UBC Graduate Research

Out of Focus : a speculative guide to non-visual architecture Poncet, Gabriella


The human body plays an important role in the production, exchange, and consumption of everyday architecture. As generators of spatial experience, architects are constantly shaping and forming the events movements, and activities of bodies in everyday life. The relationship between the body and space also known as spatiality is important in architecture to understand the way spaces work in relation to the human body and vice versa. Bernard Tschumi, a great leader in architecture, reinscribed the importance of the body in architecture and more specifically the importance of spatiality in the production of form. Tschumi believed that there was no architecture without events, actions, or activity. According to Tschumi, architecture must originate from ideas of spatiality before becoming form and cannot be disassociated from the events and movement of the users that will inhabit the space. Then why have we designed spaces according to the same standards and in relation to the same body, the male able body? Given the obvious importance of designing for and through the body, there should be a crucial push to designing for diversity. Graphics standards in architecture demonstrate little to no diversity in sex, age, race, and, ableness which fails to address the majority of the population. To overcome these spatial biases concerning the normative body, I seek to emphasize sensory design which allows for inclusivity in the built environment. I am looking at designing for people who are visually impaired in order to explore the acceleration of a world that is primarily designed for the other senses, smell, taste, sound, and, touch. This thesis questions, how can we stimulate our other senses through architecture? And how would that challenge the misconception that architecture must adhere to its visual expressions only?

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International