The Light of City: Freedom by Thai Hoa Pham


陳明發的詩《苦笑》


橘子色的海灣

飛鳥依然在覓食

看不見烤红的落日

很快和牠的雄心背道而陸沉

詩人看得清矛盾

却找不到平衡點挺住

墜下一點都不有趣

一點都作假不得

任何好詞都来不及尋找

更不適宜臨時實驗新手法

来炫耀自己僵固的苦笑

(12.5.2007)

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Comment by Margaret Hsing on March 13, 2024 at 10:07pm

Given that those of us living in urban environments, which as we have seen is now the majority of us, spend more than 95% of our lives indoors (Ott & Roberts, 1998), architects would therefore seem to bear at least some responsibility for ensuring that the multisensory attributes of the built environment work together to de liver an experience that positively stimulates the senses, and, by so doing, facilitates our well-being, rather than hinders it (see also Pérez-Gómez, 2016, on this theme).

Crucially, however, a growing body of cognitive neuro science research now demonstrates that while we are often unaware of, or at least pay little conscious attention to the subtle sensory cues that may be conveyed by a space (e.g., Forster & Spence, 2018), that certainly does not mean that they do not affect us.

In fact, the sensory qualities or attributes of the environment have long been known to affect our health and well-being in environments as diverse as the hospital and the home, and from the office to the gym (e.g., Spence, 2002, 2003, 2021; Spence & Keller, 2019). What is more, according to the research that has been published to date, environmental multisensory stimulation can potentially affect us at the social, emotional, and cognitive levels.

It can be argued, therefore, that we all need to pay rather more attention to our senses and the way in which they are being stimulated than we do at present (see also Pérez-Gómez, 2016, on this theme). You can call it a mindful approach to the senses (Kabat-Zinn, 2005),2 though my preferred terminology, coined in an industry report published almost 20years ago, is “sensism” (see Spence, 2002).

Sensism provides a key to greater well being by considering the senses holistically, as well as how they interact, and incorporating that understanding into our everyday lives. The approach also builds on the growing evidence of the nature effect (Williams, 2017) and the fact that we appear to benefit from, not to men tion actually desire, the kinds of environments in which our species evolved.

As support for the latter claim, consider only how it has recently emerged that most people set their central heating to a fairly uniform 17–23°C, meaning that the average indoor temperature and humidity most closely matches the mild outdoor conditions of west central Kenya or the Ethiopian highlands (i.e., the place where human life is first thought to have evolved), better than anywhere else (Just, Nichols, & Dunn, 2019; Whipple, 2019).

Architectural design for each of the senses It is certainly not the case that architects have uniformly ignored the non-visual senses (e.g., see Howes, 2005, 2014; McLuhan, 1961; Pallasmaa, 1994, 2011; Ragaven dira, 2017).

For instance, in their 2004 book on Sensory design, Malnar and Vodvarka talk about challenging
visual dominance in architectural design practice by giving a more equal weighting to all of the senses (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004; see also Mau, 2019). 

2 Or, as Tuan (1977, p. 18) once put it: “an object or place achieves concrete reality when our experience of it is total, that is, through all the senses as well as with the active and reflective mind” a more equal weighting to all of the senses (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004; see also Mau, 2019).

Comment by Margaret Hsing on March 10, 2024 at 10:36am

Meanwhile, Howes (2014) writes of the sensory monotony of the bungalow filled suburbs and of the corporeal experience of sky scrapers as their presence looms up before those on the sidewalk below. At the same time, however, there is also a sense in which it is the gaze of the inhabitants of those tall buildings who are offered the view that is prioritized over the other senses.

However, very often the approach as, in fact, evidenced by Malnar and Vodvarka (2004) has been to work one sense at a time. Until recently, that is, one finds exactly the same kind of sense-by-sense (or unisensory) approach in the worlds of interior design (Bailly Dunne & Sears, 1998), advertising (Lucas & Britt, 1950), marketing (Hultén, Broweus, & Dijk, 2009; Krishna, 2013; Lind strom, 2005), and atmospherics (see Bille & Sørensen, 2018, on architectural atmospherics; and Kotler, 1974, on the theme of store atmospherics).

