The memory in bodily and architectural making: Reflections from embodied cognitive science

Andrea Jelic, Aleksandar Staničić

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores how, following a recent experiential and embodied turn in architecture, a new field of research inspired by embodied cognitive science has started illuminating brain and bodily mechanisms behind architecture's ability to affect our perception, emotions, memory, and imagination—and in extension, how design strategies like ‘affective architecture’ can be effective in creating meaningful and memorable places. The aim is threefold. Starting from the enactive-embodied cognition perspective, we propose that the fundamental pre-condition of memory- and meaning-making in memorial architecture resides in the embodied and affective experiences of spatial settings. Secondly, memorial spaces and architectural heritage are intrinsically connected to the sense of individual and social self through our embodied responsiveness to architectural cues and spatial affordances, where the latter are understood as materialization of the sociocultural patterns, practices, and meanings. Thirdly, we underline the changeability of the politics of affect and embodiment in architectural design, and consequently the architects’ role and limits in creating affective heritage. Therefore, the embodied experience of architecture is conceptualized as an open-ended playground, whose power of triggering emotional responses is both a source of understanding the scripted, designed narrative as well as a place for reinvention and necessary flexibility of heritage architecture in the fast-changing times.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAffective Architectures
Subtitle of host publicationMore-Than-Representational Geographies of Heritage
EditorsJacque Micieli-Voutsinas, Angela Person
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-05573-7
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-15211-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • pre-reflective architectural experience
  • enactive-embodied cognition
  • affect
  • memory
  • affective architecture
  • affective heritage
  • memorial spaces
  • politics of atmospheres


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