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expos 1 final draft - Karim 1 Gres Karim ENG 355 101 MK...

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Karim 1 Gres Karim ENG 355: 101: MK Fall Semester 2011 “The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses” By: Juhani Pallasmaa History is a subject that can be interpreted by the presence of architecture. Undoubtedly, modern architecture greatly differs from architecture of previous centuries. As architecture has developed and been modified throughout the years, with technological and non-technological ideas, it hasn’t necessarily impressed today’s modern society. In previous centuries, art was worshipped and perceived as a valuable treasure. The significance and impact of art has decreased over the centuries. Juhani Pallasmaa, a Finnish architect, writes in his essay, “The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses,” the roles of the five senses in comparison with authentic and modern architecture. He asserts, “The eye is the organ of distance and separation” (286) and “the suppression of the other senses tend to push us into detachment, isolation, and exteriority” (286). Perhaps vision’s promotion of detachment and isolation is related to the deterioration of architecture’s importance in the modern world. Modern architecture needs to be reformed with new ideas and concepts in order to reduce the sense of isolation and detachment. Reasonably, by increasing deep shadows in architecture, creating scented atmospheres and remodeling textures of architecture, the sense of estrangement and detachment will be reduced and the body will be less reliant on the eye, using the other senses to comprehend society in a different manner. Often, the luminosity of a room can have an effect on the people in it, changing
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2 their mood or thoughts. The brightness of a room can bring excitement, imagination and exotic emotions. As architecture in the centuries has changed, it has made a minimal impact on people, detaching them from the world. Pallasmaa states in his essay, “Deep shadows and darkness are essential, because they dim the sharpness of vision, make depth and distance ambiguous, and invite unconscious peripheral vision and tactile fantasy” (286). The less luminosity available to the human eye, the more the imagination arises and begins to deeply think and dream. This creates a sense of individuality and connection with oneself. Other senses can then be used, such as smell and touch, to block out ones surroundings and allow the mind to wander freely. Similarly, Pallasmaa explains, Take ... the use of enormous plate windows .... [T]hey deprive our buildings of intimacy, the effect of shadow and atmosphere. Architects all over the world have
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