The Memory in Bodily and Architectural Making: Reflections from Embodied Cognitive Science

Andrea Jelic, Aleksandar Stanicic

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Following a recent experiential and embodied turn in architectural discourse, a new field of research inspired by embodied cognitive science has started illuminating brain and bodily mechanisms behind architecture’s ability to affect our perception, memory, and imagination—and in extension, how architects embrace the conditions of human embodiment to create meaningful environments.
Accordingly, this growing body of knowledge can offer new insights on why and how the design strategy behind ‘affective architecture’—i.e., invoking in the visitor intense emotional and bodily experiences through particular spatial scenarios and atmospheres—is effective in making meaningful and memorable places.
Starting from the perspective of the enactive-embodied approach to cognition and the understanding of architectural experience as originating in the pre-reflective architecture-body communication, we propose that the fundamental pre-condition of memory- and meaning-making in memorial architecture resides in the embodied spatial experiences.
The aim of this chapter is threefold. First, to sketch from the enactive cognition perspective the brain-body mechanisms underpinning human interaction with space, with a particular emphasis on the role of affect and affordances in the experience of architecture and creation of memories. Second, to provide guidelines for thinking about memorial spaces and architectural heritage as intrinsically connected to the sense of individual and social self through our embodied responsiveness to architectural cues and spatial affordances, where the latter are understood as materialization of the sociocultural patterns, practices, and meanings. Thirdly, to underline the importance of considering the politics of affect and embodiment in architectural design, and hence the architects’ role and limits in creating affective heritage. Accordingly, we argue for thinking about the embodied experience of architecture as an open-ended playground, whose power of triggering emotional responses is both a source of understanding the scripted, designed narrative as well as a place for reinvention and necessary flexibility of heritage architecture in the fast-changing times.
TitelAffective Architectures: More-than-representational Geographies of Heritage
RedaktørerJacque Micieli-Voutsinas, Angela Person M.
Publikationsdato21 sep. 2020
Udgave1. udgave
ISBN (Trykt)9780367152116
StatusUdgivet - 21 sep. 2020

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  • Aktiviteter

    • 1 Organisering af eller deltagelse i workshop, kursus, seminar eller lignende

    Architectural Heritage: Affordances, Affect, Politics

    Andrea Jelic (Arrangør) & Aleksandar Stanicic (Arrangør)

    18 okt. 2019

    Aktivitet: Deltagelse i faglig begivenhedOrganisering af eller deltagelse i workshop, kursus, seminar eller lignende


    Jelic, A., & Stanicic, A. (2020). The Memory in Bodily and Architectural Making: Reflections from Embodied Cognitive Science. I J. Micieli-Voutsinas, & A. Person M. (red.), Affective Architectures: More-than-representational Geographies of Heritage (1. udgave udg.). Routledge.