Architecture and the Senses; A Sensory Musing Park

Project (Thesis)

Sarah Stein, MARCH


Thesis committee chair: Garth Rockcastle FAIA, Professor

Thesis committee member: Ronit Eisenbach, Associate Professor

Thesis committee member: Madlen Simon AIA


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This thesis studies the relationship of architecture and the senses. The first part of the document explores sensory characteristics and how they work. It defines their importance in allowing humans to navigate complex environments. The second part of the thesis looks directly at environmental stimuli. It seeks to qualify and associate physical variables with particular sensory responses. The goal of the research is to create a set of standards by which architecture can design "for the senses". The design project will put to test the principles organized from research through a series of architectural installations that harness both natural and man-made stimuli. The methodology with which stimuli are engaged will highlight time, place, and the awareness of being. Each installation is part of a greater constellation that can be sequenced in a variety of ways, experienced uniquely each time, and even added to by visitors and artists.

Sarah Stein
Spring 2013