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Architecture, and the Turn to the ‘Intuitive Minds Sacred Gift’

Part 2 Dissertation 2015
Matthew Girling
University of Kent Canterbury UK
This proposal is about thinking in architecture, particularly the role of intuition in a technology-driven world. The topic may be familiar to many readers; it looks to examine the divided nature of our thinking by utilising recent developments in neuroscience about the brain and how fundamentally the two hemispheres’ modes of functioning could be related to the experience and design of architecture. The idea came from questioning the architects’ position in the process of design and the role of the architect generally. Springing from this controversy came early exercises of trying to remove my own conscious manipulation of form from design, paving a way to intuitive form-finding experiments by setting up the material forces to follow their own motions. This kind of undertakings can be seen as analogous to architects early sketches, intuitive model-making and other sensory, unconscious experiments used in discovering potential architecture. In this paper they form a series of the selected examples analysed in order to demonstrate how these early, innate investigations provided the tools for subsequent design decisions; not mathematical, scientific or rational tools, but intuitive and informal ones, that are often central to the architect’s design and have traditionally been either underestimated or mystified.
Matthew Girling

Prof. Gordana Fontana-Giusti
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