Presented by: First Author: Ryadi Adityavarman; Second Author: Neal Hubbell 

The proposed paper presentation will discuss the notion of embodied mind and visual creativity through the teaching of the parti in design education for students of the millennia generation.  The paper presentation will explore multiple approaches from current discoveries in neuroscience on the cognitive learning functions of the brain to recent thoughts in philosophy on the interconnection between mind and body. The combination of approaches helps to explain the effectiveness of the parti for creative composition, and its ability to facilitate more effective teaching strategies.

Arguably the current millennial generation of students suffer from dualistic detachment problems because of the excessive influence from digital communication and technology. This generation of students exhibit various problematic behaviors such as a lack of the capacity to think holistically due to typical compartmentalization of reasoning, and the loss of an intuitive connection between mind and body.  The parti offers a sensitive, effective, and personalized approach to overcome this compartmentalization.  

The architectural parti is a conceptual /visual diagram, as derived from the Beaux Arts tradition and has been used extensively as a fundamental learning methodology in design education for nearly two hundred years.  Using selected relevant neuroscience principles; the paper presentation will describe the connection between brain mechanisms especially pertaining to Gestalt principles and visual cognition processes in general to explain the effectiveness of the parti as a design tool. In addition to the focus on visual understanding, the paper will explore the potential of other bodily senses on the notion of embodied cognition.

This additional layer of bodily exploration, based on recent examinations in phenomenology and contemporary philosophy, is part of an attempt to explore the underlying integration between rationality of cognitive mind and intuitiveness of bodily experience, including feeling, toward a holistic, genuine, personalized form of knowledge.  Subsequently, learning about the visual aspects of the parti in formal visual composition could transcend into a higher realm of the embodied parti.  In this ideal realm, the students will be able to imagine the rigor of the visual pattern in creating congruence spatial composition of the parti with the imagined living experientially of the potential users in the spaces they inhabit.


  • Ash, M. G. (1995). Gestalt Psychology in German Culture 1890-1967: Holism and The     Quest for Objectivity. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bresler, L. (2004). Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds: Towards Embodied Teaching and Learning. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Damasio, A (2006). The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. Orlando, FL: Harvest Books.
  • Eberhard, J. (2007). Architecture and the Brain: A New Knowledge Base from Neuroscience. Atlanta, GA: Ostberg.
  • Mallgrave, H. F. (2011). The Architect’s Brain: Neuroscience, Creativity, and Architecture.     New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.
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