A Field Trip to Behaviour and Cognition in Time and Space
This book is many books: It features a brief media history, a fantastic fiction (by Sebastian Michael), a contemporary architectural theory, a reflexive project documentation, interviews (with two of ARUP’s engineers), and two essays – one on light, information and physical form (by Konstantinos Mavromichalis) and one on corporate influence in tech and art projects (by Elvia Wilk).
A panopticon that allows for its inmates to be visually observed at all times is a Sentiment Architecture. A fortified panic room that provides shelter for people to take refuge in case of a threat is a Sentiment Architecture. A participatory media installation is a Sentiment Architecture. Sentiment Architecture is not a typology. It is a function. That is why we use its plural, Sentiment Architectures.
The term is derived from a technology called sentiment analysis—a tool to identify people’s emotions in language. The contents of this book try to utilise this idea and its potential for an expanded architectural theory and practice. Following this approach, Sentiment Architectures are not either positive or negative. They are part of our world. They are part of us. And that is why we have to attain a conscious understanding and handling of them. This is what this collage-like publication is aiming for. It meanders through a variety of forms to encounter this phenomenon in all its modes of existence: A socio-critical utopia, a subjective history, a real-world documentation, a satellite essay, an individual mythology, and two interviews create a picture of our world where subject and object collided and fused into one a long time ago. We think it is about time for architects to acknowledge that more actively.