Responsive Architecture – 2 Phenomenology

“Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture”

By Steven Holl, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Perez-Gomez

The increased desire to design efficiently through computer technology has led to a process that no longer takes into account the reaction between human senses and the architectural world which has led to a sterile environment.

The architects ability to connect the inhabitant to the designed space is able to be realized through the study of the human senses. This process is defined by Steven Holl as phenomenology.

Efficient design (the desire to create in a cost-effective, efficient manner through the use of digital aided drafting) has become so important that architects have lost the ability to create space that interacts with the seven senses of the human body as defined by Holl. “Synthetic material has forgotten the ability to tell history through a natural aging process. Cities have lost their echo.”

Too much is lost when moving from intention to realization due to the modern process of design. Can reflexivity (the desire to design by considering the environmental issues and changes in society) provide the link between the architectural mind and the reality of physical space? Reflexivity has the potential to interact with the seven senses of architecture by looking back at the human condition within the environment. Can it prepare us for the “unpredictable judgements” of the future as explained by Holl?


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