Architecture in Search of Sensory Balance

by Chang, Clementine

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis addresses the urgent need to awaken our numbed senses by means of haptic architecture. As today's technologies continue to hyper-stimulate and under-differentiate, it is architecture's obligation to resist the resultant de-sensitizing of daily experiences. A return of a multi-sensory and corporeal element to architecture can reveal new possibilities for restoring sensory balance, and for connecting our bodies to our surroundings. Through the authority of all the senses, we may re-discover our human identity within the larger context of the world.

The proposed design is a spa health club in downtown Toronto. Throughout history, public baths have been important spaces in cities. Bathers are able to be social or solitary as they choose, while cleansing body and senses. Today, such spaces are lost in the race where thousands upon thousands of advertisements compete for one's imagination. Combining the ancient bath culture with the contemporary fitness culture, the design of the spa health club aims to heighten awareness by engaging the body and all of its senses. Central to the design is an urban public park offering transitory moments of tranquility and sensual pleasure. The spa, with its public park, offers a space that resumes the dialogue between body and space, creating haptic memories and, above all, raising human consciousness.

Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Waterloo

School Location:Canada - Ontario

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:architecture hapticity of the senses


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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