Recently, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of the non-visual senses to various fields of design (Haverkamp, 2014; Lupton & Lipps, 2018; Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004). As yet, however, there has not been sufficient recognition of the extent to which the senses interact. As Wil liams (1980, p. 5) noted some 40years ago: “Aside from meeting common standards of performance, architects do little creatively with acoustical, thermal, olfactory, and tactile sensory responses.” As we will see later, it is not clear that much has changed since.

The look of architecture There are a number of ways in which visual perception science can be linked to architectural design practice. For instance, think only of the tricks played on the eyes by the trapezoidal balconies on the famous The Future apartment building in Manhattan (see Fig. 2). They
appear to slant downward when viewed from one side while appearing to slope upward instead, if viewed from the other. The causes of such a visual illusion can, at the very least, be meaningfully explained in terms of visual perception research (Bruno & Pavani, 2018).


Cognitive neuroscientists have recently demonstrated that we have an innate preference for visual curvature, be it in internal space (Vartanian et al., 2013), or for the fur niture that is found within that space (Dazkir & Read, 2012; see also Lee, 2018; Thömmes & Hübner, 2018). We typically rate curvilinear forms as being more approach able than rectilinear ones (see Fig. 3). Angular forms, espe cially when pointing downward/toward us, may well be perceived as threatening, and hence are somewhat more likely to trigger an avoidance response (Salgado-Montejo, Salgado, Alvarado, & Spence, 2017).

As Ingrid Lee, former design director at IDEO New York put it in her book, Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extra ordinary happiness: “Angular objects, even if they’re not directly in your path as you move through your home, have an unconscious effect on your emotions. They may look chic and sophisticated, but they inhibit our playful impulses. Round shapes do just the opposite. A circular or elliptical coffee table changes a living room from a space for sedate, restrained interaction to a lively center for conversation and impromptu games” (Lee, 2018,p.142).

Comment by Margaret Hsing on March 8, 2024 at 9:05pm

One might consider here whether Lee’s comments can be scaled up to describe how we move through the city. Does the visually striking building shown in Fig.4, for instance, really promote joyfulness and a carefree travel through the urban environment.
It seems doubtful, given the evidence suggesting that viewing angular shapes, even briefly, has been shown to trigger a fear response in the amygdala, the part of the brain that is involved in emotion (e.g., LeDoux, 2003). Meanwhile, Liu, Bogicevic, and Mattila (2018)have noted how the round versus angular nature of the servi cescape also influences the consumer response in service encounters. The height of the ceiling has also been shown to exert an influence over our approach-avoidance responses, and perhaps even our style of thinking (Baird, Cassidy, & Kurr, 1978; Meyers-Levy & Zhu, 2007; Vartanian et al., 2015).

However, here it should also be born in mind that the visual perception of space is significantly influenced by colour and lighting (Lam, 1992; Manav, Kutlu, & Küçükdoğu, 2010; Oberfeld, Hecht, & Gamer, 2010; von Castell, Hecht, & Oberfeld, 2018). Given many such psy chological observations, it should perhaps come as no surprise to find that links between cognitive neurosci ence and architecture have grown rapidly in recent years (Choo, Nasar, Nikrahei, & Walther, 2017; Eberhard, 2007; Mallgrave, 2011; Robinson & Pallasmaa, 2015). At the same time, however,

it is also worth remembering that it has primarily been people’s response to examples or styles of architecture that have been presented visu ally (via a monitor), with the participant lying horizontal, that have been studied to date, given the confines of the brain-scanning environment (though see also Papale, Chiesi, Rampinini, Pietrini, & Ricciardi, 2016).3 3Relevant here, Mitchell (2005) has suggested that there are, in fact, no uniquely visual media.

At the same time, however, it is important to realize that it is not just our visual cortex that re sponds to architecture. For, as Frances Anderton writes in The Architectural Review: “We appreciate a place not just by its impact on our visual cortex but by the way in which it sounds, it feels and smells. Some of these sensual experiences elide, for instance our full understanding of wood is often achieved by a perception of its smell, its texture (which can be ap preciated by both looking and feeling) and by the way in which it modulates the acoustics of the space.” (Anderton, 1991, p. 27).

