Architecture is a Verb: A talk between Sarah Robinson, Robert Condia and Suchi Reddy

The discourse projects an important inquiry: in a time when everything is being reimagined, how can we envision architecture as an embodied experience that shapes our culture?

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Mar 23, 2021

When designing physical spaces, we are also designing or implicitly specifying distinct experiences, emotions and mental states, and in fact as architects, we are operating both in the human brain and nervous system as much as we are in the world that matter in construction.

– Juhani Pallasmaa

A refreshing virtual conversation between architect and author Sarah Robinson, Professor Robert Condia, and Suchi Reddy of architectural studio Reddymade, delves into the potential of architecture in enabling the joy of being human. The subject of the discussion, called ‘Architecture is a Verb’, is drawn from the title of one of Robinson’s recent books (Architecture is a Verb, Routledge, 2021) that interrogates how buildings move and in turn move us, and how they shape thought and action.

Architecture is a Verb: A book by Sarah Robinson (Routledge, 2021) | The Commission Project | STIRworld
Architecture is a Verb: A book by Sarah Robinson (Routledge, 2021) Image: Courtesy of The Commission Project

Robinson, who writes about the ways that design shapes human perception and well-being, with previous publications to her credit including Nesting: Body, Dwelling Mind, and Mind in Architecture: Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Future of Design with Juhani Pallasmaa, in conversation with Condia, who teaches architecture at the Kansas State University, deconstruct the value of buildings in shaping our thoughts and actions. The discourse projects an important inquiry that in a time when everything is being reimagined, how can we envision architecture as an embodied experience that shapes our culture?

How we are is very related to where we are. – Sarah Robinson, Architecture is a Verb

The speakers exchange insights drawing from their extensive academic and architectural backgrounds in neuroaesthetics - an emerging discipline in the field of aesthetics that uses neuroscience to understand how we experience beauty in different creative fields. The subjects of the 60-minute conversation comprise deconstructing meanings of aesthetics and perception, the position of architecture vis-a-vis the human body, the practice of empathy, and the role of collaboration in blurring boundaries.

The discussion is hosted under the initiative of Applied Neuroaesthetics by The Commission Project – an art advisory group that aims to bridge the gap between aesthetic research and professionals in the arts at large. New York-based Suchi Reddy, who has designed spaces based on the principles of neuroaesthetics, moderated this dialogue now platformed on STIRworld.com.

Scroll to the top to watch the complete conversation.

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