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The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses
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The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  731 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Since the book's first publication, interest in the role of the body and the senses has been emerging in both architectural philosophy and teaching. This new, revised and extended edition of this seminal work will not only inspire architects and students to design more holistic architecture, but will enrich the general reader's perception of the world around them.
The Eyes
Paperback, 80 pages
Published May 17th 2005 by John Wiley and Sons (first published April 11th 1996)
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Everyone loves this book. Well, at least all the architects I know. But then my only 'friends' seem to all be designers, so not that much diversity of opinion there. Not that I don't try, but people tend to not respond well to 3am 'Maxwell just crashed at 17% The end is nigh!!!' texts.

I guess I should address my Goodreader friends as well. We're friends right?

Ok, so there isn't much I can say that hasn't been said or better yet, practiced by the likes of Zumthor and Holl. But, as if I actually
Mar 03, 2008 mahatma rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: designer, architect
Recommended to mahatma by: david hutama
ini buku keren: memulihkan penghargaan relasi arsitektur dengan tubuh. dengan segenap indera yang berdialog dengan dinding, lantai dan langit-langit...
kerap sekali kita ketemu atau kecebur dalam suatu pengalaman di dalam ruang yang memesona, menakjubkan, menggetarkan. dan ketika ruang yang hebat itu kita potret, menguaplah segenap kehebatannya. itu pengalaman saya dengan karya-karya yb. mangunwijaya yang kebanyakan hanya nikmat ketika 'DIHADIRI' atau didatangi, jangan melihatnya dari potret.
Tara Brabazon
A beautiful book and inspirational. Pallasmaa is a remarkable writer and each sentence is evocative and can be the springboard for further analysis and thought.

The short book investigates how the senses are activated in and through architecture and the built environment. Logging the ocularcentric nature of most architecture theory, Pallasmaa evokes sound (and silence), but also scent and texture in a profoundly moving and effective way.

Most significantly, there is attention to memory, passion a
اگر جسم کمی آسانتر درک می شد ، هیچ کس به وجود ذهن پی نمی برد
Helen Marshall
One of the most startlingly perceptive books I've ever read. The haptic world as experienced within the completely overlooked, misunderstood (and utterly relevant) boundaries of peripheral vision. Pallasmaa writes so articulately, the expression 'masterpiece' is, for once, entirely deserved. One that leaves my jaw wide open every time I go back to it, which is often, because the beauty and skilfulness in his observations and philosophy staggers me. Pallasmaa seems to find exactly the right balan ...more
Clif Brittain
Dec 03, 2013 Clif Brittain rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Architects, builders

"Please don't lick the art." Sign at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts.

There is no such sign on the IDS building or Crystal Court inside. Some art you want to consume, other art makes you want to run the other direction. This book helps you understand why.

This book explores a lot of stuff we take for granted. Or more usually, ignore. In contemporary society, vision is our primary sense. It is also probably our most impersonal sense. You are reading this with your eyes. Before we were literat
The main argument in the first part of the book is that intellectualism and abstract thought, having developed together with stress on the eye, have led to the disappearance of a physical, sensual and embodied essence. Thus, having concentrated on looking -and in relation to reading rather than listening to stories- we have lost our humanness, and have transformed into a form that is no longer capable of relating to the world without letters, signs, an alphabet, tools that are considered to be t ...more
Beautifully written book! Starting from the vision hegemony dominating western culture since Classical Greece and the Cartesian abdication of the remaining senses projecting onto our ways of experiencing and understanding of the cosmos, Pallasmaa discusses the impact on space production and architecture. In his second part he goes on to describe architecture as a multisensory, rather than a simply ocular experience, and talks of the subjective ways and other senses beyond the 5 known ones it is ...more
Pallasmaa's incredibly short but hugely influential essay that reminds architects that in our society of the spectacle (to steal Debord's title) we cannot afford to neglect all human senses. Vision, we are correctly (and thus somewhat arbitrarily) informed, is our primary sense. We have developed communications and technologies around this for millenia, from cave paintings to the iPad, but when we live in a world that sanitises the other senses - where everything we touch has the same cool, life ...more
An excellent read to awaken the senses. Pallasmaa makes challenges the visual dominance in architecture and calls for an architecture that encorporates all the senses. I love that he calls architecture of today a visual advertisement. One of many qoutes I loved, “instead of being a situational bodily encounter, architecture has become an art of the printed image fixed by the hurried eye of the camera.” I love thinking about the world in new ways, and this read really has a lot packed into it.