The multisensory appreciation of quality here linking to a growing body of research on multisensory shitsukan perception shitsukan, the Japaneseword for “a sense of material quality” or “material perception” (see Fujisaki, 2020; Komatsu & Goda, 2018; Spence, 2020b). The following sub-sections summarize some of the key findings on how the non-visual sensory attributes of the built and urban environment affect us, when considered individually.

The sound of space: are you listening? What a space sounds like is undoubtedly important (Bavis ter, Lawrence, & Gage, 2018; McLuhan, 1961; Porteous & Mastin, 1985;Thompson,1999). Sounds can, after all, pro vide subtle cues as to the identity or proportions of a space, even hinting at its function (Blesser & Salter, 2007;Eber hard, 2007; Robart & Rosenblum, 2005). As Pallasmaa (1994,p.31) notes:“Every building or space has its charac teristic sound of intimacy or monumentality, rejection or invitation, hospitality or hostility.”

Comment by Margaret Hsing on March 3, 2024 at 10:22pm
However, more often than not, discussion around sound and architectural design tends to revolve around how best to avoid, or minimize, unwantednoise(seeOwen,2019, on growing concerns re garding the latter). Indeed, as J. Douglas Porteous notes: “with the rapid urbanization of the world’spopulation, far more attention is being given to noise than to environmental sound …

Research has concentrated almost entirely upon a single aspect of sound, the concept of noise or ‘unwanted sound.’” (Porteous, 1990, p. 48). Some years earlier, Schafer (1977, p. 222) had made much the same point when he wrote that:

“The modern architect is designing for the deaf …. The study of sound enters modern architecture schools only as sound reduction, isolation and absorption.” The fact that year-on-year, noise continues to be one of the top complaints from restaurant patrons, perhaps tells us all we need to know about how successful designers have been in this regard (see Spence, 2014, for a review; Wagner, 2018).

There is also an emerging story here regarding the deleterious effects of loud background noise, and the often-beneficial effects of music and soundscapes, on the recovery of patients in the hospital/healthcare setting (see Spence & Keller, 2019, for a review). Meanwhile, one of the main complaints from those office workers forced to move into one of the open plan offices that have become so popular (amongst employers, if not em ployees) in recent years (see ‘Redesigning the corporate office’, 2019) is around noise distraction (Borzykowski, 2017; Burkus, 2016; Evans & Johnson, 2000).4

Once again, one might want to ask what responsibility architects bear. Experimental evidence documenting the deleterious effect of open-plan working has been reported by a number of researchers (e.g., Bernstein & Turban, 2018; De Croon, Sluiter, Kuijer, & Frings-Dresen, 2005; Otterbring, Pareigis, Wästlund, Makrygiannis, & Lindström, 2018). There is research ongoing in a number of countries to investigate the use of nature sounds, such as, for example, the sound of running water, to help mask other people’s distracting conversations (Hongisto, Varjo, Oliva, Haapa kangas, & Benway, 2017). 


4 This an issue close to my own heart currently, as the Department where I work was closed due to the discovery of large amounts of asbestos (see BBC News, 2017). The university and the latest firm of architects involved in the project are currently battling it out to determine how much of the new building will be given over to individual offices versus shared open-plan offices and hot-desking. The omens, I have to say (at least pre-pandemic), from what is happening elsewhere in the education sector, do not look good (Kinman & Gar field, 2015).
Intriguingly, however, it turns out that people’s beliefs about the source of masking sounds, especially in the case of ambiguous noise, can sometimes influence how much relief they provide (Haga, Halin, Holmgren, & Sörqvist, 2016). So, for instance, Haga and her colleagues played the same ambiguous pink noise with interspersed white noise to three groups of office workers. To one control group, the experimenters said nothing, a second group of participants was told that they could hear industrial machinery noise, while a third group was told that they were listening to nature sounds, based on a waterfall, instead.
Comment by Margaret Hsing on March 2, 2024 at 5:29pm

Intriguingly, subjective restoration was significantly higher amongst those who thought that they were listening to the nature sounds than in those who thought that they were listening to industrial noise instead. As might have been expected, the results of the control group, fell somewhere in between.

