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Juhani Pallasmaa, in explaining the aim of his book 'The Eyes of the Skin', emphasises his intention 'to create a conceptual short circuit between the dominant sense of vision and the suppressed sense modality of touch.'
Our daily lives have been greatly influenced by the applications of modern technology. Technology has satisfied our need for simplicity and comfort (defined by Oxford Dictionaries (2012) as 'a state of physical ease').
One of the purposes of modern architectural design, and also a measure of our quality of life, is comfort. But, as it has made our lives easier so it has reduced the manual aspect of daily life, and our bodily involvement in our experience of life has been focused on the senses favoured by technology, predominantly vision.
Our daily needs are often satisfied with the click of a button, and touch screens have reduced our interaction with our physical environment to a mere touch on a digital surface.
It can only be expected that there will continue to be further reductions in the haptic aspect of our day to day interaction with the world.
Comparing the sense of vision to the sense of touch, Rene Descartes suggested that tactility 'is more certain and less vulnerable to error'.
Pallasmaa argues that 'the hand grasps the physicality and materiality of thought and turns it into a concrete image'.
To Pallasmaa, the traditional methods of sketching are more natural and certain. The hand interacting with the paper reveals an almost primitive relation in Luis Kahn’s words in his 1931 writing 'The value and aim in sketching':
'I try in all my sketching not to be entirely subservient to my subject, but I have respect for it, and regard it as something tangible – alive – from which to extract my feelings.'