Book Review: The Embodied Image – Imagination and Imagery in Architecture

This review I wrote on one of Juhani Pallasmaa’s books grapples with the way in which phenomenological theory is used as operative criticism. In other words, a phenomenological argument is put forward by him in order to endorse particular works of architecture. The gist of his argument, as far as I follow it, is that certain buildings evoke richer emotive experiences since they offer a fuller engagement with all the senses, whether it be sight, touch, hearing or through smell (and taste?). I find this argumentation convincing up to a certain point, but question if you can really justify saying that the architects liked by Pallasmaa make better and more inspirational buildings than other, equally talented, professionals.

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About thomaswensing

Architect and Activist. Over the years I have become increasingly aware that I need to actively engage with the issues I care about. My passions and irritations are many and change often, but a red thread is always a deep concern over the fact that capitalism does not work as it is claimed it does, democracies only serve the needs of the few and environmental resource depletion and pressures continue to mount. I think it is time for citizen's activism to create pressure, to bang on the doors of established powers and interests until we get it right. As you will notice, if you continue to follow my blog over time, there are certain fetishes I have; modernism, social housing, the avant-garde. I propose to recuperate the Modern Project from the dustbin of history and re-establish the link between social engagement and architecture. Watch it all come down needs to be followed by let the good stuff blossom!

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