Explaining a Conceptual Model of Components Affecting Aesthetic Experience of Architecture in Cognitive Sciences

Document Type : Research Article


Ph.D. in Architecture, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Accepting architectural aesthetics, especially people’s in-depth experiences of buildings, is of considerable importance. Few attempts have been made to recognise it as scientific content. There is still some confusion about which architectural theoretical model of aesthetics is more comprehensive and complete. In fact, this concept appears to be an ambiguous quality that requires cohesive data for more accurate research. The aesthetic experience of architecture has always been a complicated topic affected by different factors; therefore, knowing the raison d'être and quality of this experience as a qualitative necessity can affect the design process and principle of architecture. Hence, what kind of quality is the aesthetic experience of architecture? What components does it depend on?
Research objective: This study aims to provide a full description and develop a cohesive framework of the aesthetic experience of architecture in a bid to perceive its innate structure by proposing a conceptual model.
Research method: This descriptive-analytical qualitative study reviewed the theoretical literature on the findings of cognitive sciences from an interpretative perspective to present the research results as a conceptual model.
Conclusion: The aesthetic experience of architecture refers to the emotional evaluation of spatial perception experience based on a direct approach through perceptive, motivational, sensorimotor, cognitive, and behavioural components emerging as a combination of different emotional imaginations (e.g., joy and pleasure). Hence, according to the theories of cognitive sciences, it can be stated that the intrusion of unclear body reactions in the architectural experience indicates that perceptive and motivational components lead to behavioural reactions. This shows the relationships between emotional dimensions and the involvement of sensorimotor components through the body with the space. In fact, interaction with an architectural space through its resultant capabilities can involve motivational components. Therefore, the perception of architectural aesthetics depends on the intrinsically stimulated activities including emotional processing and cognitive factors of an individual’s background. In this regard, behavioral components can draw the individual's attention and trigger his motivation and enable him, the experiencing subject, to gain a conscious experience and also enjoy the aesthetic experience through the phenomenon of architectural work. 


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