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The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, 3rd Edition

The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, 3rd Edition

Juhani Pallasmaa

ISBN: 978-1-119-94350-1

Apr 2012

128 pages

$36.99

Description

First published in 1996, The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory. It asks the far-reaching question why, when there are five senses, has one single sense – sight – become so predominant in architectural culture and design? With the ascendancy of the digital and the all-pervasive use of the image electronically, it is a subject that has become all the more pressing and topical since the first edition’s publication in the mid-1990s. Juhani Pallasmaa argues that the suppression of the other four sensory realms has led to the overall impoverishment of our built environment, often diminishing the emphasis on the spatial experience of a building and architecture’s ability to inspire, engage and be wholly life enhancing.

For every student studying Pallasmaa’s classic text for the first time, The Eyes of the Skin is a revelation. It compellingly provides a totally fresh insight into architectural culture. This third edition meets readers’ desire for a further understanding of the context of Pallasmaa’s thinking by providing a new essay by architectural author and educator Peter MacKeith. This text combines both a biographical portrait of Pallasmaa and an outline of his architectural thinking, its origins and its relationship to the wider context of Nordic and European thought, past and present. The focus of the essay is on the fundamental humanity, insight and sensitivity of Pallasmaa’s approach to architecture, bringing him closer to the reader. This is illustrated by Pallasmaa’s sketches and photographs of his own work. The new edition also provides a foreword by the internationally renowned architect Steven Holl and a revised introduction by Pallasmaa himself.

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FOREWORD Thin Ice by Steven Holl 6

INTRODUCTION Touching the World by 10
Juhani Pallasmaa

PART ONE

Vision and Knowledge 18

Critics of Ocularcentrism 22

The Narcissistic and Nihilistic Eye 24

Oral versus Visual Space 25

Retinal Architecture and the Loss of Plasticity 28

An Architecture of Visual Images 33

Materiality and Time 34

The Rejection of Alberti's Window 37

A New Vision and Sensory Balance 40

PART TWO

The Body in the Centre 43

Multi-Sensory Experience 44

The Signifi cance of the Shadow 50

Acoustic Intimacy 53

Silence, Time and Solitude 55

Spaces of Scent 58

The Shape of Touch 60

The Taste of Stone 63

Images of Muscle and Bone 64

Images of Action 67

Bodily Identification 69

Mimesis of the Body 71

Spaces of Memory and Imagination 72

An Architecture of the Senses 75

The Task of Architecture 76

A DOOR HANDLE, A HANDSHAKE An introduction to Juhani Pallasmaa and his work by Peter MacKeith 78

NOTES 110

INDEX 123

PICTURE CREDITS 127