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The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,019 ratings  ·  64 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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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,019 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Clif Brittain
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-architecture
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
Uroš Đurković
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Divna knjiga o arhitekturi izašla iz Bašlarovog šinjela! Treba da interesuje i one čije je znanje o arhitekturi prilično ograničeno. (Među njima sam.)

O prostoru, čulima i interakciji. Zaključak je da je osnova dobre arhitekture saodnos.
Palasma ubedljivo i bez mistifikacije govori o jednom celovitijem, humanijem doživljaju prostora.
Naša vizuelnocentrična civilizacija zanemarila je ostala čula koja su neretko i presudna. Lavina vizuelnih senzacija odaljuje čoveka od željenog saodnosa. Vid sa sobo
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: designer, architect
Recommended to mahatmanto 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.
May 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
اگر جسم کمی آسانتر درک می شد ، هیچ کس به وجود ذهن پی نمی برد
Yasaman Nedjati
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من چاپ نشر چشمه رو خوندم. به نظرم مترجم تمام سعی خودش رو کرده بود که با انتخاب کلماتش جملات رو هر قدر میتونه پیچیدهتر بنویسه. ...more
Tara Brabazon
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: architecture, art
Kio Stark
Sep 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
total nonsense but full of evocative, useful phrases
Afra Anan Saba
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first architectural read which purely deals with philosophy. And I am pretty sure I will re-read this book soon.
Andrew Fairweather
With it's repeated condemnation of so-called "Western" sensibilities, this book is sure to tickle the fancy of many of today's readers—add a dash of Goldsmithian "Deserted Village" lamentations, and you've got yourself a hit! Essentially, Pallasmaa enframes his practical prescription for the 21st century architecture as up against a Western "visual bias" which he is able to trace back to ancient Greek philosophy all the way to Modern Western thought. Never mind that Plato in 'Phaedrus' warns of ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful fusion of architecture and philosophy
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 06, 2013 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
Carlos Clorth
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, xx-70-s-90-s
In such a small amount of pages there's so much from ocularcentrism and the loss of senses to Pallaasma's take on arquitecture.
It embraces an interesting philosophy way beyond my expectations.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bastante recomendável mesmo para aqueles que não têm um contacto direto com as Artes (embora seja impossível encontrar alguém que não esteja familiarizado com os seus diversos ramos!).
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-estrellas
Juhani Pallasmaa es un arquitecto, profesor y escritor finlandés (n. 14 de septiembre de 1936, Hämeenlinna, Finlandia). Adicional a lo anterior, ha fungido como Director del Museo de Arquitectura Finlandesa (1978-1983) y como presidente del Instituto de Artes Industriales en Helsinki. Pallasmaa se dedica al campo de la arquitectura y la filosofía de la arquitectura, especialmente en temas de la funcionalidad de las obras arquitectónicas. Ha escrito textos como Questions of perception: phenomenol ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this rather slim, easy-to-read volume, Pallasmaa makes a convincing case for architecture and space as more than just visual treat, but as something that is inevitably, inherently lived in, experienced with the whole body of the person inhabiting such spaces. This seems somewhat obvious when one reads it, and yet it is easy to see how this gets lost in ideas of visual appeal for physical spaces. Again and again Pallasmaa returns to the form and function of space as assisting in providing meta ...more
Anna S.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
The subject of metaphysics of architecture is rather personal, but he seems not confident in sharing his own perspective. The book is very short and most of it are expert citations, that ends up outshine him. Look at this word by Tadao Ando in the book:
"I like to see how far architecture can pursue function and then, after the pursuit has been made, to see how far architecture can be removed from function. The significance of architecture is found in the distance between it and function"

I think
Brian Sullivan
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book helpfully challenges the medusa like gze that petrifies our attention. The computer has perhaps drawn us away from the artists experience of his artistic vision through his body awareness. Te hegemoy of sight is forgetting the importance of "The Preconscious, perceptual realm, which is experienced outside the sphere of focused vision seems to be more important than the focused image".
What of the realm space and collective behavior? For so long the art of story was the unifier of commun
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: los-esenciales
Un texto esencial para que los arquitectos podamos explicar (explicarnos) que hay vida más allá de la forma, más acá de la búsqueda del estilo. Un recurso para recordar por qué un día quise ser arquitecto. Una guía para un día quizá llegar a serlo.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very short book, but quite lovely. Transitions from some ocular centric critiques to discussing space and feeling. Quite good, I will need to make this book a priority again, as it makes a link clear for me in my own work... on space versus place. Thanks Pallasmaa!
Simon Moons
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zeer goed boek, ingewikkeld, maar heel diep.
Anna Keating
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
A thousand times yes.
Jane Pontiñela
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Insightful. I'm not a student of architecture but the points highlighted are clear amd distinct. It seems that it provided me a new perspective regarding art that is not entirely visual.
Sol Rezza
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un maravilloso ensayo acerca de la arquitectura y los sentidos. Recomendado de leer no sólo para interesados en la arquitectura, sino para aquellos interesados en las artes en general.
Tasnim Hussam
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
it's that kind of beautiful things which carry you far away and recalls all your senses experiences together all at once in a very easy format of words .. very recommended YOU NEED TO HAVE IT !!
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
reading this book was a journey. i got distracted and lost a lot by the amount the author described small and simple details.. sometimes frustrating but overall i think it was a great book.
Larissa Tollstadius
Leitura rápida. Mostra como a percepção do corpo é fundamental na concepção dos espaços. Defende que boa parte da arquitetura é produzida priorizando a visão em detrimento dos outros sentidos.
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“The door handle is the handshake of the building.” 52 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.” 10 likes
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