Empirical Explorations

Sensing the Sacred in Self and Space

A multidisciplinary approach to Space Perception and Architectural Design Theory

To what extent is the experience of a visitor in a sacred space determined by the physicality and materiality as compared to its individualistic cognitive interpretation and affect? This grounded research approach to space perception intended to study the psychological effects of a temple’s architecture on users/visitors as opposed to just passively documenting the built-space and its design.

Keywords: Phenomenology, Architectural Theory, Multisensory Environments, Behavioural Research

Narayana, A., 2018, Sensing the Sacred in Self and Space - A Multidisciplinary approach to Space Perception and Theory of Architecture, Insight 2018 - Design Research Symposium (Nov 1-2), National Institute of Design, Ahemdabad, India.

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Divergent & Entangled | Workshop and Exhibition
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

Divergent and Entangled - A Workshop on Phenomenology of Sacred Architecture. October 2018 - January 2019. In Collaboration with IGNCA & Christ School of Arch. Bengaluru.

On representation techniques in expressive and evocative media for communicating phenomenological and aesthetic aspects of architectural experience. The outcomes and artworks were then showcased at an exclusive IGNCA exhibition.

Field Research, Workshops, and Community Engagement that fuelled this Inquiry

Through the Sanctum - Interactive Heritage Walk, Basavanagudi (Four Workshops). October - November 2018. With IGNCA.

Mixed methods driven Field Research in the format of interactive Heritage Walks in Basavanagudi across four Hindu Temples built indifferent architectural styles and eras to explore the psycho-social aspects of ‘Indic Sacred Architecture’. The data was collected using surveys filled out by 55 participants who took part in the walks from different academic and professional backgrounds.

Temples involved in the study (within a 2.5km radius) - Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (Gavipuram), Bull Temple (Basavanagudi), Sri Amba Bhavani Temple (Basavanagudi), and Sri Sai Spiritual Centre (NR Colony).

A series of Interviews with Temple Visitors, Priests, and local vendors

To explore and identify intentions of visiting temples across different identity and occupational markers as well as connect 'Intent', Spatial Affordances, and socio-cultural correlates of Temple Architecture across Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (Gavipuram), Someshwara Temple (Ulsoor), Sri Amba Bhavani Temple (Basavanagudi), and Sri Sai Spiritual Centre (NR Colony).