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The Royal College of Art

Dissertation; distinction grade



Within this paper I will seek to investigate the role in which modern design processes available to architecture play in uniting our senses with the external natural environment as well as its primary focus on visual imagery and the consequential effect this has on supressing our other senses for our experience with this world. The following questions will therefore be considered in more detail:


  • Does the use of simulated testing in an artificial environment mean that we will neglect the thought process behind structural assembly in favour of the endless possibilities made available by computer processing?

  • Will these endless possibilities mean that we are constantly striving for “perfection” in real world construction and as a result lengthen the design process? Will we then be satisfied with what can be achieved in the real world or will this inability to design whatever we like mean that we disconnect ourselves from reality?

  • Is it possible to form a valid phenomenological connection to something that is so artificial? Should we favour the haptic use of hand drawing and modelling within the design process to create more meaningful architecture that we can all relate to?

  • Can virtual reality (VR) be used as a tool to solve the postfordist global architecture issue of producing “generic cities” around the world by allowing us to simulate these kinds of architectures within a local environment and adapt accordingly?

  • Is this phenomenological approach outdated in a world where difference is celebrated?

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