Paley Park in New York has often been put forward as a particularly elegant solution to the problem of negating unwanted traffic noise in the context of urban design (e.g., Carroll, 1967; Prochnik, 2009). In 1967, the empty lot resulting from the demolition of the Stork Club on 53rd Street was transformed into a small public park (a so called pocket park). The space was developed by Zion and Breen.

In this case, the acoustic space, think only of the sounds, or better said noise, of the city, is effectively masked by the presence of a waterfall at the far end of the lot (see Fig. 5). What is more, the free-standing chairs allow the visitor to move closer to the waterfall should they feel the need to drown out a little more of the urban noise.

The greenery growing thickly along the side walls also likely helps to absorb the noise of the city. Music plays an important role in our experience of the built environment- think here only of the Muzak of de cades gone by (Lanza, 2004). This is as true of the guest’s hotel experience (e.g., when entering the lobby) as it is elsewhere (e.g., in a shopping centre or bar, say).5

The sound that greets customers in the lobby is apparently very important to Ian Schrager, the Brooklyn-born entrepreneur who created fabled nightclub Studio 54 in New York. In recent years, he has been working with Marriott to launch The EDITION hotels in a number of major cities, including London and New York. Music plays a key role in the Schrager experience.

As the entrepreneur puts it: “The sound of a hotel lobby is often dictated by monotonous, vapid lounge muzak– a zombie-like drone of new jazz and polite house, with the sole purpose of whiling away the waiting time between check-in and check-out.” As might have been expected, the music in the lobbies of The EDITION hotels is carefully curated (Eriksen, 2014, p. 27).

However, the thumping noise of the music from the nightclub/bar that is often also an integral part of the experience offered by these hip venues means that meticulous architectural design is also required in order to limit the spread of unwanted noise through the rest of the building (e.g., so as not to disturb the sleep of those who may be resting in the rooms upstairs). Note here that there are also some increasingly sophisticated solutions- including sound-absorbing panels, as well as active noise cancellation systems- to dampen unwanted sound in open spaces such as restaurants and offices (Clynes, 2012).

5Here, one might also consider the Abercrombie & Fitch clothing brand. For a number of years, the chain also managed to craft a distinctive dance sound to match the dark nightclub-like appearance of their interiors.

Comment by Margaret Hsing on February 27, 2024 at 11:00pm

Designing for “the eyes of the skin”

The tactile element of architecture is often ignored. In fact, very often, the first point of physical contact with a building typically occurs when we enter or leave. Or, as Pallasmaa (1994, p. 33) once evocatively put it: “The door handle is the handshake of the building”.

However, once inside a building, it is worth remembering that we will also typically make contact with flooring (Tonetto, Klanovicz, & Spence, 2014), hand rails (Spence, 2020d), elevator buttons, furniture, and the like (though this is, of course, likely to change somewhat in the era of pan demia). As Richard Sennett, author of Flesh and Stone, laments in his critical take on the sensory order of mod ernity: “sensory deprivation which seems to curse most modern buildings; the dullness, the monotony, and the tactile sterility which afflicts the urban environment” (Sennett, 1994, p. 15).

The absence of tactile interest is also something that Witold Rybczynski author of The Look of Architecture acknowledges when writing that: “Although architecture is often defined in terms of abstractions such as space, light and volume, build ings are above all physical artifacts. The experience of architecture is palpable: the grain of wood, the veined surface of marble, the cold precision of steel, the tex tured pattern of brick.” (Rybczynski, 2001, p. 89).

No tice here how Rybczynski mentions both texture and temperature, two of the key attributes of tactile sensa tion(see also Henderson, 1939). Temperature change, and change in the flooring material (tatami matting or cedarwood), is also something that the Tom mu seum for the blind in Tokyo also plays with deliber ately (Classen, 1998, p. 150; Vorreiter, 1989;Wagner, 1989). There is also a braille poen on the knob of the exit door too.

