We experience our surroundings because each organism has a lot to say through our senses. Each organism experiences the world differently, as do we (humans). When we speak about humans as social animals, we find out that we have certain emotions, which vary according to the time and situation. Getting lost in the dark is terrifying for a child; people retreat to a serene place to relax or to rejuvenate after a day of tiring work; even criminals are punished in areas with limited light, and spots are found inside buildings where people like to take pictures! They are all things that a person can experience through their senses and built form, which plays a significant role in it. The experience of the space or place brings such memories to mind. 

Emotions in the peaceful border design - Sheet1
Peaceful border_©Author (Abhigna Patel)

As humans, our feelings about a place are influenced by our emotions. Whenever we visit a heritage building or place, we are transported back to a story with which we feel a strong connection. For instance, the stepwell has spatial elements that make us feel certain emotions because of its space, light, shadow, texture, and volume hierarchy. We can see an illusion, and also feel claustrophobic as a result of the journey. Hence, a built form has the strength to give a different experience to people, and they let you have a significant imagination that makes you realize certain events. 

Experiential quality is such that it is attached to emotions and will introduce how they make you feel! There are unique tactics that we use in our design, such as the five senses from which people can experience. The experiential quality of space is rarely recognized as a decisive factor in the design process and has hardly been researched in architectural practice. In the present scenario, there are a few buildings that were built with the purpose of experiential quality. 

On the other side, heritage buildings have spatial elements, and geometry is introduced, due to which people experience the spaces. There are certain places where this is being thoughtfully created (for, eg. IIM Ahmedabad) or a museum that reflects some glimpse of past events (for eg. Jewish museum). The mind of people became more complex and cognitive as the generations passed, such that division took place at a very binary level; but the vital system that feeds the people with good policy, rules, and governance with a better life is ‘The nation’ that existed after lots of wars and controversies among the people. It took the lives of millions of people, and finally, the concept of a democratic nation came into existence for peace. Everyone wants a happy life. Peace is the reflection of a happy life. So How can we bring peace as architectural students? 

Emotions in the peaceful border design - Sheet2
Border emotions illustration_©Author (Abhigna Patel)

There are three peace parameters: social, ethical, and spiritual. Every nation works to improve these three things through its governance, but the problem arises when the social, ethical, and spiritual values of people get affected by the interrogation of other nations. It happens due to the extremist philosophy of the nation. So, it is required to defend our values to maintain the peace and harmony of the nation. The relationship with neighbouring countries in terms of geopolitics and trading matters a lot for the development of the nation as well. Building a strong defence and border is not the only way. People should be made aware of the harmonic and cultural values that help in maintaining peace. There is a need for infrastructure at borders that can bring cultures of different nations together to spread a glimpse of harmony in border areas. Here, an architect can play a major role in this. 

Space sections_©Author (Abhigna Patel)

Nowadays, people are more globally connected, so losses will be on both sides, not just a single side. Another reason is that this generation is questioning or thinking toward the next development, whereas the earlier generation was an obedient compliant generation. Hence, we can think about a peaceful future. Another thing is if we take the other country’s examples, like East and West Germany, or Germany and France, they had a fight with each other, but now they are becoming an alliance in front of the European Union. The UK and France had a 100-year-old fight, but they were also coming over. India and Pakistan had cartographic problems, and due to that, we were losing many things, but before 70 years, we were not an enemy. Now it’s time to think about peace. As architects, we can play a role in this thinking beyond the social union, and also can take into consideration human emotions by opening the ways which can reflect in the built mass. That’s how people’s memories will be impacted, which is another way to remember events and learn new things. Experience-based architecture is the idea of an all-encompassing design approach that adapts and changes through time. The content can be felt more firmly and thus more readily if architecture can emotionally connect with its inhabitants, producing a lasting effect on our visitors.

Author

Abhigna is a young architect who has a unique architectural way of interpreting things. Her interest lies in articulating sensible spaces according to the needs of society. She believes in the exploration of continuum architecture.

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