The Human Senses: Designing Beyond Intuition
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This thesis project will explore how multi-sensory experiences can be merged with landscape architecture as a supplement to communicate the meaning of place. The problem of landscape architects not fully understanding the senses and their processes needs to be addressed in order to create designs that are beyond our intuition. Landscape architects can better communicate the experiences humans have with built environments by better understanding how the senses work as communication tools. The problem is the lack of knowledge on the senses in this field. Landscape architects have the capacity to integrate humans into spatial elements creating meaningful places, and producing distinctive memorable designs which harbor extraordinary experiences. This thesis will reveal how the senses can communicate our world around us through a comprehensive understanding. Through the assistance of Juhani Pallasmaa’s outlook on architecture, art, and the senses, this study hopes to connect how multi-sensory experiences could be a key medium for artistically yet successfully communicating concepts and meanings in landscape architecture. This project approaches the gap, understanding the process of the senses, in landscape architecture by combining theory, psychology, and relative research from studies and synthesizing the information into a successful strategy to design communication. Case studies on human senses will explore the processes and reactions in established psychological studies to express how the senses work as communicative tools. The research will then explain how to utilize the selected measures and apply each to Freeway Park in Seattle, Washington. The measures will help in determining their capabilities to create a sensual design in Freeway Park. By artfully applying multi-sensory experiences to the field of landscape architecture, designers can integrate the mind, body, and soul into the senses to create an optimal experience. The importance of this study is to ultimately bring attention to application of multi-sensory experiences in landscape architecture and provoke further exploration of the senses in this field to merge with the related sciences. This thesis will push the limits of what it means to design with the senses.