top of page

Uncovering architecture like never before

Changi Airport, Airport Boulevard, Singapur, Photo by Kamil Tatol on Unsplash

Architecture across the world is experienced visually but there has been increased talk about how to expand in that arena and sensory architecture deals in exactly that. Sensory architecture refers to architecture that is experienced through all our senses. Essentially as architects, we try to create experiences by stimulating the body and the mind, and this is mostly done through visual imagery as it comes easier than the other sensory perceptions but there are variations in even that.

Visually there is a lot that can be achieved through varying depths of surfaces, patterns and geometries, levels and forms, etc. This particular format is what is being explored to endless variations, each born out of individual minds producing dissimilar pieces of art all across the globe. The visual impact of a structure can go much deeper than just what the eye sees- it can impact the mind, and affecting the mind naturally connotes a much deeper significance than vision on its own.

Architecture as of today has evolved to such a state that goes way beyond the physical act of just providing shelter. Sensory architecture talks about the architecture wherein experiences are created such that a space holds the ability to affect how a person thinks and feels by tapping into their emotive responses. It opens up a new dimension of architecture through which a person can fully experience a space- not just via the visible aspect but also the tactile nature of it. It speaks about making architecture come to life vis-à-vis activating our own senses allowing us to also fully come to life.

Fountain, Photo by Jon Wilson on Unsplash

A simple example of this can be seen in the varied use of water in architecture to provide different experiences through its many applications. Water can be used to create an environment of peace and calm as an element in landscaping- the physical appearance of still water is what helps create this effect. At the same time water made to fall from a height or released under a certain pressure to create a waterfall or fountain attracts attention, creating interest and excitement amongst its viewers. Then again, the gurgling sound found in a flowing stream of water heightens the auditory senses to feel close to nature- often used in meditation centers to create a state of tranquility.

Thus we see how a single element can be used in multiple ways to affect the different senses of an individual. We must also acknowledge the multifaceted nature of water that helps experience the different feelings through the extents of its versatility.

Sensory architecture is about the innovative use of elements that architecture is born out of to intensify our response to it. Visual and auditory influences are what play a major role in nurturing these responses, however the more we learn to tap into our other senses the more explicitly will we be able to fully delve into this niche of architecture that is only just being discovered. There is infinite potential and scope to create a new genre of architecture that will impact humanity much more intricately than it has in the past allowing us to uncover architecture like never before.




Meghna Sanyal is a final year student of architecture, who loves her subject of study and believes that architecture is her true calling. She considers herself to be socially conscious and tries to give back to society through volunteering opportunities as best as possible. She is an absolute conversationalist and finds happiness in the process of translating that into written verse while aiming to demystify the subject of architecture by making it more accessible to everyone through her writing.


bottom of page