Title: Blind in-sight in architecture: designing for more senses
Authors: Herssens, Jasmien ×
Heylighen, Ann #
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Conference: Sensory Urbanism Conference location:Glasgow (UK) date:January 8-9 2008
Abstract: Architecture is experienced in a multisensorial way. Moreover, human capacities to perceive architecture are highly diverse. Unfortunately the emphasis in designing and creating architecture lies in large measure on the visual representation. Other senses are hardly represented or even considered during the design process. Because of this we sometimes obtain buildings who do not comply with the human needs. This paper reports on research in Design for All, a relatively new design paradigm which aims at handicap elimination in the built environment with the help of users/experts. If we want to obtain a multisensorial environment, neuroscientist John Zeisel (2001) suggests to listen to blind people. These users/experts are more attentive to other senses. Their spatial experience relies mostly on the haptic sense, which appears to be the foundation for cognitive spatial representation (Mark, 1993) . We compare the optic way of perceiving architecture with the haptic manner. According to Révész (1938) , the coming about of haptic perception is based on seven principles: the stereoplastical, successive, kineamatical, analytical, metrical, optical and constructive principle. In this paper we point out the differences and similarities between optic and haptic perception related to architecture. Finally we try to describe design parameters which create the opportunity for architects to take the haptic sense into account during the design process. In this way the paper hopes to point out Design for All’s potential contribution to improving the multisensorial quality of the built environment.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Department of Architecture - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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Herssens Heylighen paper sensory urbanism final.pdffull paper Published 229KbAdobe PDFView/Open
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