Architecture and the Senses in the Italian Renaissance: The Varieties of Architectural Experience
This book offers an innovative approach to Renaissance buildings and cities by reassessing the Renaissance understanding of the senses and the function of this architecture as an 'experiential trigger.' The experience of Renaissance architecture extends beyond scholarly investigations to engage and inspire anyone who encounters these sites.
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This is the first study of Renaissance architecture as an immersive, multisensory experience that combines historical analysis with the evidence of first-hand accounts. Questioning the universalizing claims of contemporary architectural phenomenologists, David Karmon emphasizes the infinite variety of meanings produced through human interactions with the built environment. His book draws upon the close study of literary and visual sources to prove that early modern audiences paid sustained attention to the multisensory experience of the buildings and cities in which they lived. Through reconstructing the Renaissance understanding of the senses, we can better gauge how constant interaction with the built environment shaped daily practices and contributed to new forms of understanding. Architecture and the Senses in the Italian Renaissance offers a stimulating new approach to the study of Renaissance architecture and urbanism as a kind of 'experiential trigger' that shaped ways of both thinking and being in the world.