The careful use of material can evoke tactility as the viewer (or occupant) imagines or mentally simulates what it would feel like to reach out and touch or caress an intriguing surface (Sigsworth, 2019; see also Lupton, 2002). Juhani Pallasmaa, who has perhaps written more than anyone else on the theme of the tactile, or haptic in architecture, writes that “Natural materials- stone, brick and wood- allow the gaze to penetrate their sur faces and they enable us to become convinced of the veracity of matter …

But the materials of today- sheets of glass, enamelled metal and synthetic materials present their unyielding surfaces to the eye without conveying anything of their material essence or age.” (Pallasmaa, 1994,p.29). Lisa Heschong, architect, and partner of architectural research firm Heschong Mahone Group, has written ex tensively on the theme of thermal (as opposed to tex tural) aspects of architectural design in her book Thermal Delight in Architecture (Heschong, 1979).

Comment by Margaret Hsing on February 25, 2024 at 5:57pm

There, she points to examples such as the hearth, the sauna, and Roman and Japanese baths as archetypes of thermal delight about which rituals have developed, the shared experience reinforcing social bonds of affection and ceremony (see also Lupton, 2002; Papale et al., 2016). At this point, one might also want to mention the much-admired Therme Vals Spa by Peter Zumthor, in Switzerland with their use of different temperatures of both water and touchable surfaces (Ryan, 1997, though see also Mairs, 2017).

The tactile element is, in other words, fundamental to the total (multisensory) experi ence of architectural design. This is true no matter whether the materiality is touched directly or not (i.e., merely seen, inferred, or imagined). So, for example, here one might only think about how looking at a cheap fake marble or wood veneer can make one feel, to realize that touch in often not required to assess material qual ity, or the lack thereof (see also Karana, 2010).

An architecture of the chemical senses Talking of an architecture of scent, or of taste (these two of the so-called chemical senses), might seem like a step too far. That said, one does come across titles such as Eating Architecture (Horwitz & Singley, 2004) and An Architecture of Smell (McCarthy, 1996; see also Barbara & Perliss, 2006).6 Unfortunately, however, all too often, consideration of the olfactory in architectural design practice has focused on the elimination of negative odours. When thinking about the mundane experience of odours in buildings, what immediately comes to mind includes the smell of wood (i.e., building materials), dust, mould, cleaning products, and flowers.

As Eberhard (2007, p. 47) puts it: “We all have our favorite smells in a building, as well as ones that are considered noxious. A cedar closet in the bedroom is an easy example of a good smell. The terrible smell of a house that was rav aged by fire or floods is seared in the memory of those who have endured one of these disasters.”

This is perhaps no coincidence, given that it tends to be the bad odours, rather than the neutral or positive ones, that have generally proved most effective in immersing us in an experience (Baus & Bouchard, 2017; see also Aggle ton & Waskett, 1999).

Research by Schifferstein, Talke, and Oudshoorn (2011) investigated whether the nightlife experience could be enhanced by the use of pleasant fra grance to mask the stale odour after the indoor smoking ban was introduced a few years ago.

Once again, notice how the focus here is on the elimination of the negative stale odours rather than necessarily the introduction of the positive (the latter merely being introduced in order to mask the former). Jim Drohnik captures the idea of olfactory absence when talking about not just the “white cube” mentality but the “anosmic cube” (Drobnick, 2005). The former phrase was famously coined by O’Doherty (1999, 2009) in order to describe the then-popular practice of display ing art in gallery spaces that were devoid of colour or any other form of visual distraction. 7

Comment by Margaret Hsing on February 24, 2024 at 8:59pm

Some years later, Jim Drobnik introduced the latter phrase in order to highlight the fact that too many spaces are seemingly deliberately designed to have no smell, nor to leave any lasting olfactory trace, either.8

6. Writer Tanizaki (2001), in his essay on aesthetics In Praise of Shadows, also draws attention to the close interplay that exists, or better said, once existed, between architectural design and food/ plateware design in traditional Japanese culture.

