Harvard Graduate School of Design, Spring 2019

MArch I Thesis

Advised by: Andrew Witt

Body, Prosthetics and Architecture:
A Sensual Extension into Space

Modern architecture and its equipment, although closely tied to aiding the performance of the human body, have neglected the possibility of becoming an extension to the sensual body. In restorative human-technology mixtures and sensory ergonomics, the aim is to enhance certain biological capabilities that the human body has lost. Is it possible for architecture to serve for body enhancement, to make it whole again, or to compensate for corporeal deficiencies? With the proposal of a rehabilitation center in Lebanon for amputee refugees from war-torn Syrian regions, this thesis asks: can the augmented human body trigger a new typology of architecture, which respects primal sensorial delights, and enhances impulses that make human-beings stay present? Can architecture become an extreme extension of the human prosthesis, a part of a cyborg manifesto?

This thesis treats architecture as a material extension of the body: the tangible space of the human body is unfolded and expanded, linked with its environment, just as clothing is an extension of the human skin and a manifestation of identity. Having become an extension of the human body and psyche, the rehabilitation center seeks for a materialized embodiment beyond the corporal metaphor between body and architecture: architecture here not only reflects human perception, but also guides it, shapes it, or even predicts it.

 © 2019 by Meng Jiang.

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