The Body in Digital Spaces


Session Title:

  • Digital Media, Space and Architecture

Presentation Title:

  • The Body in Digital Spaces




  • The aim of this paper is to investigate the perception of space in the context of digital architecture. Our starting point is Merleau-Ponty’s concept of flesh which represents the continuity between a perceiving body and the perceived world.

    While moving in space, the body is able to incorporate direct spatial relations and make dynamic and constantly-in-movement synthesis. Models of posture are consequentially projected onto changing spatial situations by the body whose position in space is constantly updated in order to interact with the environment. The communication between the body and the world takes place through a praktognosia, a practical and direct knowledge of the world. The body’s posture is also predictive because it assumes multiple or possible tasks and acts in an oriented-space connected with an historical time. The intention of the body creates a space-time structure of here-and-now. An architectural environment convey certain spatial experiences, refines sensibility and enlarges consciousness by exploiting multiple possibilities of movement.

    The perception of architectural spaces is nowadays connected with the rise of technology and virtual reality produced by computer and digital designing. In the case of computer-aided architectural design – in which the architect can manipulate visual representations – architectural spaces gain a new reality by supporting the creation of new architectural objects. In this process, the constituting elements of a building become technical networks of communicating nodes. Digital design becomes not only a way to create new objects but also supports communicative and intersubjective platforms as means of mediation between people. In the virtual context of digital architecture the body oriented space is modified and the original movement is replaced by an exploring virtual body projected by mind inside a non-Euclidean and non-orthogonal context. If architectural, urban structures are designed to experience body’s motor faculties, does digital architecture, by modifying space-time categories of the lived-body and modifying brain’s treatment of spatial perceptions, open new paths of experience?

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