As mentioned earlier, the designer should not use chemoreception to meet the design intent. However, if it were possible to have a safe and consistent reaction to chemicals, it might be appropriate to use the sense. Because each individual is unique, this does not allow the sense. But, the use of chemoreception allows complete virtual transformation of the environment, as the changes occur internally, within the user. This creates an interesting effect that allows elements to remain constant in reality, but vary from person to person.
To improve chemoreception, we must have it acceptable for all in the use with design. This requires care and consistency, and of course, the similarity in response across all of the users. It is not only physiology but cultural acceptance that must be surmounted in order for the use of chemicals. For example, some groups and locations allow the use of alcohol, while others do not. Some places allow marijuana, but most do not. What chemicals and their effects would affect where they were used, while some cultures will not allow any. Is it possible to change a culture to allow the use of chemicals in design? Should we try to do this? There are ethical implications.
If chemoreception is the only sense used in a design, the users and experience would be introverted and would not be shared among each. Therefore, it is an alternate and very different way to look at design, which is usually shared among those that experience the design installation. As such, typical design is an extroverted, communal experience, in most cases. To go interior is not necessarily canceling the fact that the experience is designed, but it makes it much harder to share and convey.
Most design does not incorporate chemoreception, though the use of some chemicals may open or inebriate the user to be more accepting of the design installation. However, this is up to the individual, and may not be allowed in the design space nor within the culture. Because we cannot control the experience and use of chemoreception, we won’t allow it, in general. How do we control intake? How do we control experience? Will we be able to do this in other experiential spaces, such as virtual reality or online presence?
Chemoreception is used to affect and alter the body, the mind, and experience. As such, it can be used in many environments, though we must define who has the authority to allow and control the use of the chemicals. Is this something in the realm of the designer–most definitely not. But, is a doctor the best authority? Or, is it better to be within the world of law? A lawyer? But, what if it is a spiritual leader, such as a priest or similar? In any case, it is likely needed that some controlling group has oversight of the use.
Because chemoreception is so individually based, we can use chemoreception with any building. But, the choice of chemical used is an important one. Something that alters perception may not be viable in a complex or deep space. A building with stairs and winding halls might not allow one to use chemistry to affect the experience. However, what is appropriate? What are the types of chemicals and how do they affect experience? Can these be matched with a space? Although this is not proper for design and research, it is an interesting idea about how we can match chemicals with spaces. This is for someone else to explore.
Name the different types of chemicals and their effects. As such, we can match the chemicals with spaces, even though this is not allowed in design and research– at least as a thought experiment.
First Drug .: First Effect :: First Space
Second Drug .: Second Effect :: Second Space
Third Drug .: Third Effect :: Third Space
Fourth Drug .: Fourth Effect :: Fourth Space
Fifth Drug .: Fifth Effect :: Fifth Space
Sixth Drug .: Sixth Effect :: Sixth Space
Seventh Drug .: Seventh Effect :: Seventh Space
Eighth Drug .: Eighth Effect :: Eighth Space
By looking at this we change the realm of design and architecture. Although this may not be allowed or appropriate, is it alright to think about and discuss, even though it is not going to be reality? What if some groups allow it to be reality? What if some are able to experience and there is an imbalance of architectural and spatial understanding and knowledge. Would we be able to say that those that are open to experience and chemoreception via chemicals might have a deeper and broader understanding of architecture and space? Should we say this, if true?