9 months ago



204 past years obliges

204 past years obliges us to act. Neuroarchitecture will support the protection of society through opportunities for movement and tarrying awhile in private and public places. Open Questions and Outlook Opportunities are emerging for research into learning from the experiences of blind people. Their incredibly sophisticated motor skills, which can be described as sensitivity of touch, can help us to draw up neuroarchitectural questions, and this should lead to greater appreciation of a group that has hitherto been regarded as underprivileged. Their ability to feel and describe surfaces, divergences, and structures picks them out as top talents, and not only in medical mammography. Blind people are excellent conversationalists: they listen carefully and pick up interpersonal atmospheres just as quickly as they are able to move around safely in new spaces with the help of surfaces and resonances. The quality of rooms always becomes apparent to them through recognition of structure and pattern; an ability that is, of course, promoted by distinctive materials and the interaction of natural materials. Integrating multisensory and organic stimuli in architecture therefore appears as a task for future planning and construction. Basic principles of Gestalt theory and the psychology of perception can be transferred to the logic and organization of sensorily effective forms. This fulfills the requirement for an intuitively perceptible organization that not only serves visual cognition according to the aspects of appropriate perception (copy, similarity, and pattern) but also takes into account the hearing, smelling, and tasting of rooms. As it has been shown that a rich environment promotes both motor skills and cognitive performance, which can even be made visible in imaging procedures as a first step, the question arises of what must constitute an ideal type of architecture when spatial perception of places and movement are to be specified. Basically, it is important to investigate further the reception of the interaction of consciousness and environment. The inevitable result of this is a renewed interest in the theme of environmental richness. Only a rich environment can be proved to generate a high level of cognitive ability. So it is important to design haptic textures as intuitive experiences of order according to the principle of similarity so as to promote available cognitive skills and not to overtax the targeted age groups. However, if there are no challenges, there is no feeling of success. The hurdles posed by surprises should not be set too high. At the same time, we must always bear in mind that we have relatively little knowledge about the construction of individual consciousness. Appropriate topics for investigation in the field of neuroarchitecture can probably be developed only from the combined effects of Gestalt theory and our knowledge of how movements are learned, especially in the field of music. However, at pres-

POTENTIALS OF NEUROARCHITECTURE 205 ent, apart from the literature considered here, we still know too little about the fundamental importance of the spaces around us. Neuroarchitecture now derives our understanding and the building requirements from knowledge of the body and its needs, and thus has the potential for greater social relevance. This affects all the forms of our architectural environment that must be revised to take account of the special needs of various age groups. In Juhani Pallasmaa’s opinion, the conception and realization of architecture is an art that is more of the body than of the eye. Thus, he takes on the role of critic of the prevailing dominance of the eye. He repeatedly speaks in favor of penetrating the subconsciously experienced layers of architecture in connection with the spiritual life of man. All writers on neuroscientific themes systematically link them with the achievements of Gestalt and perception psychology, and associate these with specific phenomena relating to the experiencing of sensory moments. The main background of these descriptions is the assumptions of Gestalt theory, systematic scientific investigation of which began around 1860. Here, neuroscientific questions link to and accentuate sensory learning processes and their relationship to cognition. However, little consideration is given to individual conditioning and its requirements. There is a risk of standardized investigations that produce predictable results only expressed in systematic form in scientific terminology or in data sets. At the same time, a further field opens up, which it will be important to consider in the future in the area of project development, particularly for children and young people, but also for older people. If experience of traditional craftsmanship is recalled and updated in relation to specific building projects, the satisfaction of the users of buildings will be seen mainly in the range of opportunities for communication and the greatest number of meeting places. Movement and social contacts will thus become the standard for a successful construction project that must endeavor to establish its self-image in contrast to the dictates of functionalist architecture. The early stages of research that has been carried out in the area of building for dementia in order to provide intuitive orientation in the building at an appropriate level for its users can be drawn on for further scientific and practical implementation. However, neuroarchitectural questions concerning the interaction of people and rooms can only be successful if these complex questions are drawn up on the basis of concrete examples. Whether a new scientific field can be successfully established depends on whether it succeeds in defining more specifically the approaches that are currently formulated in rather general terms. However, when it becomes possible in the future development of sensory requirements for architectural spaces to be experienced as the memorable entirety of a lifeworld, it will also be possible to draw conclusions