Incorporating the Senses into Architecture


Did you know it was possible to incorporate your senses into your new home?  I will discuss our five senses and the strategies you might use to integrate these into your new space.



Sight is an obvious one and definitely the most used sense relating to architecture.  To view a space is to see not only the solid forms but also the openness and space of an area.  Using both light and structure in combination can make its occupants feel comfortable. The merger of these components can also take your home from just ordinary to something special and a place you want to hang out in!



Acoustics of a building, though not initially obvious to us, can return a space’s movements and create an atmosphere that we can connect with.  Increasing sound can boost the intensity of a space just like a sound track from a movie.  To adjust the impact of sound, we can use sound absorbers or sound optimizers.  Also, the forms of the building can affect sound.  The ceiling height or shape of the room can affect the acoustics.  With a high ceiling, sound has further to travel than with a shortened height. Also, different shapes of surfaces can bounce sound in specific directions to create an interesting effect.



The sense of touch within a building can create a feeling of either relating or dislike.  The touch of building materials itself can create this feeling but it‘s also possible to feel a space without touching its components. You can feel if a space is dim or bright just by being in it.  The easiest example is the feeling of sunlight on your skin as you inhabit the space.



Smell is our sense that is most closely connected to our memories.  The smell of different materials or fragrances we use within a space can be recorded in our memory for a later time.  Connections to these distinct smells can be recalled later and can stimulate various emotions that we might have had while being in the space.



Taste is probably the toughest sense to link to in architecture.  It has been proven though that architecture can stimulate taste through vision.  It is possible that by mixing certain colors within objects of a building, it elicits some oral sensations.


In conclusion, our senses are how we experience the world in which we live. Within a building we can use our senses to create special environments that are both memorable and a joy to be in.

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