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bodyoftheory

Jonathan Hale is an architect and Professor of Architectural Theory at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham. Currently Head of the research group Architecture, Culture and Tectonics, within the Faculty of Engineering. Research interests include: architectural theory and criticism; phenomenology; the philosophy of technology; the relationship between architecture and the body; museums, exhibitions and digital technologies. Author of numerous articles and books and co-editor of Rethinking Technology: a Reader in Architectural Theory (Routledge, 2007). Founding Chair of the international subject group: Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA): http://www.ahra-architecture.org
bodyoftheory has written 19 posts for bodyoftheory

Harman on Heidegger: ‘Buildings as Tool-Beings’

Much of Graham Harman’s so-called ‘object-oriented philosophy’ takes up Martin Heidegger’s account of the nature of tools and equipment, as set out in the first part and first division of his major work Being and Time. The key problem I have with Harman’s reading of this account is the overly binary view of perception which … Continue reading

Eye and Mind

‘Seeing and Being-Seen’: In the second section of ‘Eye and Mind’ Merleau-Ponty describes what goes on in the act of making paintings – an intertwining of body and world that also serves as the model for perception in general. There are a number of ways of understanding this process of intertwining, all of which involve … Continue reading

Critical Phenomenology

One of the latest products of Columbia University’s formidable factory of theory is Jorge Otero-Pailos’ book Architecture’s Historical Turn [1] which threatens to overturn at least two longstanding conventions. One is that the rise of postmodernism in architecture was mainly due to the influence of structural-linguistic and semiotic models of meaning and communication; the other … Continue reading

Making Sense in the Mid-Lands

In a recent lecture at the University of Nottingham, David Leatherbarrow (University of Pennsylvania) set out what might be called – in an echo of his Philadelphia neighbours Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown – a ‘gentle manifesto’ for a not-too-complex-but-just-a-little-bit-contradictory approach to contemporary design. [1] In a typically precise and measured delivery, and in language … Continue reading

Architecture as Process: Objects-Things-Lines

Tim Ingold likes to rough-up the edges of things. As an anthropologist he’s more interested in people than architecture-as-such, but whether he’s talking about objects, buildings or bodies, the boundaries between them soon become fuzzy. In a way reminiscent of the philosopher David Hume’s idea of the self as a ‘bundle or collection of different … Continue reading

Opaque and Transparent Technology

The engineer and educator Peter McCleary, in an essay that leans heavily  – as most things do in the philosophy of technology – on the writings of Martin Heidegger, asks a curious but interesting question: “What are the characteristics of knowledge derived during the production of the built environment?” [1]. McCleary claims that by picking … Continue reading

DAAR / Thomas Demand

The latest exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary puts together two unlikely subjects – the disputed territories of Israel and Palestine and some rough-and-ready cardboard mock-ups of 1960s American villas. Galleries 1 and 2 are occupied by DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency) a three-person art and architecture collective based in Palestine. Called ‘Common Assembly’ the work in the show is … Continue reading

Rethinking Technology / Rethinking Architecture

With the semester one marksheets still smouldering in the fireplace, yesterday it was back to the lecture room to start all over again – this time on 5th year/masters module ‘Rethinking Architecture’ (which should really be called ‘Rethinking Technology’ – a long story..). Not sure why they gave us a room big enough for 160 … Continue reading

Welcome!

Welcome to ‘bodyoftheory’, an experiment in research and communication in the field of architectural humanities. I hope it will help me to bring together a series of research and teaching interests, ideas, activities and outputs around the broad theme of ‘architecture and embodiment’. This is something I’ve been interested in for a long time and passionately … Continue reading

Latest Book

Link to Routledge website

Hale, J., Merleau-Ponty for Architects. Abingdon: Routledge 2017, pp. 144.

Latest Article

Tectonics Reader cover

Hale, J., "Signs of Resistance: Re-membering Technology", in Hvejsel & Fogod (eds), Reader: Tectonics in Architecture, Aalborg: Aalborg University Press 2018, pp. 188-97

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