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Sensory Cultures - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Sensory Cultures Sensory orientation refers to the ability of an individual to organize information and process it. This information is received from one’s environment via the senses. When one embodies social orientation, it means that they possess the cognitive ability to get information from various senses such as motion, touch, smell, taste, vision, and hearing, while associating this information with knowledge, experiences, and memories that were already present in their mind (Yack et al 33)…
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Sensory Cultures

Download file to see previous pages... Embodiment of sensory orientation means one understands who they are, what they are doing, and where they are doing it (Yack et al 34). David Howes discusses sensory culture in the context of architecture, considering how urban planners and architects use in-sounds and in-scents in sensory ethnography, sensory history, and sensory geography. The architecture of the senses, which is the study of sensorium’s cultural construction in diverse places and times, helps in inspiring sensory architecture (Howes 45). He contends that, in recent years, architectural theorization for and of the senses has gained prominence because of increased interest in sensory architecture and the social significance of the material world’s sensory qualities. Sensing in sensory architecture involves a combination of meaning and stimulation, as well as signification and sensation. He gives an example of the CAVE technology that enhances comprehension of signification and sensation, contending that it needs an ethnographer to comprehend meaning and stimulation. This technology occludes some sensory roles in architectural experience, while it also improves the role of kinesthesia over texture, as well as that of sight over smell (Howes 46). This, in turn, serves in the perpetuation of particular social and sensory hierarchies. According to David Howes, the new sensory urban anthropology, which emphasizes the discernment of perceptive politics and meaning, plays a vital role in the advancement of sensory architecture. Sensory ethnography, through its role in foregrounding senses as experience mediators, as well as exploring the manner in which various people use their senses, in culturally and strategically conditioned ways, on the urban environment, enables architects to enhance polysensoriality and to design in ways that are stimulating and sensuously fitting (Howes 46). Constance Classen, on her part, introduces sensory culture as a historical and cultural formation. By examining the various meanings that are associated with different sensory sensations and faculties in various cultures, there is a cornucopia of sensory symbolism. It is possible to link sight to witchcraft and reason, while taste could be utilized as a metaphor that denotes sexual experience or aesthetic discrimination (Classen 402). In addition, the sensory faculty of odor could signify social exclusion, political power, sin, or sanctity. As a collection, these sensory values and meanings make up the various sensory models that societies espouse. In this way, a specific society makes sense of their environment, and the world at large. In addition, they translate sensory concepts, as well as perceptions, into a specific view of the world. Classen theorizes sensory orientation embodiment by contending that smell, taste, hearing, touch, and sight are means of cultural value transmission, as well as the apprehension of physical phenomena (Classen 402). According to her, perception of senses can be learnt through imbuing them with cultural significance in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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