This might be a really really long post

Hey guys, its Johnson posting for the first time. I’ve been very excited to post because I’m currently in Europe visiting family and of course, trying to visit and appreciate as much architecture as humanly possible (well, as much as my wallet will allow).  Anyways, I’m about to head back to the states soon so i don’t think I’ll be visiting anywhere else. I’m going to try to pump everything into this post or maybe split it into two if i don’t finish.

I’m currently staying in The Netherlands right now home to cows, windmills, lots of grassland, and some astounding architecture. Enschede, a lively town not too far from where i’m staying is thriving with new buildings and museums. Several years ago, a large fireworks accident left parts of the town in ruins. Soon after, reconstruction began and more modern and innovative buildings filled the streets.


As i continued to walk, one building really caught my attention. Not because of how it looked but because of how it sounded. I took a closer look and saw that each floor had a sort of chain veil that covered it. As the wind passed through it, it would resonate a small wind chime like sound. Instantly, I began asking myself questions. How can architecture involve more than just sight and touch? What if sense of touch was really emphasized where a building was mainly a tactile experience? How is the perception of architecture altered as the various senses are integrated? I won’t go as as far as saying taste and smell should really be considered but again, is it impossible? I continued my adventures throughout Europe with these questions in mind. (More examples come up later in this post.)


After the trip through Enschede, my cousin was eager to show me his house. He told me he remodeled his room and everything looks completely organic and very fluid. Hard to imagine what he meant, he continued to explain to me the process it took to create this “organic room.” He used paper mache an plaster throughout his room creating curves and attempting to eliminate any angled edges. As i continued to try to envision it, we finally arrived and it was something truly unique. Painted all white, every inch of his room was covered in paper mache layered with plaster.



1 Response to “This might be a really really long post”

  1. 1 Kai Gutschow
    2009/07/08 at 4:55 pm

    Your post on “hearing architecture” was great. If you have not done so already, you should read Juhani Pallasmaa, “The Architecture of the Seven Senses” for a great introduction to architecture and the need for creating more multi-sensual experiences. A revision of the article is available as Pallasmaa’s new book “The Eyes of the Skin.” The article can accessed through the 48-200 website (see also the “reading” page of this blog), where a pdf can be downloaded through the CMU library (you’ll need to use the “webVPN” feature of the library website).
    Keep exploring architecture with all your senses.

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