Sir. Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.”
Architecture has the power to positively affect human beings. Survey research is revealing how certain buildings can transform our understanding of the world, since they affect the human experience on sociological, physiological, metaphysical, neurological, psychological, spiritual, and pedagogical levels. But what makes the experience of a building move from the realm of ordinary to extraordinary? What is unique about an extraordinary architectural experience, such as a visit to Chartres Cathedral, causing it to be retained vividly in one’s memory for over 30 years? A new research article investigates these questions by analyzing the written narratives, stories, and personal testimonies of over 700 people who have had extraordinary encounters with buildings. It looks at the storytelling process as well as the subjective and objective qualities of an architectural experience. The study improves our understanding of the extraordinary in architectural aesthetics by creating an empirical map composed of written narratives.
To read the full article, click here.
Citation: Brandon Ro and Julio Bermudez. 2015. “Understanding Extraordinary Architectural Experiences through Content Analysis of Written Narratives.” Enquiry: A Journal of Architectural Research 12 (1): 17-34. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17831/enq:arcc.v12i1.390