This memoire was written to support a presentation given at the Ecole Camondo in November 2018.

Please do not copy or reproduce without asking. Its’ about 13 pages long, 5400 words. If you adhere or oppose to the views expressed in this piece I welcome opinion.

 Perception as materiel.

Thoughts on Design and Interior Architecture.

        Jakob Hartel. October 2018.

The Hungry Eye

       Are we so accustomed to visual stimulus that we no longer rely on our other senses of perception? Are trend and economics underwriting human evolution? The role of the designer is to better people’s lives, to render them more fluid, easier, faster, healthier etc. Our constructs allow the human being to integrate and master their environment, understand their place within it, and hopefully derive meaning from the physical surroundings.  But if our work is aimed at awakening the user to the subtle aspects of their physical life, inviting actions to reveal their multi-sensory and multi-time existence then we start to address the human being as a holistic entity. As ‘bettering lives’ is most designers banner the approaches are drastically varied. I would like to examine how ‘bettering’ is appraoched in contemporary design and interior architecture, what is the function and effect of perception, and how might we address the whole person in our work. 


       There is a Cartesian notion of hierarchy of the eye in current practice, a belief that sight governs over the other senses. As a result, the field of interior architecture and design drifts on a river of sensory incoherence further exaggerated by computer generated projects and the competitive nature of visual media. Yet it is said that we confront the city with our body, that we engage architecture with the body. Perhaps we engage interior architecture and objects in the same way but on more intimate terms, with a non-confrontational body, a body of familiarity and interaction. Interiors envelope, host and reflect: we live with our interiors asour interiors live with us, intertwined.

 In this sense then, a visually driven design will have difficulty responding to an evolving human cycle and will risk failure if the aesthetic margins are too defined. Visual statements allow us to adopt attitude but fail to reflect the ensemble of our emotions. This is a failure that plays out like an unraveling of authenticity. Once a total and predictable comprehension has installed we become disenchanted with the object or space. We set off with new criteria based on our contempt for the familiar.

 In 1963 George Kubler wrote;  ‘Taste is a function of familiarity. Our pleasure in pure form diminishes as we succeed in reconstituting its complete and distinct memory. A total memory presumably includes the frustrations and dissatisfactions arising with any recurring unit of experience: familiarity breeds contempt.’ 1.

 In todays state of bulimic consumerism the criteria of authenticity has become intensely divided. We are, at once, perpetuating a ‘retinal journey’ while sifting through the dirt for proof of experience. Industries labor to enhance what we see, developing apparatus and applications designed to stimulate the other senses in relation to what our eyes fix upon. At the same time mass efforts strive toward ancestral connect, plying origins in search of fulfillment. These existential opposites reflect a cry for meaning. Modern man is losing the association of truth in vision and his emotional engagement to what he sees is consistently challenged. Fake news, catastrophic video footage, CGI, prepackaged food and homeless camps leave us delighting in the sensation of grass beneath our bare feet as if it were the rarest of commodities.  But architecture ‘does not make us inhabit words of mere fabrication and fantasy’ 2. It engages us in an entirely corporal moment.

 Does the restaurant smell the way the menu reads? Does the food taste like the shape of the plate? Does the music go with the service? Authenticity has little to do with looks alone; it is something that reads on the skin. It is the embodiment of a holistic experience that ignites deep memories and a pleasing unfamiliarity.  Applied to the intimate space this authenticity moves into the realms of deep and subtle experience. ‘Everything is an event on the skin’ as Helmholtz puts it. Yet whether in public or private domains, authenticity is essentially something that reveals the moment and provides a glimpse of actuality. A rigorous design heightens our awareness, it lets feelings flood in through discreet details, it develops our ‘empathy for the transient’.  By dialing in the stimuli and creating a comprehensive ensemble we trigger the users grasp on the emptiness of actuality, and thus we make him feel alive. George Kubler considers Actuality as gaps between stimuli, like the dark moments between flashes cast from a lighthouse.  ‘The emptiness of Actuality can be estimated by the possibilities that fail to attain realization in any instant: only when they (stimulus) are few, can Actuality seem full.” 3.

