Materiality and Sensory
The Thin Line between Theme Park and Museum
Whilst Materiality and Sensory in Architect deal with our senses, this invariably confers to the re-enactment of our memories. “An Architecture of the 7 senses” in The Eyes of the Skin by discusses:
• Sense of Touch – texture and contour evokes imagination and memory;
• Sense of Sight – Sense of separation and space sense of awe;
• Muscle and Bones –Proportion, Ergonomics, Movement, Distance;
• Bodily Identification – Memory
• Sense of Scent – Evokes Memory
• Taste – Vision Transfer to Taste
• Sound – Sound measures space
There are 2 extremely and similar yet contrasting examples – Theme Park and Museum Space. Both are spaces of emotions using artefacts, lighting, circulations and others stated above. They generate an emotional link with an individual. And yet, Theme Park is less discussed academically as compared to Museum Space, despite the similarities in Architecture and its intention.
One may argue the over reliance of artefacts makes a Theme Park, ie Mickey Mouse. However Early Museum started off with the Cabinet of Curiosities – galore of collections from expeditions. Perhaps the difference lies upon the types of objects of artistic, cultural, historical or scientific importance. This, however, shouldn’t be distinguished under the academy of Architecture – a study of space, not a study of artefacts.
Theme park is a group of entertainment attractions, rides, and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people.
Whilst a museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance and some public museums makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.
There has been multiple crossovers between theme park and museum. Ripley believe it or not museum and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum are becoming more for entertainment. On the contrary, Carsten Holler Giant Slides in Tate Modern, London and South Banks’s Hayward Gallery have become successful as an interactive art installation and a big hit with the public. Musuems and Theme Park serves the same – experience driven with sensory interactions.
Our definition of spaces changes with time.
Technology challenges our notion of Materiality & Sensory. Large Digital Façade – E Billboard changes the façade of the building – almost diminishing the duty of the Architect in façade design. Most notably seen in the UMNO tower, Kuala Lumpur exhibiting the entire façade of moving images. Traditional design in spaces are changed with digital incorporation, making every possible fictions possible – making every space a theme park.
If Architecture becomes irrelevant if it is being analysed only from a physical point of view, the memory or emotions reflected from the forms within an individual gives meaning to it. Thus, Architects are bound to embrace the new interaction and interfaces in Architecture. Not limited to merely form but other means of multisensory experience. To adapt in accordance to time.