Spatial Intelligence: New Futures in Architecture

Leon van schaik


AD Primer, Wiley, 2008


Tags BioLeon van SchaikPoeticsPublication

Spatial intelligence is one of man’s most underrated human capabilities. The result of millions of years of evolution, it enables us to navigate our way through our daily lives. It is less consciously applied than linguistic, mathematical, kinetic, natural, musical or personal intelligence. Despite architecture’s dependence on spatial knowledge and experience, the discipline remains bereft of a theoretical underpinning. Understanding and knowledge of space is only pursued through precedent and challenged with experience, but the role of every individual’s history in space, the unfolding and developing of their spatial intelligence is largely unaccounted for. This book argues for a greater continuum between our spatial intelligence and the built environment, and thus a greater connection between architecture and everyday life.

The book is organised into three distinct sections that in turn highlight the significance of spatial intelligence for architecture: the first section provides an overview of spatial intelligence as a human capability; the second section argues how the acknowledgement of this capability in architectural education and the profession should enable the demystification of the practice of design, forming the basis of a more democratic interface between society and practice; the final section explores exciting new opportunities for practice in the linking of real and virtual environments in the information age.