       But if we pitch toward a visual hierarchy our notions of well-being start to anchor on aesthetic ideals, instead of perhaps, ideals of Community or Environmental Complicity. This visual identification can lead to such extremes as hatred of the body and lack of empathy. It can lead us to labor for things that serve no real purpose. It feeds our alter egos on the virtual sphere, free of any physical commitment. We tip, Narcissistic, into an image of self and sink into the pool of information. Or perhaps like Medusa petrifying the observed; we capture the image within a storehouse of possessions, as tokens of self definition. But the impenetrability of objects sits outside the penetrating nature of our virtual life.  If we rely and build upon images we finish by losing the haptic connection between what we see and the depth of how it actually feels.

       Perhaps Intramuros magazine should run a designers recipe page. If we could make brioche like Walter Gropius we might understand the Bauhaus from the belly up. ‘How does Jasper Morrison grill his lamb chops?’ and other techniques to calm the hungry eye.

‘Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?’ -Tennyson  

Do I smell fresh donuts or is my bed on fire?

       A cargo cult is a group that builds infrastructure to invite exterior, concrete things into their environment by sheer magic. The most blatant example is of a group on a remote pacific island that built a full-scale runway so that a Holy aircraft filled with cargo could, and would, land. As foreign as this may seem, it is nevertheless product of the human psyche and one can draw similarities with some Olympic Villages, where permanent structures are erected for a singular event with the belief that they will form the basis of a future community. The construction frenzy in Kazakhstan can be regarded as a cargo cult approach and the wiggle in Facebook adepts give some indications of a cult myth under scrutiny.

       Like boxes for boxes, Google glasses and Apple Watches seem like examples of myth-centered product; of a self-referencing design that has escaped the roots of its relationship with the user. Tech seems to be whipping a Purist mayonnaise of a wonderfully enhanced existence to be experienced from the eye down. But how can a system built on sight respond to the whole human being?  Each experience is related to our past and serves as soil onto which the seeds of our future are thrown. Without any haptic link to the past we are like orphans, left to fend for ourselves before an unknown future; stimulated yet under stress.

This subtle stress that we accumulate from an attention-seeking environment leads to gross disenchantment.  Without doubt then, within the thick mist of our technological age, themes of craft, traceability, local, and even shamanic arise. Mankind (or maybe just myself) searches for foothold in his identification with something tangible and real but he is dancing to two rhythms; the hyper speed of global connect and the slow steady turning of the earth, with hopes that they will eventually synchronize.

 Notions of possession seem to be coming apart. Owning a car is passé. Our work is stored on a cloud. We rent our music. We hop from one co-working office space to another. Bitcoin. Is this shift in values a shift in sensory awareness or is it an amounting incapacity to commit? Are things moving so fast we cant afford to weigh ourselves down or has a great game run aground? Two generations into engineered obsolescence acquisition itself seems fleeting; we shop at IKEA with full knowledge that we are eventually going to throw our purchases away.

  Yet mass-market design continues to operate under the aesthetic umbrella of permanence, reluctant to produce lines that own up to their life span.  For the majority of the marketplace, the context of transformation seems to lie beyond the vocabulary of desire. It might be toted as a moral flag or targeted to certain groups but transfomantion is like hairy legs. Nevertheless the play between construct and deconstruct is ever present in our subconscious.  As Kenya Hara puts it; ‘The world maintains itself with just the right balance between creation and depletion. Design is the intelligence that is conscious not only of the generative direction but at the same time the degenerative direction’ 4.  An ignorance to address this in the design process seems to isolate the user as if to remind him of a status quo of obliged consumption. The sense of helplessness associated with acquisition may be fueling the rise and range in service industries because what is truly ours, what we truly own, is only the embodiment of stacked experience. Only things capable of embodying and nurturing an evolving experience seem to achieve the holy status of possessions, overiding monetary equivalence and perhaps even applying to things that cannot be owned, like a Velib or a magazine subscription. Today’s luxury tourism is geared to this paradigm; exclusivity is offered up as a unique experience rather than a quantitated experience.  Living in consumerist glut we will all come to understand that experience is all that counts and that experiences are lived, not viewed or possessed in themselves. 

