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The rest of your senses

We seek to challenge the dominance of vision. We want to smell cities, lick asphalt, construct buildings from snow and ice. We seek to better understand the subtle, sensorial qualities of the built environment. We are studying the transformation of the built environment through climatic control, the bodily experience of sound and ways to navigate using atmospheric conditions. Clearly, our senses shape every aspect of our interactions with our environment. How might a new state of sensorial attention reshape spaces?

Article 4 of 9

Relative Humidity, Temperature, Light Intensity

Invented activities by Philippe Rahm with Alain Robbe-Grillet

Philippe Rahm. Interior Weather. Installation view in the context of the exhibition environ(ne)ment at the CCA, 2006

“Interior Weather” is Philippe Rahm’s manifesto in space of his concept “Form and Function Follow Climate.” This space, designed as a micro-geography is an interior weather system constantly in flux.

A subjective narrative created by Alain Robbe-Grillet accompanies the installation, interpreting variations of light intensity, relative humidity, and temperature from different points of view: physiological, social, functional, etc. This series of gestural “fictions” suggest new spatial practices, new forms of social behaviour, and new urban and architectural forms.

  1. Relative humidity 50 percent. Temperature 21 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 750 LUX. A neutral place. With uniform light. Neither hot nor cold.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 50 percent. Temperature 21 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 750 LUX. A cubical. No door, no window. Outstretching and resting. Recovery?
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 98 percent. Temperature 28 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 750 LUX. Icy air. Growing warmth. Disorientation.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 98 percent. Temperature 28 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 1000 LUX. A far wall. A drawing of a forest scene. A welcome and carefree abandon.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 98 percent. Temperature 28 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 1000 LUX. Bathing, warm. Grace. Milky white. Acclimatized.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 50 percent. Temperature 21 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 320 LUX. A library of sorts. Dark wood. Bound volumes.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 30 percent. Temperature 28 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 1000 LUX. Bay windows. Sun. Summer heat.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 75 percent. Temperature 21 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 750 LUX. A bright room by day and night. A cross draft. Cooking smells.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 30 percent. Temperature 28 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 320 LUX. Ceiling at one metre. Uninhabitable. Worn mats. Single square skylight. Crawling on all fours.
. . .
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  1. Relative humidity 30 percent. Temperature 28 degrees Celsius. Light Intensity 0 LUX. Hot under gables. Absolute darkness. Incoherent inventions.
. . .
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We commissioned philosopher Alain Robbe-Grillet to create this narrative for Environment: Approaches for Tomorrow, Gilles Clément/Philippe Rahm(2006–2007), an exhibition and publication about the relationship between humans and our surroundings.

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