THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE ON SENSES IN ARCHITECTURE, URBAN LANDSCAPING AND DESIGN.

KATOWICE 24TH – 26TH SEPTEMBER 2020

TAKAHARU TEZUKA

CALL FOR PAPERS

Faculty of Humanities at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Society of Polish Town Planners Silesian Branch and Association of Polish Architects (SARP) / Branch Katowice would like to invite academics and practitioners to partake in The Second International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Senses in Architecture, Urban Landscaping and Design.

The conference will take place ONLINE, on 24-26 September 2020.

During the first edition of the conference, designers’ knowledge of human sensuality and perception processes was discussed. While discussing the education of architects, the participants drew attention to the shortcomings of the model of education focused on artistic and engineering perspectives. The effect of such education is focusing on the problems of the spatial form suitable for the idea of design, mathematisation of procedures and optimisation of the efficiency of the designed spaces and costs. Finally, the participants emphasised the domination of the designers’ over the users’ point of view in the processes of design, implementation and modernisation of space, environment and cultural heritage.

According to Amos Rapoport – an architect and an anthropologist – the effect of this model of education is to convince designers of the effectiveness of workshop tools developed during education, sufficient to realise the space and their own ability to intuitively read users’ expectations in terms of results. This is one of the main reasons for errors in projects. Rapoport in the article Designing for People – Some Implications (“Trialog” 2010, no. 3) stresses:

In order to design for people one needs to know about people. Neither guessing nor using oneself as a guide will do. The latter is particularly dangerous because designers are very different to users, as a large research literature shows. One result is that preferences vary greatly, at scales ranging from cities to interiors, and products and furnishing […]. The result of using oneself as a guide for design leads to what Ellis and Cuff have called ‘architects’ people’ and Brower has called ‘planners’ people’.

In defence of the domination of the artistic and engineering perspective and the effectiveness of intuitive interpretation of expectations concerning design effects, architects often put forward arguments of economic and marketing nature. This approach is also, according to Rapoport, no longer sustainable:

It is significant that […] the equivalent in economics ‘homo economicus’ is being replaced by more realistic, research-based knowledge about human behavior. Thus both designing for mythical people
or for oneself are both unacceptable. What is required is knowledge about people […]. What bio-social, psychological and cultural charac¬teristics of human beings (as members of a species, as individuals and as members of various groups) influence, or in design should influence, which characteristics of the built environment? (“Trialog” 2010, no. 3).

This year’s edition of the conference is set in the context of Environmental Behavior studies, of which Rapoport was one of the founders. We would like to focus our discussion on the issue of perception of both lower and higher levels. The former is connected with the evolutionary processing of sensory stimuli drawn by the human body from the environment, while the latter involves, among other things, grouping the acquired information, giving it meaning, cognitive contextualisation, and rationalising, as well as conscious experience, epistemic activity or motivation to act. Knowledge in this area seems to be essential today for designers in all industries that affect the design, adaptation and modernisation of the environment/surroundings towards their accessibility and user-friendliness. The problems of the modernisation of cultural heritage sites as part of the behavioural environment in the time of peace and conflict are related to the outlined context.

IMPORTANT DATES FOR CONFERENCE SPEAKERS:

15th August 2020: submission of abstracts of speeches (registration form on the conference website)
2nd September 2020: decision on acceptance/rejection
20th September 2020: distribution of organisational details

IMPORTANT DATES FOR PARTICIPANTS INTERESTED IN THE PUBLICATION OF THE ARTICLE:

15th December 2020: submission of the full texts for review
31st January 2021: reviewer’s response (positive or negative, suggestions for amendments)
28th February 2021: submission of the final version of the article for printing