Ar. Mythili Kowshik Shetty
Ar. Milind Amle, Ar. Swati Chokshi, Ar. Rajratna Jadhav, Ar. Snehal Gaikwad, Ar. Swapna Hankare, Ar. Richa Raut,Ar, Yagnik Bathija, Ar. Neha Panchal, Ar. Porus Master, Ar. Rahul Manohar, Ar. Sanjay Mehta
Every architectural movement is preceded by an art and literary movement. These are born out of various differences of opinions in schools of thought and the yearning to learn and explore further. Out of seven endophenotypes (behavioral traits) in mammals, ‘seek’ and ‘play’ are the ones common among all. ‘Seeking’ refers to the curiosity and it is only through this quality that we learn to question and discover new concepts. It was the curiosity in questioning an existing theory; Modernism, that led to the theory of Phenomenology being proposed. The origin of interest in this topic stemmed out of a similar curiosity to understand how certain spaces are designed that impart impactful experiences.
Phenomenology in simple architectural terms translates to the quality of sensorially stimulating experience of space. In the last few decades, the approach has found its way into practice and has been extensively theorized. The theory has also found a scientific grounding in recent years and provides answers to the reason why the theory works when applied in spatial design. In the pursuit of enriching spaces with stimulatory experiences, the theory seems to have found application in numerous architectural typologies. In addition, the scientific standing ensures a promising success rate. However, the theory seems to cater majorly to ‘the human subject’. In other words, the theory is anthropocentric and seems to give consideration only to the human perception of space. Here laid the opportunity to inquire about the application of the theory and whether it can be further extended to all perceptive beings. Hence, the therianthropic (a mix of human and animal) subject of inquiry.
Humans alone are not the only beings capable of space perception. However, most spaces are designed to cater to the human user despite there being a wide array of animals exposed to our architecture. In several cases, humans have employed the sensorial capabilities of other animals for their own occupation. An increasing amount of the human population has also allowed animals to live with them inside their homes as a part of their family. In such a case, it is almost selfish to assume that architectural space production is limited to human usage and perception. The thesis explores the possibility of expansion of the ‘subject’ of phenomenology and the validity of the proposal while trying to remain true to the postulates of the theory. By taking an example of the Canine-Human relationship, the research makes an attempt to act as a case in point for the theoretical enquiry of the application of phenomenology in therianthropic ‘subjects’.
Exploring the applications Phenomenology in Therianthropic ‘subjects’