The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture
It is only through the unity of mind and body that craftsmanship and artistic work can be fully realised. Even those endeavours that are generally regarded as solely intellectual, such as writing and thinking, depend on this union of mental and manual skills.
In The Thinking Hand, Juhani Pallasmaa reveals the miraculous potential of the human hand. He shows how the pencil in the hand of the artist or architect becomes the bridge between the imagining mind and the emerging image. The book surveys the multiple essences of the hand, its biological evolution and its role in the shaping of culture, highlighting how the hand–tool union and eye–hand–mind fusion are essential for dexterity and how ultimately the body and the senses play a crucial role in memory and creative work. Pallasmaa here continues the exploration begun in his classic work The Eyes of the Skin by further investigating the interplay of emotion and imagination, intelligence and making, theory and life, once again redefining the task of art and architecture through well-grounded human truths.
Chapter One: The Mysterious Hand.
The Multiple Essences of the Hand.
What is the Hand?
Hand, Eye, Brain and Language.
Hand as Symbol.
Gestures of the Hand.
Languages of the Hand.
Chapter Two: The Working Hand.
The Hand and the Tool.
The Hand of the Craftsman.
Architecture as Workmanship.
Chapter Three: Eye-Hand-Mind Fusion.
Experimentation and the Art of Play.
Skill and Boredom.
Eye, Hand and Mind.
Chapter Four: The Drawing Hand.
Drawing and the Self.
Tactility of Drawing.
The Computerised Hand.
Primacy of Touch: Hapticity of Self-image.
Unconscious Touch in Artistic Experience.
Chapter Five: Embodied Thinking.
The Work of Thinking: The Value of Uncertainty.
Resistance, Tradition and Freedom.
Thinking Through the Senses.
Embodied Memory and Thought.
Chapter Six: Body, Self and Mind.
The Body as Site.
The World and the Self.
The World and the Mind.
Existential Space in Art.
Chapter Seven: Emotion and Imagination.
Reality of Imagination.
The Gift of Imagination.
Reality of Art.
Art and Emotion.
Artistic Experience as Exchange.
Chapter Eight: Theory and Life.
Theory and Making.
Opposition of Theory and Making.
Architecture as Image of Life.
The Task of Art.