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AWARE: Exploring Architecture and Senses with 3XN GXN

From March 22nd to September 15th, the Danish Architecture Center presents "AWARE: Architecture and Senses," an exhibition by the innovative Danish architecture and research studio 3XN GXN. Departing from traditional showcases of architectural portfolios, this exhibition encourages visitors to immerse themselves in six life-sized installations, urging them to connect deeply with the essence of architecture. Rather than solely emphasizing form or function, the focus here is on the spatial experiences of the guests. These encounters highlight the dynamic relationship between human bodies and spaces, as well as the intricate interplay of spatial atmospheres and human emotions.

"Design choices are never solely about aesthetics – they profoundly shape our lives and impact our experiences," remarks Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Creative Director of 3XN. "Architecture influences our behavior. Are we truly aware of how?"

The installations featured in "AWARE: Architecture and Senses" at the Danish Architecture Center delve into familiar concepts and structures prevalent in the work of 3XN GXN. Visitors are prompted to contemplate how space can influence atmospheres and emotions. For instance, while a staircase conventionally connects different levels, its transitional ambiance encourages spontaneous connections. The use of timber and organic forms evokes our inherent connection to nature, even within indoor environments. By reimagining traditional architectural elements, the exhibition transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, inviting exploration at every turn.

"These intangible, ephemeral qualities have always been at the forefront of 3XN GXN's endeavors," Nielsen explains. "We are captivated by the interaction between people and space, driven by a desire to comprehend and utilize the innate, universal dimensions that define experience. Why? Because experience is the lens through which we perceive architecture."

Upon completing their tour of the installations, visitors are granted an exclusive glimpse into the research, projects, and ongoing developments that influenced the spaces they've just experienced. Supported by Arup, this behind-the-scenes insight into the collaborative efforts of 3XN GXN and Arup underscores how architects and allied professionals collaborate to create environments that prioritize human well-being and environmental sustainability. With projections indicating a global population increase to ten billion by 2050, with 70% residing in urban areas, the challenge of accommodating this growth while minimizing environmental impact is urgent. Nielsen emphasizes, "For spaces to endure and be cherished, we must grasp our connection to them, understand how they influence us, and shape our emotions."

"In Denmark and across Scandinavia, there's a profound sense of collective responsibility," notes Kasper Riisholt, program manager for culture at the Danish Architecture Center. "This responsibility extends to our well-being – ensuring that our society and spaces foster a high quality of life for all. To positively contribute to our well-being, architecture must be understood at its core: What is our relationship with it, and how does it impact us?"


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