I want candy.

       Design is not fashion. Fashion positions itself against the trop vue. Its rebellious and ephemeral nature renders it desirable and immune to criticism. But design, with its lengthy time frame and heavy footprint cannot reference itself against the white heat of the ‘trop vue’. It instead moves in giant steps, taking influence from across the boards. If our work provokes a stylistic ambiguity then satisfaction achieved through use might define a prevailing aesthetic, like some kind of residue or post script. Maybe aspects born out of the creative process and even mistakes might define the prevailing aesthetic. In this way ‘New’ could be considered as birth itself, an organic process jointly influenced by both will and environment.   Maybe just letting a project come into effect through guidance and interjection could open doors to more meaningful product. Christopher Alexander and the Centre for Environmental Structure promote a ‘pattern language’ technique on this formula 5. Concepts are based upon the criteria laid out by each individual actor within the project – architect, client, builder, user. The desires, needs and whims of those who’s lives the project will effect are all taken into account. The resulting blueprint  produces a wondrous familiarity of a living environment.

 Then you have the Toyota Yaris Verso- perhaps one of the ugliest cars ever produced yet wholly adored by its owners. Visual aesthetics seem to have been sidelined for criteria of space, practicality and modulation. The conglomerate of experiential criteria seems to have birthed something other, something meaningful, satisfying and in maturity – strangely attractive. Cases like this have defined iconic forms based on the undeniable aesthetics of use, like the Birkenstock sandal, the Bic lighter or the Land Rover Defender. That undeniable quality offers the same critical immunity that fashion enjoys and allows the object to transcend it target audience. More importantly, in cases of pure functionality the mind is at ease because we are subconsciously aware of an eventual, even distant obsolescence, as if the burden of an emotional importance were lifted.

 This approach is no longer a visually driven aesthetic; it is a haptic complicity with industry, body and action. And thus designs that have achieved their end point, like lead pencils, seem spiritually cleansed, unstained by the sweat of attempt.

 The product of this sort of design may also be the result of the other senses overtaking the eye. Naoto Fukasawa refers to the technique of designing ‘without thought’ 7 and for others, mastering one’s medium is a question of ‘getting out of your own way’ 8. In craft and concept it’s an approach where self-expression is ultimatly cast aside for the benefit of the object alone. Should the author vanish like a magician of industry, left is only the istigkeit, or the ‘is-ness’ of the object.  A selfless signature, totally immaterial yet undeniably present. 

 Thank me very much.

       Is the body an object in space?  As I stood in the Cupola in Rome I was told told that when the space is full, the combined body heat rising through the hole in the domed ceiling diverts falling rain away from the opening. Corporal validations of our place within the environment let us measure our presence in space and thus our place in time.

 Stephen Holl refers to time as the ‘measure of space and light’ and the built environment as ‘a space of multiple durations, it forms the frame of measure for lived time6. The value of natural light, stone, cast steel and other specific materials lies in their capacity to reference a past through the ‘lived time’ of the present. Constructs that show time in touch and sight essentially reinforce our sense of presence and interactivity. Through the context of transformation we are at peace with death itself, like the zinc on a bar, we become part of its raison d’etre and contribute to a collective story. Like the perforated copper siding of Herzog and Demeuron’s De Young Museum, as it slowly takes the weather, it says ‘Yesterday was not your story. Tomorrow will not be your story. Your story is Today’.  

        Spaces and objects also embody an accumulated experience, as the redux of a general atmosphere. Our emotional and vibrational presence is absorbed by way of a pleasant abjection.  One can sense activity permeated in the walls of a space, such as an office that becomes imbibed with creative activity seems to lend itself to further creativity.

