• Interior Design (MFA), Lighting Design (MFA)

    Lindsey Dieter

    SOMASPACE: The Kinesthetic Void in Contemporary Architecture

    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 not encouraged to move kinesthetically through the built environment. Formal restriction, paralleled by historical conventions, institutions, and technological advancements embedded in architecture, often prescribes an experience of space that is automated and visually dominant and ignores 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 of varying durations, will accumulate over time, serving to repair the body through heightened somatic engagement. In turn, the building 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 at Riverside Drive.