Exhibition: sense for architecture

We tried to make an exhibition about animals, for humans. We made use of human senses to structure the exhibition, so people could relate and see in which terms the animals are similar to them and other animals. The title of the exhibition was called ‘Sense for Architecture’. This was because we chose this as our sixth sense, this being the ability the animals have in order to perceive and even build a space. However this so called ‘sixth sense’ is mostly a cooperation of different capabilities. In order to show this, we made seperated a part of the space. Here we wanted to introduce a hint of the experience we had during our encounters with the animals and their environment, by hanging up a big picture in the corner, showing the forrest we visited during the ‘beavering architecture’. We covered the floor of this corner with leaves to simulate the feeling and smell. Here, and in the rest of the exhibition space, we put up sounds in the corners that we got in contact with as well. We devided the animals through the space, so that the sound in between them would always correspond. Between the seperated space and the beavers there was this sound of rain or flowing water. Between the beavers and the ants, there were bird sounds, that could fit a park, as well as a forrest. And between the ants and dogs, we put up street sounds.

The idea of the senses, was to introduce a way to connect the different animals, or at least their traits. Therefore we used ribbons to go from certain pictures, characterizing a particular sense. We colour-coded them as well, so the connections could easily be followed. The second tool we used to structurize the exhibitions, were small speech bubbles with our faces next to them, with texts from our different assignments. They were occasionally colour coded as well and sometimes hanging on the ribbons , if they were suitable for multiple animals. These actually turned out pretty well, explaining our pictures and actually bringing the different deliverables together as a whole. It was fascinating to see how well some tweets of certain people went together with someone else’s pictures. Eventhough our solutions were completely different, you could deffinetely see some similarities in the way we wanted to bring across our experience.

To enter the space, we layed out human footsteps the visitor could follow. However from a certain point on, they changed into animal footrprints, so the visitor would be encouraged to try and step into the mindset of the different animals. The footsteps were leading to the different walls. This way we wanted to make clear there were no constrains in the way you went through the exhibition.

For the beaver assignment, two of the three assignments were quite literal ‘IKEA guides’ on how to become a beaver architect. Also with the lay-out of a real IKEA guide. Two others were a guide, as well as a sort of recapitulation to what we had been doing during the day. And Laura’s was a sequence of steps how to become as capable as a beaver in building dams. For each of the walls we chose four pictures of the days, that could serve as a foundation to put our material around. For the beaver wall, we chose a picture of all of us trying to focus, and even mimic on one tool of the beaver (like swimming, cutting flakes for food, cutting entire trees, scratching with the nails to construct, collecting and transporting trees). We also used pictures of the process of cutting the trees, one of a simulation of a beaver skeleton cutting a tree with it’s teeth and one of two people building a dam.


On the one hand the most important aspect with the anting architecture was the tools that were used to be able to perform architecture as an ant and on the other hand the importance of the collective work. We tried to bring these two aspects forward by showing them in pictures and hang our assignments around these accordingly. The inability to see well as an ant and thereby the hightened and combined use of different tools and senses, could serve as a connection (by using the wires) with the dogs and beavers.

For the dog part of the exhibition, we showed our individual models but tried to devide them in groups of two. This because you could see strong resemblances between them. Pedro and Laura’s models were kind of ‘Thomas Thwaites-methods’. They made simulations of how become the animal and perceive a dogs sense space through these tools. Katharina and Marie’s models were more of a way of making people understand the difference between the dog and human’s point of view, through an interactive model. Seppe and Vicky’s models were a sort of mapping design to show the path of the dog, through different moments, sents, or territories.

The exhibition was a succes, however the used mean of representation of the senses was insufficient and maybe more ‘conventional’, since this was from the perspective of the human being.

Introduction wall with al lot of tweets about our thoughts of the course an about the theme sensing like an animal.

Our topic of the exhibition: sense of architecture.

The beaver wall. All experiences we did during the beaver experiment.

The ant wall. All experiences we did during the ant experiment.

Our dog models reflecting all the experiences we did during the dog experiment.

This video shows excerpts of our experiments. During the exhbition we shows it in a seperate corner of the room.

Corner of the video room. The idea was to fell inside the beaver area.

Floorplan of the exhibtion room.

@ 2017 Katharina Meenenga, Laura Krohn, Marie Van Tricht, Pedro Racha-Pacheco, Seppe Verhaegen, Victoria Schulz with Wix.com

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