The Greatest Gift; sight.

As Pallassmaa quotes from Aristotle in his book The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture, 2005, pg.14

“…sight has historically been regarded as the noblest of senses…”

“‘because it approximates the intellect most closely by virtue of the relative immateriality of its knowing'” – Aristotle, as quoted by Pallassmaa

Sight is regarded is one of the most valuable senses and the most ‘exact’, according to Heraclitus, as Pallassmaa describes. The senses had also been described as relating to a hierarchical system during the Renaissance, and learning sight suppressed the other senses. I had learnt that ocularcentrism was the most prominent and sociable form of knowing the world, having experienced that vision and hearing was of course the competent and more commonly practised way of learning about the world, life, and beyond.

From further developing my knowledge and understanding into how fortunate a persons life is with the ability to experience sight, or even be fortunate enough to see colour as an influence into how we might feel emotionally or physically, this has significantly changed my thoughts in how these elements in graphic design can influence peoples’ minds.

We were asked to use our private senses of touching and smelling, to analyse an object without using our ability to see. This new experience opened my senses and we were asked to draw the object we felt in our hand. Only did I realise that my sense of touching, smelling or tasting were private senses because they were unconscious memories. I then drew the object by looking at it. I made very similar markings and shapes with the pen, and the drawing I made with the ability to view the object was much more detailed, based on my experience and knowledge of drawing an object accurately.


Experiences after experiences, every human being, depending on how fortunate individuals have been, we have all had our bodies develop a mind of their own. After learning for years we have developed a way of doing things our own way, by ourselves. If one were to lose a sense, their body would be reset to learn the world again in a new light.


Author: jennifertaylorgraphics

First year student studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design

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