 As purveyors of space we can find ways to make environments more conductive to atmosphere, more conductive to their functional essence. If we entertain, impose or lose thread with the reason the space exists then the accumulated atmosphere may not manifest in a coherent way.

Materials then are also privy to this essence interpretation where treatment and application remain linked to format and formability. How and What are hand in hand, conceptually accessible and linear. In application the user is satisfied with the haptic-visual connection, understanding what he sees through the ensemble of his accumulated experience. This is where the beauty of the utilitarian lies, like Le Corbusier’s plywood cabin or the DoukDouk knife, we comprehend origin, path and purpose as a whole.

Is vision then not merely a verification of the primal sense of touch? Babies define form and texture by putting objects in their mouths. If we are to give the ensemble of our designing tasks to a computer, with strong algorithms and immersive renders we gradually remove ourselves from texture, weight, heat, sound, depth and aura. Worse though, we and lean toward an instantaneous mindset and shut out hazard. Often, once constructed this kind of algorithm architecture seems to eludes us; even in 3 dimensions it feels 2 dimensional because we feel a foreboding incoherence. Past and future are on a someone’s hard drive and the artist’s touch is a distant stain on a keyboard.

 And while the 3-D printer awaits its inauguration as a household tool it embodies the chasm between ocular centric and holistic processes. Purposed to render what is seen, it is condemned to replicate void of aura.  We engage in the marvelous exploits of print but still haven’t found a deeply nourishing enthusiasm.

That looks comfortable.

       What rhythmic value is cast from materials, texture and pattern? Can a visual language create a sensory vibration? Rudolf Steiner proposed that within our astral body, our ethereal self, resides a sort of deep geometric understanding. In this regard our subconscious mind is actively seeking and recognizing mathematical cohesion in all form 11.  To develop on this theory, aesthetics becomes a case of high order, where empty space, repetition, invisible extensions and shadow play calculate into what looks good, or more precisely – what feels right.

 Steiner also proposed to not five but twelve senses, stemming from the work of Goethe and phenomenology. Amongst these are the sense of Balance, of Life, of Movement, and the sense of Thought which is really peculiar as it also implies sensing thought process in others.  It allows us to derive an understanding of the situation. It is the basis of comedy and trust and most probably iconoclastic (and Dutch) design.

       Phenomenology proposes a ‘four elements’ method for observation of environment. This sheds light on achieving a sense ratio in aesthetics, through observation of fire, air, water and earth elements in their physical and ethereal manifestation. While object design is anchored around the physical Earth element one can integrate qualia to heighten the sense ratio and fatten out an aesthetic aura beyond its visual representation.  An example is Patina, which is considered a water element because it allows for the observation of movement in time.

 Bockmuhl termed this ‘Dynamic Experience’ in that it reflects the forces that shaped the object. The Press cabinet by atelier Lies Vanhout embodies the conclusion of earth versus water, steel versus hydraulics. The power of this kind of ‘anti-design’ lies in a form emancipated from micromanagement. Both train wreck and construct the line between the found and the made is blurred and we feel the forces that shaped the object. This is a context of transformation that evokes the primitive senses; Material and Immaterial, like the incarnate self, are jointly animate on their own terms. Like self and ego, will and environment, body and spirit.

       In this profession we create ambiance but what if this were only an intuitive capacity to create a physical rhythm? We talk of ‘visual harmony’ and of decorations feeling ‘noisy’. Maybe the Interior architect lays out form and materials as a music composer chooses instruments and keys. Maybe the user feels the music of architecture and that synaesthesia is natural trait like love and attraction. Perhaps we read aesthetics to some degree with our inner ear, actualy hearing what we look upon by re-producing a vibrational signature within our skull. Aesthetics then becomes a question of harmonic quality and visual tempo. It is accepted that sonic quality in objects and spaces are criteria for value and aesthetic integrity. Sound can be a major factor of both contempt and pleasure. Considering this as the primary aesthetic driver could lead to a surprisingly enriching avenues, in both process and product.

