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The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses [Paperback]

Juhani Pallasmaa
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 April 2005 0470015780 978-0470015780 2nd Edition
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 of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory and consists of two extended essays. The first surveys the historical development of the ocular–centric paradigm in western culture since the Greeks, and its impact on the experience of the world and the nature of architecture. The second examines the role of the other senses in authentic architectural experiences, and points the way towards a multi–sensory architecture which facilitates a sense of belonging and integration.


Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition (22 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470015780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470015780
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Architecture has the capacity to be inspiring, engaging and life–enhancing. But why is it that architectural schemes which look good on the drawing board or the computer screen can be so disappointing ‘in the flesh’?

The answer, argues Juhani Pallasmaa, lies in the dominance of the visual realm in today’s technological and consumer culture, which has pervaded architectural practice and education. Whilst our experience of the world is formulated by a combination of five senses, much architecture is produced under consideration of only one – sight. The suppression of the other sensory realms has led to an impoverishment of our environment, causing a feeling of detachment and alienation.

First published in 1996, The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory and is required reading on courses in schools of architecture around the world. It consists of two extended essays. The first surveys the historical development of the ocularcentric paradigm in western culture since the Greeks, and its impact on the experience of the world and the nature of architecture. The second examines the role of the other senses in authentic architectural experiences, and points the way towards a multi–sensory architecture which facilitates a sense of belonging and integration.

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.

‘Not since the Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen’s Experiencing Architecture (1959) has there been such a succinct and clear text which could serve students and architects at this critical time in the development of 21st–century architecture.’ Steven Holl

About the Author

JUHANI PALLASMAA is one of Finland’s most distinguished architects and architectural theorists. In all aspects of his theoretical and design practice – which includes architecture, graphic design, urban planning and exhibitions – he places a consistent emphasis on the importance of identity, sensorial experience and tactility.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "ocularcentrism" - sigh 8 May 2011
By JaFo
Format:Paperback
This was in a recommended reading list for my course and while I can see the relevance of the ideas in theory and actually agree with quite a lot of the points made I found the book arduous to read growing bored of page after page littered with awkwardly manufactured words like "ocularcentrism".
I think it is worth a read for anyone studying architecture (maybe earlier on rather than near the end of the degrees) but take it with a pinch of salt to get to the real substantive issues around designing and portraying a full building proposal.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary Reading... 20 April 2004
Format:Paperback
An subtly epic piece of text...
A book that had a truly profound influence on my own practice and perception in regards to how one could and should consider ones built environment.
Get your hands on it if you can...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading!! 4 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I would recommend this to everyone, actually. This is the only book so far that has the biggest impact in my student years as an interior designer. Juhani Palasmaa manage to say plenty of strong meanings statement while using simple words.
I say this book is a bible for anyone who wants to design and be human in their design. Dont get what i mean? read it yourself!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The basic human perspective... 22 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
An excellent book, a book that peals away your pre-conceptions as you read and installs on, the most natural way of thinking. It gives you a clearer conscious when considering the environment.

I recommend this book to any one. Although I do think you need a dictionary on hand, because there are some words in this book that I never thought the meanings of existed, like the word 'haptic'. The word haptic isn't even on Word spell checker. All the better though, a big vocabulary is what's probably needed when studying and expressing architecture. I'm starting an architecture degree this September and this book has made me more interested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 23 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If your interested in architecture and space this book is truly inspirational.

It helped to enhance my own ideas about the perception of space.
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