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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses2016 (PC020404.15) ➔ Somaspace: The Kinesthetic Void In Contemporary Architecture


Related people/organizations

Lindsey Erin Dieter (designer)
Peter M. Wheelwright (thesis advisor)
Glenn Shrum (thesis advisor)
Jonsara Ruth (thesis advisor)
Derek Porter (thesis advisor)




The human body is a dynamic, kinesthetic entity that exists in direct relation to space and time. The built environment, as a significant locus for the body’s actions, plays a fundamental role in the choreography of the body in space. In much of contemporary design, the once intelligent and dynamic occupant body is no longer encouraged to move kinesthetically through the built environment. Formal restriction, paralleled by historical conventions, institutions & technological advancements embedded in architecture, often prescribe an experience of space that is automated, visually dominant & ignorant of the body scale. As a result, the quotidian experience of space has become automated, compressed and disconnected from the physical environment. It can be argued that the conventions and institutions that underwrite architecture produce not only buildings, but also bodies. By integrating the disciplines of kinesiology, perceptual psychology and contemporary dance with spatial design, this thesis aspires to generate a dynamic, sensorial narrative that encourages a kinesthetic experience of space. The introduction of kinetic spatial adjustments into the quotidian sequence, at varying scales and duration, will accumulate over time, serving to repair the body through heightened somatic engagement. The building, in turn, is afforded simultaneous repair through responsive adjustments to evolving societal conditions. Mobilization of the body and building are explored within the former Lee Brothers Storage Facility on 134th Street and Riverside Drive.



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