Visuospatial Disorder, Confusion

Here, it’s about a stimulating machine design causing visual and spatial confusion, unease, awkwardness and the loss of spatial notions ispired by a sensitive experience relating to space (The Holocaust, also referred to as the Shoah; Berlin).
Le Corbusier: “La construction c’est fait pour tenir et l’architecture pour émouvoir.”

first page

Starting point
The visuospatial function plays a determining role in the efficiency of the gaze. It is this that allows us to distinguish an object, to study it from all angles, according to the orientations of its lines, to position it in space, or to configure the space itself. External and confusing stimulators such as reflection, body axis, gravity, orientation, the environment may be enough to disturb the visuospatial function and make “deficient” the tasks it allows to perform. This is known as visuospatial disturbance. A visual-spatial disorder is a dysfunction of one or more mechanisms for capturing, analyzing, and processing visual information to perform a particular task. It usually manifests itself as an inability or a deficiency in the perception of the position of an element or an inability to recognize or to differentiate between shapes, figures and spatial configurations or a great difficulty in orienting oneself in space as to make the difference between left and right for example.

Sensitive Experience Relating to Space
The main reason for integrating visuospatial disturbance into the project stems from my sensitive space experience, such as the monument in the center of Berlin, Germany, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe , also known as the Holocaust Memorial, which is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold.
The steles of the Holocaust Memorial are supposed to produce an atmosphere of unease and confusion, representing a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. This practiced space evoked a sensation of change in dimensions, of the discomfort and of being surprised and admired as a physiological reaction to an external or internal stimulator. The confusion, the discomfort, the difficulty, the loss of spatial notions and at the same time trying to understand what is happening around oneself during the bodily experience of this space with displacement, are the types of sensible impressions that I had during my practice. The external elements during the visit of space are one of the spatial devices that resonate with the state of the body, as well as time, light, the dark colors of the stelae, the cold material of the stelae, the atmosphere almost all in silence etc … In the 1990s the term deconstructivism applied to architecture does not represent a movement or style and is not synonymous with destruction or demolition. By means of decomposition processes, the designers express in their buildings the contradictions, the dilemmas or the conflicts of the city, reflections of the society and the current culture. These complex situations are exposed through expressive formal research. The forms are thought to reveal and not dissimulate, they have the capacity to disturb the usual way of perceiving the spatial configurations.

The outline of the structure

Intentions – Design of a Space related to the Sensitive Experience
My idea is to create a spherical space of about 5m diameter that can be entered, which is made of glass and which is in a kind of bowl about 10m diameter in shiny steel. The height of the steel bowl of the ground is about 2m and the height of the entrance is about 2.60m whose access is provided thanks to the spiral staircases. When we enter the glass ball we arrive on a green and round of 2.75m diameter. The intersection between this space and the stairs that creates the entrance is about 1.50m in diameter. The access from the sphere to the bowl is made by two passages which is in two opposite sides of the glass ball which are about 1.90m high. The passage is provided by simple stairs that creates a gap of about 1.60m between the sphere and the surface of the bowl. On this glass ball there is a disc covered in mirror and attached to the ball by its central point. This disk, which reflects the sky and the inside of the bowl with the glass ball at the same time, is controlled by a hydraulic arm that allows it to move in all directions on the sphere to create a spatial and visual disturbance at the same time by changing the size and height of the space in which one is, such as the bowl or sphere and reflecting all that is below. The interior of the bowl also contributes to this visual disturbance by reflecting what is in front. The metal hydraulic arm is composed by 5 parts which are adjustable mechanisms by their length and rotating by their axes to offer the capacity to move in all the directions. All this design is on a space of 10m2 covered in pebbles of which in the middle is our structure on a circular platform of 0.15m high and about 3m in diameter. Our stairs are in the middle of this platform around which there are four transparent windows (2 blue and 2 green) 2.5m high, 0.4m wide and 0.04m thick to create a charm and a detachment feeling with the outside the moment when we go up the stairs. The glass sphere and the shiny steel bowl offer us two different spaces integrated in one and the other, under the mirrored disk that moves and that changes the dimensions of these two spaces. With the reflections of different elements that creates a visual disturbance and with the change of spatial notions that creates a space disorder, this conception of space can evoke a visuospatial disturbance in the individual who experiences this space. The circular and spherical shape is an important element in this design, as having a circular space (the bowl), a sphere, spiral staircases and a round disc give the impression of continuity of space, also they require circular movements that can be considered as external stimulators for confusion, discomfort, gene, loss of spatial notions. The impression of displacement for the individual who is inside the sphere and the bowl thanks to the mirror disk and also the non-displacement of the sphere itself, because it is limited by the bowl, creates a contradiction and a dilemma for the body practicing space. Also, depending on the mirrored disk moving, one has the impression of being at once in a smaller or at the same time larger space.

The structure in transparent

Advanced visuals of the Structure

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Presentation of the Structure

Experience of the Visuospatial Disorder

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Click to access one page explication paper in French!