7. Intriguingly, Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1991, p. 416) describes the white cube as an apparatus for “single-sense epiphanies”.

8. This despite Baudelaire’s line that the smell of a room is “the soul of the apartment” (quoted in Corbin, 1986, p. 169)

And thinking back to my memories of visiting my own grandfather, long since deceased, on his fairground wagon in Bradford, it was undoubtedly the intense smell of “derv” (English slang for diesel-engine road vehicle), the liquid diesel oil that was used for trucks at the time, that I can still remember better than anything else. The residents of buildings tend to adapt to the positive and neutral smells in the buildings we inhabit.

This is evidenced by the fact that we are typically only aware of the smell of our own home, what some call building odour, or BO for short, when we return after a long trip away (Dalton & Wysocki, 1996; McCooey, 2008). Sick building syndrome and the problem of poor olfactory design Improving indoor air quality might well also provide an effective means of helping to alleviate some of the symptoms of sick building syndrome (SBS) that were mentioned earlier (Guieysse et al., 2008).

It is certainly striking how many large outbreaks of this still mysterious condition reported in the 1980s were linked to the presence of an unfamiliar smell in closed office buildings with little natural ventilation (Wargocki, Wyon, Baik, Clausen, & Fanger, 1999; Wargocki, Wyon, Sundell, Clausen, & Fanger, 2000). For instance, in June 1986, more that 12% of the workforce of 2500 people working at the Harry S. Truman State Office Building in Missouri came down with the symptoms of SBS over a 3-day period (Donnell Jr. et al., 1989).

The symptoms presented by some of the workers (including dizziness and difficulty in breathing) were so severe they had to be rushed to the local hospital for emergency treatment. And while a thorough examination of the building subsequently failed to reveal the presence of any particular toxic airborne pollutants that might have been responsible for the outbreak, in the majority of cases, it turned out that the symptoms of SBS were preceded by the perception of unusual odours and inadequate airflow in the building.

Comment by Margaret Hsing on February 23, 2024 at 1:45pm
Brooklyn Nets, as a case in point. On its opening in 2013, various commentators in the press drew attention to the distinctive, if not immediately identifiable, scent that appeared to pervade the space, and which appeared to have been added deliberately- almost as if it were intended to be a signature scent for the space (e.g., Al brecht, 2013; Doll, 2013; Martinez, 2013).

That said, the idea of fragrancing public spaces dates back at least as far as 1913. In that year, at the opening of the Marmor haus cinema in Berlin, the fragrance of Marguerite Carré, a perfume by Bourjois, Paris, was deliberately (and innovatively, at least for the time) wafted through the auditorium (Berg-Ganschow & Jacobsen, 1987). Meanwhile, in what may well be a sign of things to come, synaesthetic perfumer Dawn Goldsworthy and her scent design company 12:29 recently made the press after apparently creating a bespoke scent for a new US$40 million apartment in Miami (Schroeder, 2018). What further opportunities might there be to design distinctive “signature” scents for spaces/buildings, one might ask (Henshaw et al., 2018; Jones, 2006; Trivedi, 2006)?

Evidence that the olfactory element of design can be used to affect behaviour change positively includes, for example, the observation that people tend to engage in more cleaning behaviours when there is a hint of citrus in the air (De Lange, Debets, Ruitenburg, & Holland, 2012; Holland, Hendriks, & Aarts, 2005). In the future, it may not be too much of a stretch to imagine public spaces filled with aromatic flowers and blossoming trees, introduced with the aim of helping to discourage people from littering, and who knows, perhaps even reducing vandalism (see also Steinwald, Harding, & Piacentini, 2014).

In terms of the cognitive mechanism underlying such crossmodal effects of scent on behaviour, the suggestion, at least in the citrus cleaning example just mentioned, is that smelling an ambient scent that we associate with clean and cleaning then activates, or primes, the associated concepts (Smeets & Dijksterhuis, 2014). Having been primed, the suggestion is thus that this makes it that bit more likely that we will engage in behaviours that are congruent or consistent with the primed concept (though see Doyen, Klein, Pichon, & Cleeremans, 2012).

