• Shaped Touches
    Sean Lally
    Hashim Sarkis
    17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice
    May 22, 2021 to Nov 21, 2021
    Sean Lally

Sean Lally, "Shaped Touches," film still, 2021. Courtesy the artist

Architecture’s shape is a negotiation between the control of our environment and the body’s ability to perceive that information. As our bodies increase their range of sensorial abilities through advancements in healthcare and access to wearable technologies, climate change is simultaneously redefining our expectations of future environments. Architects are in a position to foreshadow the opportunities and implications these pressures will have on our shared public spaces. Through the use of a multi-player video game platform, Shaped Touches illustrates the opportunities and implications for the public spaces of our cities. Players in the game from around the world cross paths, experiencing different sensory abilities and architectural spaces. Though players share the same space, each experience unique architectures. Shared public space has fragmented and a prototype within the exhibition space demonstrates the materiality of the design simulated in the video. Architecture is a “shaped touch” between the body and the array of information the body engages. Architecture’s shape is less of an objective form shared by those with physical access and more of a spectrum of sensorial shapes for those with varying access to these increasingly available materials, shaped by architects.

Sean Lally is an architect. His office, Sean Lally Architecture, is dedicated to engaging today’s greatest pressures—including climate change and the impact of advances in healthcare and consumer devices that are redefining the human bodies that occupy our environments. Lally is the author of the The Air from Other Planets: A Brief History of Architecture to Come (Lars Müller Publishers, 2014). He has lectured worldwide and has been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, Pratt Institute, and Rice University. Lally is the recipient of the Young Architects Award from the Architectural League of New York and the Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in Landscape Architecture. Lally is the host of the podcast program, Night White Skies.