Sensorium: The Sum of Perception
Irizarry, Yoeldi B.
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We live in a world full of stimuli. We can see, smell, feel, taste and hear because stimuli surrounds us. However, when we are conceived in the womb of our mothers we are formed with no senses. During that time we are totally isolated from our environment. Interestingly enough senses start to develop only after 8 weeks of fetal development, being touch the first one to mature. Smell, taste, hearing and sight appear later on. Humans connect to their surroundings through senses, and as these senses start developing in our bodies our brain starts applying them to perceive our environment. Through our senses we are able to interact with our environment and we are able to learn, pass on knowledge, and form, create and treasure memories. It is because of our senses that we can enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn, the balmy breeze of late summer days, or the avian symphony of spring. Each sense is like a link through which we connect our inner self with the outside world and allows us to uniquely experience each setting. However, when one or more of the senses is missing, those links are broken and the outside world is perceived very differently from individual to individual. Experiencing the built environment is no different. Since buildings are usually designed with a fully sensory individual in mind sensory-impaired populations typically find it difficult to navigate or make use of the spaces the building offers. The following pages of this thesis demonstrate the universal access system as a tool for those who lack one or more of the senses in order for them to fully enjoy and use the spaces in the same way any fully sensorial person can. Another important aspect which is explored architectonically is the aspect of social inequalities, which many handicapped individuals face on regular basis as users of a building.
- Masters Theses