Amazing, isn’t it?
We were impressed too, when we first caught glance of the building in the suburbs of Paris. It was completely different from any other building we had ever seen, and certainly grandiose to the sister apartment complexes.
Perhaps to the architecturally-trained eye, the purposes of the structure and design are blatantly evident. But, for those who have no-to-faint notions of architecture concepts or spatial relations, maybe the image of the building remains just another impressive photo op to upload to Instagram.
And that possible dismissal of the implications of such a building got us thinking: what is the story that this building has to tell? What were the architects imagining when sketching the blueprints in their offices late into the night? What are we missing out on?
Redefining Our Perceptions
Be it apartments, offices or institutions, buildings accompany us all on our daily walks from one place to another. Yet, due to either the desensitisation by the familiar or lack of information conveyed, our perceptions of those buildings have become limited. Many miss out on the opportunity to truly know and appreciate the individual essences of the buildings that blend into the surroundings, which inevitably, and many times unknowingly, shape our lifestyles.
If perception is our recognition, interpretation and response to sensory information, then HOW WE INTERACT with our environment determines HOW MEANINGFUL something may be.
As technology continues developing and the adoption of augmented/virtual reality become common practice as already seen in global clothing retail, it may be worth considering how new social media tools can redefine and enhance perceptions of a building, space and more generically, our realities.
Facebook and Architecture
Let’s look at the two images below.
What information are we receiving and how are we translating it into words and understanding? These two photos are of different spots located throughout the Parisian apartment complex from the main header image, and yet there seems to be an almost slight disconnect from the great stature that the whole building presented initially. While the images are, of course, well taken, we forgo any possibility to feel the expansiveness of the Parisian neighbourhood or the lightness of the endless sky above.
However, with the launch of recently-developed tools, such as Facebook 3D and Facebook 360º, there exists a world of potential for showcasing a space and bolstering how we interact, and thereon, understand such. Whereas the one-dimensional photos tell us what to see of the rooftop, Facebook 360º breaks away from the norm and goes beyond. Instead, a Facebook 360º image would rather welcome us to see FROM the rooftop and be in the centre of the experience, and in turn, come to value the architects’ original aim to give a sense of privilege and individuality within the confines of collective housing. Could we not understand the magnitude of the latter point so much more clearly if we had an awe-inspiring view such as this with the building well-integrated as well?
More Than What Meets the Eye
Until now, our perceptions have been restricted to what we have become accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. The same buildings. The same facades.The same environment. But, while limited always to a degree, the very nature of perception is impermanent, waiting to be deepened and enriched by more and more information. Inasmuch as we redefine our perceptions, we define a new reality. A better reality.