Feb 08, 2013 Andrew added it
Shelves: arts-nonfiction
Pallasmaa's writing is unquestionably fascination, thought-provoking, and poetically beautiful. He writes with care and passion about our built environment, and it sticks enough that you wind up contemplating the ramifications of his ideas as wander through the spaces of your day-to-day life.

And at the same time, a book like The Eyes of the Skin proves how intellectually limp so much phenomenology is. Pallasmaa's writing is gorgeous, provocative, contemplative, and completely lacking in rigor. T
Josh Mings
I've long been a fan of Juhani Pallasmaa. His writings have shaped quite a bit of my thinking, especially this book.
I have been meaning to read this ever since we read an excerpt in undergrad. It's a lovely little book, in which Pallasmaa discusses the problems with contemporary architecture in relation to the hegemony of vision and the suppression of the other senses in today's technologically focused culture. Succinct and clear, it's a pleasant read and I agree with most of Pallasmaa's arguments.
more of an introduction into the subjet aimed at students rather than more advanced readers. it's rather an essay than a proper book flanked by lenghty introductions and biography of the author. loved the first part where he denounces our ocularcentric society, felt a big less convinced about the second. good book to get you started.
This is by far one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. Every paragraph was studded with gems (it was also nice to see where the person before me had underlined and circled because they seemed as enthused as me) and I sat in the middle of the aisle at my school's Science and Engineering library reading it for over an hour.
Mariana Hummel
Simply the best book I've ever had the pleasure to read.
Everyone, architecture student or not, should at least try to read this sincere and passionated review about how we have eyes but we can't trully see anything that surrounds us, because we simply stopped hearing to our senses, relying on nothing more than our eyes.
Stephen Temple
a remarkable written text about what is difficult to write about because we do not have word or phrases within language that easily or clearly address the sensual or the body. Pallasmaa has for some time taken steps toward inclusion of the pre-language into our dialog and practice of architectural design.
Taybuğa Mamalı
My copy was about 100 pages, in Turkish.
The main idea of the book is very important and essential for architecture. But that main idea, one can easily summarise it in 5 pages. Although it isn't hard to read, this fact makes the time you spend reading this book nearly worthless.
Dec 14, 2010 G rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: design
very good expressing the primacy of the sense of vision in the western world, at the expense of our experience of space and place through our other senses; something that has left us with a disconnect with our built environment.

Sarah Byrd
Jun 15, 2010 Sarah Byrd is currently reading it
Siler and I had a very intense discussion about this as it was being read. I connect with the idea of the physical and the intellectual/emotional connection that is constantly contributing to our perception. Fantastic writing
Simply written and providing an understanding of the more visceral aspects of the design of spaces. Makes you pleased to be a sensory being. A celebration of the haptic rather than purely visual sense.
Cindy Frewen Wuellner
no other books like this, the phenomenology or experience of architecture and space. a beautiful essay, particularly relevant in comparison with digital space.
Gideon Shapiro
Peripheral, tangible, emotional perception of space and architecture. A polemic against visually-driven, or ocular-centric design culture.
Josh Chambers
terrific little book about getting away from our visually patriarchal society and experiencing architecture with more than just the eyes.
excellent... a must read for anyone interested in phenomenology, or just an understanding of emotion and space.
Michael Fiegenschuh
While this was only the first time I've read this book, it will by no means be my last. Simply beautiful.
Kio Stark
total nonsense but full of evocative, useful phrases
only part of the way through. mind blowing.
Sam Rokr
Sam Rokr marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2014
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“The door handle is the handshake of the building.” 16 likes
“I confront the city with my body; my legs measure the length of the arcade and the width of the square; my gaze unconsciously projects my body onto the facade of the cathedral, where it roams over the mouldings and contours, sensing the size of recesses and projections; my body weight meets the mass of the cathedral door, and my hand grasps the door pull as I enter the dark void behind. I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me.” 1 likes
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