Passive energy.

       A classical architecture of shelter is in some sense obsolete, resembling more a fortress than a place of life. A living room of 4 chairs – table – TV – sofa seems to permeate the ideals of a bygone era. Today we are tasked with communicating and managing from private and public spaces alike. The train has become the office, the sofa the supermarket. Space is no longer dedicated to a fixed time frame and our concerted actions invade and overlap any given moment.  Nevertheless, home is essentially a sanctuary to return to but a sanctuary from what? The incessant stimulus of an attention claiming society?

  A home environment should under stimulate the user. Not through negation or padded comfort, but through reverse stimulation. Osho described relaxation as such; ‘Relaxation does not mean no work. It is work in another dimension, so that the dimension which is overtaxed relaxes.’ 12 Flopping out on a sofa may not be the best form of relaxation for one who spends their day in a chair. If we could explore the physical and psychological taxation of a ‘connected’ life we might define new criteria of a home.

 Mankind naturally seeks what feels right. Design can offer multiplicity in space and use allowing the user to bend toward their natural impulses. Doing so fosters a sense of freedom and control and lets intuition flourish. In describing his approach, Naoto Fukasawa refers to the cognitive theory of Affordance 13 – that is, the perception of elements that allow, or afford, phenomena. For example, imagine sitting on a wide staircase to read a book. The width of the staircase affords the action of sitting and so the staircase becoming a reading space. Building affordance into spaces and objects opens the door for users to explore on their own terms and ultimately build a personal relationship with the space / object. Affordance then is something unique to the users perception and interpretation. As the user refines his body memory his actions become habit and eventually a real affection for the object / space begins to install. Just as a teacher may develop authority by sitting on his desk or a gymnast gather focus as they chalk their hands, the same may apply to café regulars with the right view. In conceptual stages we can live with sketches for many months on the office wall to measure how they absorb affection and respond to different moods. We test a design’s capacity to live with us and wait for affordances to present themselves, as if the object has anything to offer on its own accord.

Habits and expectations.

       Sliding onto a stool in a sushi bar, hanging your towel as you step into the shower, sitting on that particular spot to tie your shoelaces. These kinds of preliminary actions are registered in body memory and act as anticipators the same way you might salivate when you peel the foil from a chocolate bar. Designing space lets us guide users into a soothing familiarity so that they eventually tame their environments. I am curious to the correlations between body memory, anticipation and potential stress reaction. Designing as a body moving through space allows us to apply what I would call Holistic Ergonomics, treating space as a tool, a story, a rhythm or a dance floor; body and space responding to one another. Having worked as a cook and a theater actor I have particular affinity to regarding space as a grand extension of the body. Should body memory be confusing or clunky, like a opening door into a minuscule WC forcing one to turn 3 times, the body is under stress as it adapts to obstacles. If body memory is betrayed, the process of anticipation is arrested and we also feel stress. An example of this kind of betrayal is the Costa Coffee chairs in Paris Gare de Lyon Hall2, resembling lightweight armchairs yet firmly fixed to the floor. Attempting to pull them toward us we are reminded that the environment isn’t what it says it is. It is as if an invitation has been suddenly withdrawn, causing subtle stress from the body up.  I would say that we succumb to these sort of stress creating betrayals and obstacles on a regular basis in the urban environment, as we navigate things that do not feel how they look. Typical to the great errors of Modernism and Brutalism, looks and economics are continually championed at the detriment of everything else human leaving us to wade through a semi fantastic environment like a pawn on a conceptual artboard or an engineers after sight.

 Perhaps the person who fixed the chairs to the floor was resigned and maybe the Brutalist architect’s plans were laid out from an eagle’s eye view. But what about the consistent daily attitude of those who inhabit the space? Will the users collective attitude not have an effect on the aura of the space? The hammer of contempt eventually falls should the familiar become unbearable.

