The Urban Communication Reader III
Edited By Matthew D. Matsaganis, Victoria J. Gallagher and Susan J. Drucker
10 Skins, Tattoos, and Architectural Façades: Or What You See Is What You Get—For the Moment
The Tattooed Body
Skins, Tattoos, and Architectural Façades
Or What You See Is What You Get—For the Moment
Gary Gumpert & Susan J. Drucker
Somewhere in the course of scholarly/unscholarly observations at an environmental design conference, a series of chain associations began when an architect referred to the skin of a building (the outside of the structure). This led to our simple observation that there might be a link between the recent uses of the term as applied to structures and the body adorned with tattoos. According to Maria Lorena Lehman of Sensing Architecture, an architectural firm, “You might be surprised to discover that there are many similarities between these two ‘skins’, and in essence, they are both there to protect and to communicate” (Lehman, 2010). “Skin” has become part of the “architectural language that allows your building to communicate with both its interior and exterior at the same time” (Lehman, 2010). Today’s architects, using contemporary building materials, conceptualize building skins as a bridge, rather than barrier, between outside and inside.
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