Tiziana Proietti, Ph.D., is an architect, educator and researcher. She is Assistant Professor at the C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma with joint appointments in the Departments of Architecture and Interior Design. She earned her doctorate from the Department of Architecture DiaP of the University of Rome Sapienza (Italy) in 2013 and conducted her doctoral research in collaboration with the University of Technology TUDelft (Netherlands), where she worked as visiting Ph.D researcher.
Her doctoral dissertation concentrated on the theory of proportion in architecture through the work of the Dutch architect and Benedictine monk Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) and his proportional system of plastic numbers. During her doctoral studies, she was mentored by Hans van der Laan’s student Leo Tummers, as well as Van der Laan’s personal assistant Kees den Biesen, and trained with the plastic number proportional tools invented by the architect. She published her studies on proportion in several books and articles, the latter including Ordine e Proporzione. Dom Hans van der Laan e l’espressività dello spazio architettonico (Quodlibet, 2015).
Interested in the perceptive and cognitive value of proportion, her research investigates mechanisms of proportion perception by connecting architecture with neuroscience. Since 2018, she has been collaborating with the scientist Dr. Sergei Gepshtein (Salk Institute for Biological Studies and University of Southern California) to test Van der Laan’s hypotheses and establish an interdisciplinary program of research bridging neuroscience, psychophysics, and architectural design.
She is the founding director of the sense|base Lab (2020) at the University of Oklahoma. Sense|base is a space where architectural questions are answered through scientific methodologies and tools. It is a space where human responses to external stimuli are measured and where experiences of architecture are subject to scientific experimentation. At sense|base, she studies the effects of proportion on human perception and behavior in the built environment.
Since 2013, she has been collaborating with Satyendra Pakhalé, designer and founder of multifaceted practice Satyendra Pakhalé Associates (Amsterdam), developing the research platform ‘Culture of Creation.’ Alongside Pakhalé, she deepens the meaning of sensorial design with the holistic approach of cross-disciplinary research by connecting it to multiple topics including social modernity, atmospheres of spaces and objects, early Buddhist realizations on senses and perception, poetic analogies of form, and secular humanism. The core of this research has been published in the book Satyendra Pakhalé Culture of Creation (nai010, 2019).
The driving force behind her work is the design of spaces that resonate with human perceptive and sensorial aptitudes. Over the years, she has cultivated drawing as a daily practice to aid in exploring these research topics. Like written essays, she uses drawings as tools to disseminate her ideas and allow thoughts to germinate.
Her practice is infused with a great zeal and interest in design for senses that connect architecture with neuroscience, the anthropology of senses, phenomenology, and cognitive psychology. Passionate about design, she looks at architecture as an enlarged family of objects and expressions of human making meant to enrich human daily life while nurturing the senses, body and mind.