CREATIVITY GAME


Theory and Practice of Spatial Planning | Number 7 | Year 2019 | ISSN 2350-3637

Aurora Saidi:

Architecture vs Neuroscience: The Interpretation of Research Results in Neuroscience to Support Phenomenological Issues in Architecture

Creative Commons License DOI 10.15292/IU-CG.2019.07.033-037 | UDK | SUBMITTED: 6/2019 | REVISED: 8/2019 | PUBLISHED: 10/2019
Author's affiliation: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, Slovenia

ABSTRACT
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.

KEYWORDS
architecture, neuroscience, Juhani Pallasmaa, philosophy, phenomenology

FULL ARTICLE
https://iu-cg.org/paper/2019/IU-CG.2019.07.033-037.pdf (0.75 MB)

CITATION
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

LITERATURE AND SOURCES:
Arbib, M. A. (2013). (Why) should architects care about neuroscience? In: P. Tidwell (ed.), Architecture and neuroscience (pp. 43-77). Finland: Tapio Wirkkala – Rut Bryk Design Reader.
Arbib, M. A. (2015). Toward a neuroscience of the design process. In: S. Robinson & J. Pallasmaa (eds.), Mind in architecture: Neuroscience, embodiment, and the future of design (pp. 75–98). Boston, MA: MIT Press.
Arbib, M. A. (2016). When brains design/experience buildings: Architectural patterns for a good life. In: J. W. Vasbinder & B. Z. Gulyas (eds.), A good life: Neuro-cognitive patterns and cultural patterns (in press). Singapore: World Scientific Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1142/9789813147492_0007
Arbib, M. A. (2019, July 13). Arbib 4 Mirror neurons, empathy, emotions, & architecture [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loq3mj6AaDA
Chatterjee, A. (2014). The aesthetic brain: how we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art. United States: Oxford University Press. Gallese V., Gattara, A. (2015). Embodied simulation, aesthetics, and architecture: An experimental aesthetic approach. In: S. Robinson, & J. Pallasmaa, (eds.), Mind in architecture: Neuroscience, embodiment, and the future of design (pp. 161–180). Boston, MA: MIT Press.
Holl, S., Pallasmaa, J., Pérez-Gómez, A. (1994). Questions of perception: Phenomenology of architecture. A+U, Architecture and urbanism special issue. Tokyo: Academic Press.
Johnson, M. L. (2015). The embodied meaning of architecture. In: S. Robinson & J. Pallasmaa (eds.), Mind in architecture: Neuroscience, embodiment, and the future of design (pp. 33–50). Boston, MA: MIT Press.
Mallgrave, H. (2013). Should architects care about neuroscience? In: P. Tidwell (eds.), Architecture and neuroscience (pp. 23-43). Finland: Tapio Wirkkala – Rut Bryk Design Reader.
Mallgrave, H. (2018). From object to experience: The new culture of architectural design. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
Mlodinow, L. (2012). Subliminal: How your unconscious mind rules your behavior. New York: Pantheon Books.
Mlodinow, L., (2018). Elastic: Flexible thinking in a time of change. New York: Pantheon Books.
Pallasmaa, J. (2000). Hapticity and time: Notes on fragile architecture (pp. 78-84). Architectural Review, 207(1).
Pallasmaa, J. (2005). The eyes of the skin: architecture and the senses. Chichester: Wiley-Academy. Pallasmaa, J. (2013). Towards a neuroscience of architecture. In: P. Tidwell (ed.), Architecture and neuroscience (pp. 23-43). Finland: Tapio Wirkkala – Rut Bryk Design Reader.
Papale, P., Chiesi, L., Rampinini, A. C., Pietrini, P., Ricciardi, E. (2016). When neuroscience ‘touches’ architecture: From hapticity to a supramodal functioning of the human brain. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 866. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00866
Piaget, J. (1952). The construction of reality in the child. New York, NY, US: Basic Books. Robinson, S. Pallasmaa, J. (eds.) (2015): Mind in architecture: neuroscience, embodiment, and the future of design. The MIT Press.
Smith, L. B. (2005). Cognition as a dynamic system: Principles from embodiment. Developmental Review, 25, 3-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2005.11.001
Varela, F. J., Thompson, E., Rosch, E. (1991). The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Williams Goldhagen, S. (2017). Welcome to your world: How the built environment shapes our lives. Canada: Harper C