 The big question is if resigned architecture foster resignation. And to what degree does desire driven design promote a possessive eye. Our environment has the power to affect our habits and in consequence, our core belief system. It takes some objectivity to discern whether an environment is taming you or whether you are taming it. Its easy to recognise the intentions of an airport shopping gauntlet, but drawing conclusions on middle schools that resemble prisons is a more delicate discussion.  Our natural impulse is to tame our environment and master what little we can. Spaces that we frequent to a high degree are tamed to the point that we play them like instruments, dancing like chefs in a kitchen. Design should encourage things that make us feel alive, sensual, kind, calm and secure. Otherwise even an ill placed coat-hook can ring like a false note in the melody of the quotidian. 

This? This!

       On the origins of object design Kenya Hara narrows it down to the vessel (the cupped hands) and the stick. Both are essentially extensions of the body and all design has followed suite. Some discoveries are natural, others are derived. Sometimes we recognize an affordance, sometimes affordances just appear. I consider this to be either the emotional brain or the analytical brain acting in perception.

  [The limbic or ‘mammalian’ brain houses emotions and chemicals. It is the where the information delivered from the neocortex is translated into a chemical signature that we term experience. This chemical signature is also sent out into the cells of the body. The neocortex is the thinking brain, it logs sensory data, it is conscious, creative, and synchronistic. It is the minds eye. The limbic brain is primitive and emotional.14 There is also the cerebellum, the third brain housing the subconscious universe but that’s another story]

 Simply put, impulses stemmed from either one or the other brains are like impulses of intuition or reason.  Some things we observe and allow to unfold, other things we actively seek and monitor. One makes an effort to go properly equipped to where the fish are known to bite but he then allows the fish to take bait. The result, the final design, is fish on the dinner table. So an ability to pay attention to both is to observe the dialogue between the factual and the actual. Creativity is alive when this dialogue is perched on a point that is neither too rational nor too fantastic. The finer the balance, the broader the interpretation and subsequent experience in others. Creating a stick-like vessel or a vessel-like stick is the designer’s occupation, from cutlery to cars to hotels. If we can take primitive and analytical impulses in application with materiel we make room for an immaterial Aura to inhabit form. The Aura is, like the fish on the dinner table, the end goal. It is the joy and ease that the chair provides, not the prettiness of the chair itself that determines the value in design.

       Juhanni Palassma wrote that ‘Focused vision confronts us with the world whereas peripheral vision envelopes us in the flesh of the world’ 15. Thus a focused shape endorses a ‘flat’ or uninspiring environment. Today more than ever, our vision is increasingly focused on what is directly in front of us, and this is often illuminated and in high contrast. Let us consider the nerve cells in our eyes, which are made of 3M cones and 100M rods, and with a majority of rods on the periphery of the retina.  These rod shaped nerve cells transmit light in gray scale under low light conditions while the cone shaped nerve cells transmit color in an illuminated environment 16. To this end I speculate that ‘half seeing’, in the same way that we look at, or absorb art, is conditionally relying on the information absorbed by these typically nocturnal rods. And like peripheral or night vision it is more a case of succumbing to imagery with a great deal of perception being read and processed by the other senses. Not so much the other four but more so some the etheric senses that Steiner refers to or even some of the ‘at least a hundred’ haptic senses that Kenya Hara implies17 .  A capacity to discern how we see things may help us observe beyond the surface and define materials, forms and layouts that penetrate a deeper mind and trigger the latent senses. Perception may be filtered through a belief system but at first exposure something purely physical is taking place. Are we conscious enough to define and observe it? Why is a flame so soothing to observe? So sharp and bright but impossible to discern, the focused eye cannot wholly seize the form. We solicit the rods, the entire retina, and become lucid.

Indoor – Outdoor.

