Abstract Details

Multisensory Experience Contributions to Unimodal Consciousness: The Importance of Architecture in the Discussion  Andrea de Paiva (FGV, Sao Paulo, SP Brazil)   C15

There are many discussions about the apparent multisensory nature of conscious experiences among cognitive scientists and philosophers. However, architects and designers are the ones who create spaces which could be considered one of the most multisensory experiences individuals can have. More than that, people are continuously under the influence of such designed spaces, from homes to workplaces, schools, hospitals and cities. How can different features of a space - such as sounds, odors, colors, textures, lighting, shapes, which are processed by different sensorial systems - fit into a single unified experience? Could congruent cross-modal signals improve consciousness of a space as well as its memorization, facilitating activities such as wayfinding? Or could incongruent cross-modal signals in a design affect consciousness, memory or its usability? In the opposite way, could minimalism in architecture, on the long-term, lead to similar effects in consciousness as sensory deprivation? Finally, how can the multisensory experience of architecture affect wellbeing? This paper aims to present possible dialogues between cognitive science and architecture in an attempt find possible ways that professionals from both fields could collaborate and benefit. It does not intend to present a detailed hypothesis, but rather to point some possible approaches for future research.