Play on Architecture
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After viewing our curriculum units, please take a few minutes to help us understand how the units, which were created by public school teachers, may be useful to others.
DRAMA, MOVEMENT, SYMBOLS, AND ARCHITECTURE
In “Body, Memory, and Architecture “ much is written about the relationship of the haptic sense to architecture. “The haptic sense is the sense of touch reconsidered to include the entire body rather than merely the instruments of touch, such as the hands.”
The haptic sense involves individuals’ emotional and physical subjective experiences resulting from body sensations created while interacting with the environment. The use of drama and movement serve to engage the haptic sensory system: drama creates a meaningful context by establishing a motivation for improvisation, and structured movement forces attention to the body in relation to its environment. Through drama and movement individuals can recognize that “the body is the source of a personal world which generates many of the meanings by which we experience the whole world.”
An individual organizes stimuli internally around a centerplace (the heart, abdomen, stomach, etc.), and the individual extends this psychophysical orientation into architecture. By asking students to dramatize a building or to create movements which feel like the building, one is actually asking students to extend their internal psychophysical construct into/over the selected building. Drama and movement serve as the media through which the haptic sensory system can be consciously verbalized, and hopefully expanded. Symbols (“an image that implies something more than its obvious and immediate meaning”
) are extremely important in drama, movement, architecture, and education. Symbols have mostly been discarded in education due to their innate nature to provoke questions, rather than provide the divine “right answer.” Symbols have been substituted with their lifeless cousins—signs. The point here is that architecture always is symbolic, and sometimes is elaborated with ornament, laden with symbols. Architecture always implies “more than its obvious and immediate meaning.” (Which leads me to the realization of why architecture, a symbolic art, does not usually exist in our curriculum!) Through drama, movement, and architecture (as a symbolic language) I see opportunities for people to understand and connect with architecture in new and creative ways.