Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Seeking Sensations

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posted on 2023-09-16, 00:03 authored by Alex Stopforth

Inspired by the personal experience of an intense architectural atmosphere at Teshima Art Museum in Japan, this thesis looks to explore the complexities which come together to create a highly impactful and serene atmosphere which transcends ordinary sensations to connect a person with nature and their place in it. This thesis investigates how the probability of creating such an atmosphere can be improved in the design process, and by doing so aspires to demonstrate that it is possible to increase the prevalence of architecture which can positively affect people’s wellbeing to a meaningful degree.

In order to produce recommendations for how to approach the design process in a manner conducive to producing moving or transcendent sensation, the thesis examines relevant theory on affect, sensation, art and fundamental forces of life, with a focus on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. The insights from theory are then further explored through design experiments which extend to the design process in order to discern whether the conclusions and recommendations reached do in fact help to produce transcendently affective architecture.

It is ultimately argued that the application of the theory explored in this thesis to the design process can increase the likelihood of producing the desired affects and sensations in architectural spaces, although it will always be difficult to be certain of the experiential outcome without actual construction.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

280104 Expanding knowledge in built environment and design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Skinner, Robin; Abreu e Lima, Daniele