       According to quantum physics, perception itself influences the perceived. The notion that one creates his reality according to his emotional and conditional projection is inching its way to common agreement amongst every coach and modern day guru. Terms such as ‘I feel how I think and I think how I feel’ are phrases that, when exercised quite literally, appear to effect our exterior environment. Feeling smiling faces recognizes smiling faces. How we regard our environment and how our environment responds in turn often boils down to attitude and belief. This is a whole body affair, not just observation and intellectual action. The peptides generated in the cells of our body flow to the brain to trigger thought. Thought in turn triggers neurotransmitters that send back information to receptor sites on the cells. The symbiosis between mind and body forms the basis of habit and habit then becomes a belief system. We get used to things and then crave and seek them. So in reality the world just responds to what we project upon it, or that we respond to what we recognize  18. If our beliefs evolve then our environment responds in turn; we come to recognize and inhabit an environment more conducive to a new set of truths. Being desirable, unwelcome, admired, victimized…these are just beliefs. Figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King are touted as heroes of the quantum theory of mind over matter, of attitude over environment.  But how is this different to the cargo cult phenomena? Should one shop at Muji, enroll in gym or decide to live on a sailboat he does so to induce himself unto a state of mind. A Peaceful state of mind, a masterful state of mind, an independent state of mind.  Entropy is slapped down by a promising new truth. Should Interior Architecture begin to concern itself with these types of adjectives as brief it may begin to lean more upon expertise outside of the architectural arena. This seems so normal and it astonishes me that design rags dont publish psychology reports. Prolific industrial design companies like IDEO have cross-disciplined their design teams for years and it seems perfectly feasible to solicit the services of a sound designer and a nose (perfume designer) for the design of something like a covered market.

 It doesn’t seem that far fetched if our trade became one of encouraging and fostering a state of mind rather than conjuring up snappy decor. Addressing briefs that note an epicurean state of mind or a winning state of mind would turn the task to guiding a cause instead of molding an effect, it would be management rather than entertainment.  The whole human being becomes the material. We do not divide his time. We do not entertain nor oblige him. We recognize him in his potential as both actor and audience of his environment.


       In face of a familiarity that breeds contempt I believe the designers trade is one of interpreting the roots of dissatisfaction across the boards of both desire and necessity. Finding solutions relative to cause, rather then effect, produces results that are more integral to the core of architecture and design. In a world where stimulation has become synonymous with bettering I would say that great harvests lie waiting in the fields of under-stimulation. Attention is usually given to that which claims attention, but behind the flashy noise lies a deeper and perhaps more fulfilling silence.

 There is an odd phenomenon of a collective silence in the crowd, which falls about every 20 minutes. One can observe this in a bars and restaurants. It is like a subconscious collective assessment of the immediate environment. In these strange technological times that assessment is in the hands of the designer.


1 & 3 George Kubler, The Shape Of Time – Remarks on the history of things. pg16

Yale University Press 1962 

2 & 15 Juhanni Palassma, The Eyes of the Skin – Architecture and the senses. pg10,13

Wiley 2005 / 2011    

4  , 9,  17,  Kenya Hara, Designing Design. pg396, 212, 393

Lars Muller Publishers 2007 , 5eme edition 2017 

5 Christopher Alexander, the Battle for the life and beauty of the earth.

Oxford University Press 2008 

6 Stephen Holl, Color Light and Time. pg104

Lars Muller Publishers 2012 

7 Jasper Morrison & Naoto Fukasawa, Super Normal -Sensations of the Ordinary.

Lars Muller Publishers 2007/ 2016 

8 & 12 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh AKA Osho, The Silent Explosion. pg96

Anand Shila publications 19731

11 Rudolf Steiner, Architecture as Synthesis of the Arts. pg105

Rudof Steiner Press 1999 

13 James J Gibson, The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems.

Allen & Unwin London 1966

             “Needs control the perception of affordances and also initiate acts”

14, 18.  Dr Joe Dispenza, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.

Hay house 2012   See also Bruce H Lipton PhD , The Biology of Belief

16 Jean Pierre Couwenbergh, Chromotherapie & Luminotherapie.

Eyrolles 2005