METAPHOR AND MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCES
Every experience of architecture is rooted in multi-sensory and embodied interaction with surroundings. Neuroscience studies show that all sensory modalities as well as linguistic paradigms are integrated in the sensory motor cortex of brain where mirror neurons are originated therein. Architectural metaphors, moreover, are contextually grounded and deeply rooted in existential experiences and embodied interactions with the built environment. Metaphors contribute in creating a subjective atmosphere in which strong meanings convey to beholders through the integration of multi-sensory experiences. Far from reductive abstraction that suppress human senses an atmosphere conveys meaning through sensual perceptions. In this case several modalities of architectural design, including materialized and dematerialized ones have been identified as contributing to create an atmosphere.
Neuroscience, Mirror Neurons, Metaphor, Sensual Interaction, Atmosphere
A discovery made in the early 1990s by a team of scientists at the University of Parma indicates that they are special neurons located in the parietal and frontal lobes that allow us- precociously-to relate to and simulate the actions of others and events of the real world. They argue that:
Our proposal is not an internalist theory of meaning. The reason is that imagination, like perceiving and doing, is embodied, that is, structured by our constant encounter and interaction with the world via our bodies and brains. The result is an interactionist theory of meaning. (Gallese & Lakoff, 2005)
Another discovery in this ground argues that not only are the various sensory modalities (vision, touch and hearing) fully int...
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...nd the atmosphere.
The explicit and straightforward ideas of Olafur Eliasson far from reductive abstraction is a reason of grasping his creative atmospheres immediately. (Figure 3.28) Far from involving in literal representations, the significance of architecture is found in the distance between Abstraction and Symbolism, Objectivism and Subjectivism. Medieval cathedrals with focusing on the vertical scale plus precise using of light, color, reflection and texture and other dematerialized qualities such as sound echoes, empower the sense of sanctity of space. (Figure 3.23) Thermal Baths in Vals by Peter Zumthor firstly deeply anchored to its place and time and secondly related directly to the ancient rituals and traditions of trading to the body meeting of Romans. It employs stone and water to engage all our senses, connecting us to the earth below and the sky above.
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