A library is so much more than meets the eye ! In order to play an active role in their local communities, libraries have to inspire and promote social interaction and knowledge creation. This calls for a different strategy and a new way of working, but it also requires a stimulating environment where people can meet and where they are challenged to share inspiration, knowledge and insight. In other words: we need to create a library that really connects people.
Workshop by the Ministry of Imagination at the Next Library Conference Berlin, september 2018. How can we turn the library into a stimulating environment where people are challenged to share inspiration, knowledge and insight? To find answers we will go out and explore the surrounding area, using the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Afterwards we will try to translate our experiences into future requirements for the library. What do you want to see when entering a library? What is the right soundscape? By which fragrances do you want to be surrounded? We will also ask you to think about the ‘sixth sense’ of the library. Is it empathy, community spirit or something else? And how to experience that in a library?
Humans have a multitude of sensors. Sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation) are the five traditionally recognized senses.
First published in 1996, The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory. It asks the far-reaching question why, when there are five senses, has one single sense – sight – become so predominant in architectural culture and design? With the ascendancy of the digital and the all-pervasive use of the image electronically, it is a subject that has become all the more pressing and topical since the first edition’s publication in the mid-1990s. Juhani Pallasmaa argues that the suppression of the other four sensory realms has led to the overall impoverishment of our built environment, often diminishing the emphasis on the spatial experience of a building and architecture’s ability to inspire, engage and be wholly life enhancing. For every student studying Pallasmaa’s classic text for the first time, The Eyes of the Skin is a revelation. It compellingly provides a totally fresh insight into architectural culture.
From the point of view of the beholder, space is a sensory experience. We fuse the information from eyes, ears, nose and skin to form a composite awareness of a place, thus experiencing sensory architecture. By using our senses, we identify the place and identify what is occurring there. Further, we formulate a valuation of our experience in that space, and by extension, of the space itself.
Voor het boek Architectuur door andere ogen bezochten blinden en zeer slechtzienden gebouwen in Nederland. Ook wie kan zien vaart wel bij architectuur die meer is dan een lust voor het oog.
Is there a universal hierarchy of the senses, such that some senses (e.g., vision) are more accessible to consciousness and linguistic description than others (e.g., smell)? The long-standing presumption in Western thought has been that vision and audition are more objective than the other senses, serving as the basis of knowledge and understanding, whereas touch, taste, and smell are crude and of little value.
Hoe mensen over zintuiglijke ervaring zoals geur en smaak praten is grotendeels cultureel bepaald. (Artikel NRC 5 december 2018)