At the beginning of the 21st century and on a scale so far unknown, developments in information technology do affect the relationships between human beings, space, movement, and emotion. Through data, bodies are communicating with medial and interconnected environments, and sensors and detectors provide things and objects with sensitivity. What consequences does this all-encompassing interconnectedness have for the perception and idea of urban environments, how do media shape individual perception in spatial surroundings, and how can physical materials and substances be designed as a medium of communication?
The teaching/research project »Beyond the Senses« in the area of expertise »Design Theory and Research« (Prof. Dr. Carolin Höfler) investigated these new relations between bodies, environments, and medial techniques and exemplarily linked them with the urban perception of the city of Venice. The spaces of Venice constitute themselves in the physical perception of the flow of liquid and fluid. They embody spaces where real world and imagination, reality and fiction complexly cross-fade and dissolve with their perception being characterized by an unmeasurable range of historic and current images.
The project »Beyond the Senses« has taken up these observations and analyzed them through the concepts of urban-medial environments which had been exhibited in November 2018 on the occasion of the Architecture Biennial, Venice, in the Palazzo Mora of the Global Art Affairs Foundation. The project works shown were, among others, an interactive installation and audio-visual project works which reflected the perception and the experience of the physical surrounding through a sensory network of bodies, structure, light, water, and sound.
The project was accompanied by the research center »Real-Time City« of TH Köln. The research center is joint research unit of the KISD professors Dr. Carolin Höfler, Philipp Heidkamp, and Andreas Wrede, who commit themselves to the analysis and design of new urban environments and contexts of communication in order to re-think the city as complex network of relations and model of civilization.