Phenomenology In Architecture

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Introduction

This paper will explore how architecture is experienced through the bodily senses focusing on the sense of smell. How this seemingly unrelated sense to the building environment can effect the way an individual experiences space. This will be managed by firstly exploring the philosophical tradition of phenomenology, so as to create an adequate theoretical background. More specifically, it will follow the historical development of this philosophical movement to understand how it affected architecture and the production of meaning in architectural thinking. Then it will turn towards the senses, emphasizing on the sense of smell and how it can affect the way we experience places.

Phenomenology in architecture

“The discipline of
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It emphasizes on the experience of phenomena in order to extract the fundamental characteristics of the process of experience and the ontology of our experiences. As the Greek etymology of the word signifies, phenomenology is engaged with phenomena and their description with as much detail as possible. The Greek verb “phainesthai” means “to show oneself” so, phenomenology has to do with self-manifestation.
Phenomenology has been described, among other things, as the study of the first person perspective of understanding experiences focused toward something, it is the perception each individual creates for or about some object. In philosophical terms, phenomenology is the critical study of human beings through their experiences in and of the world on an everyday life basis.

Architects have often turned to thinkers in philosophy and theory for design ideas or when seeking a critical framework for practice. Phenomenology, as
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Architecture strengthens the existential experience…”

According to Juhani Pallasmaa, architecture is the main means we have in our perpetual effort to assign human dimensions in space and time, by taming the first one in order to become habitable. In his book, The Eyes of the Skin, Pallasmaa provides ideas about a new type of architecture that would stimulate all the senses and make humans belong and integrate in their environment. He states that the human body is the center of the experiential world as we live through our bodies. So for, Pallasmaa, all senses have to come into the play and have an important role in how we experience space and

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