.M. (2009). Healing Spaces. Cambridge: Bleknap Harvard University Press, pp343. Jencks, C. (2015). The Architecture of Hope. Frances Lincoln, London. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2004). Wherever you go, there you are. Mindfulness meditation for everyday life. Piatkus: London. Rush, F. (2009). On architecture. New York: Routledge. Pallasmaa, J. (n.d.). Space, Place, and Atmosphere: Peripheral Perception in Existential Experience. Architectural Atmospheres. doi: 10.1515/9783038211785.18 Goldhagen, S. W. (2017). Welcome to your world: how the built environment shapes our lives. New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Profile for Yara Alsadik

Midterm Cross Grader Presentation  

Midterm Cross Grader Presentation