Proprioception and architecture
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This thesis arises for comprehending the relationship between space and its perception. The concept of space and its fruition is the fundamental question that the architect has continuously to confront himself with, as the essential element of his work. STATEMENT OF ISSUE: Space and its understanding is the base of any architecture. Moreover, how space is perceived becomes fundamental to the users and their interaction with it. We perceive space through our body, and we produce space through our action. Body and action are embodied by proprioception: we could not perform any action or interaction without proprioception. This research seeks to elaborate on how our capacities for embodied action enable the sensory contact with the world around us, arguing how perception is a kind of thoughtful activity. Perceiving is a way of acting, where the world makes itself available to the perceiver through physical movement and interaction. RELEVANCE OF THE PROBLEM: The role of sight (and mind) as the only sense deputed to perceive space is here put in perspective and overcome, reconsidering and recognizing the whole body as a primary tool of interaction and enaction. This poses questions of how we can rethink the space that surrounds us and that we constitute and produce with our actions. This also responds to a crisis of disembodiment of the postmodern era, considering new and future spaces where our minds come to interface and interfere with a radical different consideration of the body and its dematerialization. Recognizing again the importance of the body, even in such conditions, gives us the chance to rethink our environment and to raise questions on the shape of our future bodies and spaces. The sequence of chapters developed in the conceptual research tries to address and answer the following questions: - what is proprioception and why is it relevant to our inquiry? ( What Proprioception Is ); - what is visual perception, what is theorized about vision and how do we experience space visually? ( Pictures of Space ); - how is proprioception fundamental in the perception and experience of space? ( Proprioception and Perception in Action ); - what is the correlation between action, proprioception and embodiment and what is the role of actions? ( Embodiment and Phenomenology of Action ); - what is the relation between our bodies and the surrounding space? ( Ecological Proprioception ); - how do we navigate space? ( Horizon and the Grid ); - how do we produce space? ( Perception and Production of Space ); - how does the produced (architectural) space extend our bodies? ( Prosthetics (Extensions/Amputations) and Technology ); - what is the future of our bodies and our environment? ( Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality: the Mind/Body Duality ). PROPOSED METHODOLOGIES AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES: A broad and extended inquiry of topics correlated to proprioception is fundamental to support the conceptual research and understand the dynamics that affect our perception of space, and thus how this reflect on architecture. Case studies will be provided to expand on some important notions elaborated in the chapters, in order to analyze the role of architecture in specific frameworks. The conceptual research is instrumental and aimed to substantiate the projects arising from it, setting the framework within which the projects acquire meaning and sense. Discreet projects and iterations, approached by experimenting the concept of proprioception, constitute a design introduction to the thesis. The thesis project (Enacting Space), as final design outcome of the research, interprets proprioception through the actions and interactions of the user, in order to shape an architectural functional space.