Architecture vs Neuroscience: The Interpretation of Research Results in Neuroscience to Support Phenomenological Issues in Architecture
Author's affiliation: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, Slovenia
The relationship that people have with the built environment, how it shapes their physical, mental, and social states, and/or how these states shape their experience of the built environment has remained an open discussion among phenomenologists for several centuries. Whereas phenomenology interprets the nature of experience mainly from the first-person perspective, neuroscience, using powerful new measurement techniques, investigates empirically at the level of neural circuits how multiple internal processes such as sensation, perception, and cognition yield experience. Few available findings in neuroscience regarding the experience of the world in general and the build environment in particular have proved sufficient to seal long discussed phenomenological issues about the nature of architecture. As a consequence, a group of neuroscientists and architects have initiated and promoted interdisciplinary studies combining neuroscience and architecture. Among the first architects that embraced this approach to support their phenomenological observations was Juhani Pallasmaa. Concerned about the disregarded embodied nature of architecture, he relies on findings in neuroscience to call for a greater awareness amongst contemporary architectural circles. But do findings in neuroscience really support Pallasmaas’s arguments? While the architect is very enthusiastic, some neuroscientists have raised doubts about his interpretation of their findings. This article examines Pallasmaa’s conclusions, and in general shows that architects who support interdisciplinary studies in neuroscience and architecture exaggerate the implications of neuroscience findings to advance their positions, while neuroscientists, even though they are enthusiastic, are more reserved in their judgments, calling instead for further in-depth research.
architecture, neuroscience, Juhani Pallasmaa, philosophy, phenomenology
Saidi, A. (2019). Architecture vs Neuroscience: The Interpretation of Research Results in Neuroscience to Support Phenomenological Issues in Architecture. Igra ustvarjalnosti - Creativity Game
, (7), 33-37. https://dx.doi.org/10.15292/IU-CG.2019.07.033-037
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