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Sensory Design: The Latest Architecture and News

This Week in Architecture: More than Visual

07:00 - 20 October, 2018
This Week in Architecture: More than Visual, © Beat Widmer. ImageCourtesy of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
© Beat Widmer. ImageCourtesy of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro

Architecture is a profession deeply dependent on the visual. It’s imagined, sold, critiqued and consumed almost entirely on the strength (or lack thereof) of drawings. We pick and prod at images presented at angles we’ll never be able to see, admiring the architectonic qualities of elements we’ll never actually experience.

Touch It, Smell It, Feel It: Architecture for the Senses

07:00 - 15 October, 2018
Arakawa + Gins' Bioscleave House in East Hampton, New York used non-orthogonal geometries, undulating floors, and even isolation pods in their experiments to create architecture's that would "stop ageing." Image via Metropolis Magazine. Image Courtesy of Dimitris Yeros, © 2008 Estate of Madeline Gins, Reproduced with permission of the estate of Madeline Gins
Arakawa + Gins' Bioscleave House in East Hampton, New York used non-orthogonal geometries, undulating floors, and even isolation pods in their experiments to create architecture's that would "stop ageing." Image via Metropolis Magazine. Image Courtesy of Dimitris Yeros, © 2008 Estate of Madeline Gins, Reproduced with permission of the estate of Madeline Gins

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Architecture You Can Smell? A Brief History of Multisensory Design."

What comes to mind when you encounter the term “sensory design”? Chances are it is an image: a rain room, a funky eating utensil, a conspicuously textured chair. But the way things actually feel, smell, even taste, is much harder to capture. This difficulty points to how deeply ingrained the tyranny of vision is. Might the other senses be the keys to unlocking broader empirical truths? Does the ocular-centric bias of art, architecture, and design actually preclude a deeper collective experience?