For a bit of adventure I visited the Royal Academy’s ‘Sensing Spaces’, an exhibition exploring experimental architectural forms designed to shape our sensory perception and how we experience a space. There was a great variety of approaches to this idea which I found very interesting.
With differing contributions mapping the gallery, each architect explores how we experience space through our perception and how we can participate within our environment. Each structure considers a singular stimulus – light, texture, scent, colour and shape – and with this stimulus guides us through the form using tacit surfaces, lighting concepts, kinaesthetic pathways and playful constructions. Suspended in a large space these stimuli are enhanced by the impressive scale and naturally navigate visitors through a series of interactions. Through surprise and anticipation, intrigue and participation visitors experience more than an external stimulus, but a new empirical adventure.
My favourite space was the dark room with the lights as it was quite an immersive experience. The space had a dynamic order: although organised into lines, the tendrils of light were suspended within by the darkness to create an organic space. This delicate tension was almost hypnotic.
Other structures included a playful mountain of straws that people could add and take away, causing the shape and size to wax and wane, as well as labyrinthine wooden forms that guide visitors on a maze-like tour.
So to change your perception of architecture and to exercise your senses visit ‘Sensing Spaces’ at the Royal Academy 25th January – 6th April.