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The Space Between

Liz Swanson
University of Kentucky College of Design

Yoga and Drawing are both practices that engage the body and imagination of the practitioner. While yoga focuses on the visualization of energy flows and infinite interior space, drawing calls for a relationship between the maker and another material in service of communicating some imagined reality. This project links these two practices as a way of examining the role of the body in architecture as a process and as an experience for the eventual inhabitant. 

My goal is to examine how consciousness of the body as an interior environment might influence one’s perception of space and how we conceive of it for other people.  Specifically, I am interested phenomenological perspectives1 that place the body at the center of perception and Selfhood; and how proprioception2 might direct one’s imagination and reading of the built environment.

Questions of perception also play a role in how I’ve begun to examine the drawings as artifacts. Just as the presence of a body implicates the sky and ground, the relationship between the viewer and the drawing influences how we interpret visual information. I am interested in the tension between figuration and abstraction, figure and ground, and how the use conventional drawing types and vantage points can reinforce (or upend) one’s interpretation of form.

The project suggests a departure point for thinking about a “Yoga-Architecture,” one that prioritizes human experience via the senses, rituals of transition, and greater connectivity between the body and the places we design.


  1. Ashtanga Series 34 : Detail
  2. Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Study
  3. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Interior 
  4. Forward Fold
  5. Hatha Series 3, Figure Ground Diagram Study


  1. James Morley.  Inspiration and Expiration: Yoga Practice through Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of the Body, Philosophy East & West, Vol. 51, January 2001.    
  2. Barbara Montero.  Proprioception as an Aesthetic Sense, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 64, Spring 2006.
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