Elsewhere, researchers have already demonstrated the beneficial effects that lavender, and other scents normally associated with aromatherapy, have on those who are ex posed to them. So, for instance, the latter tend to show re duced stress, better sleep, and even enhanced recovery from illness (see Herz, 2009; Spence, 2003, for reviews; though see also Haehner, Maass, Croy, & Hummel, 2017). According to one commentator writing in The New York Times: “While these findings have obvious implications for health care, the opportunities for architecture and urban planning are particularly intriguing. Designers are trained to focus mostly on the visual, but the science of design could significantly expand designers’ sensory palette.
Comment by Margaret Hsing on February 23, 2024 at 1:44pm

Call it medicinal urbanism.” (Hosey, 2013). Effects on people’s mood resulting from exposure to ambient scent have been reported in some by no means all studies (Glass &Heuberger, 2016; Glass, Lingg, & Heuberger, 2014; Haehner et al., 2017;Weber&Heuberger, 2008). It re mains somewhat uncertain though whether the beneficial effects of aromatherapy scents can be explained by prim ing effects, based on associative learning, as in the case of the clean citrus scents mentioned above (see Herz, 2009), versus via a more direct (i.e., less cognitively mediated) physiological route (cf. Harada, Kashiwadani, Kanmura, & Kuwaki, 2018).

The olfactory scentscapes, and scent maps of cities, that have been discussed by various researchers (see Fig. 6) have also helped to draw people’s attention to the often rich olfactory landscapes offered by many urban spaces (e.g., https://sensorymaps.com/; Bucknell, 2018; Henshaw, 2014; Henshaw et al., 2018; Lipps, 2018; Lupton & Lipps, 2018; Margolies, 2006).

The notion of the healing garden has also seen something of a resurgence in recent years, and the benefits now, as historically, are likely to revolve, at least in part, around the healing, or restorative effect of the smell of flowers and plants (e.g., Pearson, 1991; see also Ottoson & Grahn, 2005). One building that is often mentioned in this regard, namely in terms of its olfactory design   credentials, is the Silicon House by architects, SelgasCano, situated on the outskirts of Madrid (https://www.archi tectmagazine.com/project-gallery/silicon-house-6143).

This house is set in what has been described as “a garden of smells”, which emphasize the olfactory, while also stressing the tactile elements of the design. Hence, while the olfactory aspects of architectural design practice have long been ignored, there are at least signs of a revival of interest in stimulating this sense through both architectural and urban design practice.

Architectural taste The British writer and artist Adrian Stokes once wrote of the “oral invitation of Veronese marble” (Stokes, 1978, p. 316). And while I must admit that I have never felt the urge to lick a brick, Pallasmaa (1996, p. 59) vividly recounts the urge that he once experienced to explore /connect with architecture using his tongue. He writes that: “Many years ago when visiting the DL James Residence in Carmel, California, designed by Charles and Henry Greene, I felt compelled to kneel and touch the delicately shining white marble threshold of the front door with my tongue.

The sensuous materials and skilfully crafted details of Carlo Scarpa’s architecture as well as the sensuous colours of Luis Barragan’s houses frequently evoke oral experiences. Deliciously coloured surfaces of stucco lustro, a highly polished colour or wood surfaces also present themselves to the appreci ation of the tongue.”

Perhaps aware of many readers’ presumed scepticism on the theme of the gustatory contribution to architecture,11 Pallasmaa writes elsewhere that: “The suggestions that the sense of taste would have a role in the appreciation of architecture may sound preposterous. However, polished and coloured stone as well as colours in general, and finely crafted wood details, for instance, often evoke an awareness of mouth and taste. Carlo Scarpa’s architectural details frequently evoke sensation of taste.” (Pallasmaa, 2011, p. 595).

愛墾網 是文化創意人的窩;自2009年7月以來,一直在挺文化創意人和他們的創作、珍藏。As home to the cultural creative community, iconada.tv supports creators since July, 2009.

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