From atmospheric awareness to active materiality

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperFormidling


‘Atmosphere’ has recently claimed more attention in architectural discourse and practice leading to the revaluation of embodiment as a basis for the interaction with an environment. In this context, architectural space is understood as a space of engagement that ‘appears’ to us as a result of continuous and complex interferences revealed through our perception. Therefore, to design considering an atmospheric approach means to focus on how the space is going to appear, to be experienced or to be felt. What immediately follows this assumption is, then, the exploration of works and design processes with an attempt to trace associations and draw out design protocols, focusing on ways in which atmosphere can be consciously generated or manipulated. The aim is thus to examine ‘the atmospheric’ as a spatial quality, an experiential property as well as a sensory background and materiality as one of the generative drivers of atmosphere.
However, the atmospheric turn calls for a specific manner of understanding materiality. The atmosphere is not defined through the isolated entities. It is rather a sum of effects – an ephemeral occurrence – that leads to an integral and synesthetic perception of our surroundings, where the environmental qualities are implicit and conditions and phenomena are bound together in a reciprocal dependence. Therefore, material is neither seen as an isolated element, nor as mere substance expressing tectonic character. Transcending its generative potential and focusing on its performative significance, the material is to be understood rather as an entirely dynamic category, a complex and active system of fields, including the intangible ones – such as light, air, sound, temperature – and conditions: environmental, meteorological, technical, social or historical. In this multifaceted relationship materials are: carriers of effects and phenomena, encoders of our reminiscences and memories, detonators of physical, physiological and emotional contingencies, activators of the aesthetic occurrence. This reading defines materiality as an active and operative force – as a means of an aesthetic engagement and a phenomenological manifestation.
The enduring need to interact with the body and the surroundings through experience has nourished a wide range of design techniques and material experimentation that identify the inherent conditions of materials and constantly changing environmental parameters as a data upon which projects develop. Thus, the aim is to illustrate this particular projective genealogy, one that builds upon ‘atmospheric awareness’ where seeking an effect and affect is implicit and foregrounding perceptual and emotional engagement is conscious – i.e. one that defines so called ‘active materiality’.
Publikationsdatojul. 2013
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2013
BegivenhedAesthetics in Action: 19th Jubilee International Congress of Aesthetics - Polish Society for Aesthetics, International Society for Aesthetics, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Kraków, Polen
Varighed: 21 jul. 201327 jul. 2013


KonferenceAesthetics in Action
LokationPolish Society for Aesthetics, International Society for Aesthetics, Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej


  • 1 Organisation af og deltagelse i konference

Aesthetics in Action

Izabela Wieczorek (Taler)

21 jul. 201327 jul. 2013

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangement af en begivenhed Organisation af og deltagelse i konference


Active Materiality. The Agency of Matter from Phenomenological Perspective

Wieczorek, I.


Projekter: ProjektPh.d. projekt



Wieczorek, I. (2013). From atmospheric awareness to active materiality. Afhandling præsenteret på Aesthetics in Action, Kraków, Polen.