This work’s target audience is architects and designers with the desire to heighten the impact of design through the use of and interaction with our senses. Although designers typically explore through vision, structures and spaces can become more complex through the addition of variable of our twenty or more senses. The interaction with the various forms of our senses will make not only the building or place richer, but ourselves as well.
The interested and knowledgeable user or visitor may also gain clues how to glean sensory experience from a space, especially as more designers begin to use the other senses in their work. Furthermore, this work can be a guide to help clients suggest sensory design ideas to their architects and interior designers.
What is the purpose of this book?
This work prods the designer to awaken the dormant senses in design that have been ignored and surely atrophied through neglect when interacting with a space. For too long, we have consumed what buildings and places look like, imagery and details showing only how the structures and spaces appear, not feel, not sound like, not smell like. This imagery likely only provides a superficial understanding of a location or object. To learn and understand with our various forms of touch, smell, hearing, and even taste in some instances, ensures we have a more comprehensive knowledge of an object or space. With increased knowledge, the designer and user can create or find a better definition or understanding of the object or space, which allows a new possibility for it.
What does this do for the reader?
This work provides a basic description of the various senses, and it also gives understanding, interpretation, and modes of use for these senses to allow the reader to create deeper, more sensory designs. The depth of the senses promotes a better experiential space. Further, a section of this work illustrates ways to map and annotate the proposed senses and their use in both the design and document phases in order to convey the intent to those constructing and reviewing the work. Beyond this, the work provides possible and practical ways to introduce the senses, as well as possible combinations of senses as outputs and inputs using electronics.
Although some of this book might be new or surprising, it is meant to be a practical work that spurs the designer to explore design and the senses in the world beyond an abstract book and theory. Really, the use of the various senses creates a more concrete understanding of the space, design, and even the designer.
What are comparable titles and how do these books differ?
Although we have many senses, most design is focused on the visual. Some forms of design explore sound, but the other senses are generally ignored. This is reflected in available design literature, which has very few titles and articles that explore all or most of the senses in design. There is an ever-growing body of knowledge on the senses in the sciences, but it is exactly that: knowledge, but much or most of it does not look at the sciences do not look at the subject as a tool for the designer, and not really for other fields, such as engineering. This might be because of the moral and ethical considerations of using people for study and experimentation, and it is understood that used poorly, design and the senses could cause discomfort and possibly pain in some cases. This work does not discuss nor promote certain ways the senses can hurt the individual. In any case, much of the limited printed design material available is provided in the resources section of this book, however it is surprising how sparse this subject is in architecture and interior design, especially because the way design is promoted in school is a very experiential field.
Ryan Henderson Crooks is an architect and educator who has practiced and taught architecture and interior design for over twenty years. He designs and develops work throughout the United States, as well as several countries around the world. Ryan’s practice explores our existence in a changing world and attempts to improve conditions through the built environment. Ryan Crooks also designs solar energy plants, as well as storage systems, to provide electricity across the United States’ energy grids. Ryan has won several awards for his work, has written very many articles about architecture, design methods, and materials, and is writing two books about architecture and design strategies.