Evoke – based on “The Eyes of the Skin” by Juhani Pallasmaa

We feel through our senses. We react as a result of our feelings. When you sense space, what are you actually going through? Your mind takes in the characteristics of the space that strike you and creates a meaning out of it. Each person may create a different meaning depending on the extent of the layers of memory and judgment.

We see, hear, smell, taste and touch. But are these senses separate? The means of our understanding a space may be through different biological portals but the result of our understanding is a congregated singular system that processes thoughts and interprets.

My insight on this matter explores the interrelations between these senses. The sense of hearing sometimes make you visualize something; the sense of seeing sometimes makes you understand its texture or make you remember a certain taste. When you smell something, sometimes you see something in your head. An architect has the power to make all of these scenarios possible through his architecture. 

Visual Predominance

The main argument in this book is about how architecture predominantly catering to sense of seeing is not enough and that it is a shallow way of looking at it.

Ultimately you experience architecture, you do not only see it. You do not watch a building but you move through it. Your body scales and associates the space around you and remembers certain things. Your body has a memory just like your mind and that is the tactile sense which is being referred to. 

The Body

Now the body and mind together form a human being. This makes perception of space even more complex. What you see is many a time what you seek to see. It is a play between the space and the observer. 

Time

“In the greatest of buildings, time stands firmly still …… Time and space are eternally locked into each other ….” – says the author in this book. Now we have reached the next dimension, the so-called “Fourth Dimension”, which creates activity in a space. However, when the space is such that it is ‘timeless’, in the sense, when it stays promising in function and relevant to context even after decades and centuries, proudly establishing itself through time. When a space is what it is, confidently and with honesty, that adds to its timelessness. 

Awareness and Intuition

Now how do we as architects weave space, time and emotions to the context? Intensive research on human psychology? Or thorough readings on all the great architects in the world? Definitely yes, knowledge is important. However, beyond that an awareness of our surrounding spaces and how we react and perceive them is something that can be a constant source of learning. First hand absorption of information always adds to our memory better. A teaspoon of our intuition completes the list of ingredients! Those de ja vu moments count a lot. Create with passion. Create with no fear. Create to experience.

 

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