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Viewing Experience

How Everything Comes Together to Create a Total Sensory Experience

The bust in the center of the open area
A bust disrupts the most open area of the gallery.

The combination of visual elements (lighting and contrast) and non-visual elements (construction and atmosphere) creates a space in which the techniques of presenting the gallery have more of an impact on the viewing experience than the contents of the gallery. If one or more of the design elements of the gallery had been changed, the entire experience would have been radically altered. If one of the paintings had been changed, though, the experience would have mostly been the same. Through the acknowledgement of the importance of gallery design in creating an experience for a visitor, we can better characterize that experience.

It turns out that the interactions that a visitor experiences constitute not just a viewing experience, but a total sensory experience. The non-visual design elements of a space make up a substantial part of the experience of the gallery, and even the barely noticeable parts of the space such as the smell of the air or the humidity level (and how it feels on the skin) influence how we perceive exhibits and urges us to analyze paintings more closely, fostering an appreciation for aesthetics and encouraging us to stop going about our lives blindly. Therefore, we must design exhibits and spaces to appeal to all of the senses so that we can open our eyes to the beauty of the world that we live in.

To view all of the photos in the Photo Gallery, click here.

To see the sources on the Works Cited page, click here.

To read the Project Reflection, click here.