Architecture was as anonymous to me a few years ago as neuroscience is, today. Sure I drooled over buildings, structures, bridges, etc and watched all the documentaries religiously. But I also realised that every one of them had a unique reasoning for me to like or dislike them or a part of them. This could be anything from scale, colour, functionality, to material, history, etc. But all of this reasoning turned on the same wheel on one axis. The axis being my mind. Everything we perceive is the result of all the dendrites at work in our heads. And everything related to all that jig and frolic that happens in our heads, is Neuroscience.
To explain my title, I have to ask a simple question. Why do we need architectural design? What makes us want to design? How does it matter what a building looks like or how it feels like to be inside a room?
I think, that it all starts, with the urge to experience. A room or space is not merely an encounter with no value. It is a memory, an impression, an experience, either good or bad which is derived from our perception of that space. In simpler words, some may not fancy being in a dark room and would feel suffocated inside it. But for some others ,the exact same room could be a place of solace and comfort which they would like to be in.
Therefore, every space and structure is an attempt by the designer, to give the gift of experience and memory to the people who would encounter that very space or structure. Neuroscience would be able to provide for clarity in the thought process for designers and architects by teaching the methods of exploring role of and the effects on, the human mind
A designer uses his thought process to give shape to his ideas and the end product allows a user to perceive the space based on his or her own thoughts.
Clearly, it is a cycle that begins in the Mind and ends in the Mind.
The Human Mind, hence, is indeed in my belief, the real Purpose of Architecture.
Akshay Ashok Salunkhe
IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute