Walking as Learning to See is a sensory observation workshop. I have lead these workshops for over a decade in cities around the world and here at home, in Rochester, NY.
The workshops range from several days to a full-term course exploring the premise that we walk through the world by looking. Sight is the dominant sense with which we are trained to take in the world around us. The focus of the exercises is to amplify
our “other” senses once we remove one of the five human senses - vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste. When one is removed, the remaining senses take on more depth. The workshop Walking As Learning to See heightens our awareness of seeing with all our senses. The exercises share in expanding traditional conditions of spatial properties by exploring the sensory perceptions of any given spatial locale. This approach provides the participant with the resources required for drawing upon the range of sensory experiences to fully “see” the environment. Systems of observation and methods of recording information are introduced as a means to address interpretations of place. The aim of the workshop is to provide participants with a method for learning to see the world around them through their senses, how to record this information and how it can become a research tool for developing creative projects. Using a specific locale, participants explore the physical characteristic of place. They focus on seeing with all of their senses, developing knowledge of the sounds, feel, taste and look of the space.
Walking as Learning to See is an ongoing work. It is nomadic and transitory, providing insights that help the artist/designer to see the physical environment in new ways. It converts the familiar to the unfamiliar and vice versa. The essence of the workshop is to make us utilize all of our senses and to learn to see the non-visible.
"The city does not utter its past, it embodies its past written on every piece carrying the traces of time in lines, hacks, carvings and inlays, on street corners, window borders, stair banisters, lightning rod antennas, flag posts like the lines of a hand." -Italio Calvino, Invisible Cities