Authored and Edited Books:

Building Ideas book coverEnds Middles Beginnings book coverRethinking Technology book coverFrom Models to Drawings book coverMuseum Making book cover

Amazon page for Jonathan Hale

The Future of Museum and Gallery Design:

Purpose, Process, Perception

Edited by Suzanne MacLeod, Tricia Austin, Jonathan Hale and Oscar Ho Hing-Kay (Routledge, 2018)

FMGD_Cover-ImagePlacing a specific emphasis on social responsibility – in its broadest sense – this book emphasises the need for a greater understanding of the impact of museum design on the experience of visitors, in the manifestation of the vision and values of museums and galleries, and in the shaping of civic spaces for culture in our shared social world. The chapters included propose innovative approaches to museum design and museum-design research. Collectively, contributors plead for more open and creative ways of making museums, and ask that museums recognize the potential contribution of design towards our personal, social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Such an approach demands new ways of conceptualizing museum and gallery design, and new, experimental, and research-led approaches to the shaping of cultural institutions internationally.

MacLeod, S., Austin, T., Hale, J., and Ho, O., eds. The Future of Museum and Gallery Design: Purpose, Process, Perception, Abingdon: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2018, pp. 382. ISBN 9781138568204.

Merleau-Ponty for Architects

Jonathan Hale (Routledge, 2017)

Merleau-Ponty book cover

The philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) has deeply influenced the design work of architects as diverse as Steven Holl and Peter Zumthor, as well as informing internationally  renowned architectural theorists, such as Dalibor Vesely and Peter Carl at Cambridge; Juhani Pallasmaa in Finland and Kenneth Frampton, David Leatherbarrow and Alberto Pérez-Gómez in North America. Merleau-Ponty’s profound and original analysis of embodied experience offers architects a new understanding of spatial perception, cognition, materiality, and creativity.

Contents:  Introduction.  1: Embodied Space – It’s Not What You Think.  2: Expressive Form – Since Feeling is First.  3: Tectonics and Materials – The Flesh of the World.  4: Creativity and Innovation – From Spoken to Speaking Speech.  Postscript.  Further Reading.  Bibliography.  Index.

Hale, J. A., Merleau-Ponty For Architects, Abingdon: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2017, pp. 144. ISBN 9780415480727.

Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions

Edited by Suzanne MacLeod, Laura Hourston Hanks, Jonathan Hale (Routledge, 2012)

Museum Making book cover

This book is the outcome of a 3-day international conference called ‘Narrative Space’ that took place at the University of Leicester in April 2010. The event was the result of a collaboration between Leicester’s School of Museum Studies and the Department of Architecture & Built Environment at the University of Nottingham. The book brings together a series of papers looking at the potential of narrative – in its various forms – as a communicative tool in a spatial context. This involves thinking of the museum as a ‘narrative environment’, designers and curators as ‘spatial storytellers’, and the museum or gallery visitor as a creatively interactive ‘reader’. My own work in this area connects with my broader interest in the implications of human embodiment: specifically the ways in which our experience of the museum is inevitably structured by the forms, patterns and habits of our bodily existence.

Hale, J., “Narrative Environments and the Paradigm of Embodiment”, in MacLeod, S., Hourston Hanks, L., Hale, J., (eds), Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions, Abingdon: Routledge, 2012. pp. 192-200. ISBN 978-0-415-67603-8.


From Models to Drawings: Imagination and Representation in Architecture

Edited by Marco Frascari, Jonathan Hale, Bradley Starkey (Routledge, 2007)

From Models to Drawings book coverIn 2004, working with colleagues engaged in research on different aspects of architectural representation – historical, theoretical and practical – we were awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust to bring Marco Frascari from North America to spend a semester at Nottingham. As well as a 2-day international conference in November 2004 including invited contributions from the philosopher Don Ihde, Alberto Perez-Gomez, Jane Rendell and Jonathan Hill, this collaboration also resulted in a Routledge book in the ‘AHRA Critiques’ series entitled From Models to Drawings.  The publication also allowed us to bring together work that directly addressed the theme of embodiment in representation – most notably in the chapters by Paul Emmons (in relation to scale), Sam Ridgeway (in relation to construction) and Katie Lloyd-Thomas (on the language of building specifications).

Frascari, M., Hale, J., Starkey, B.K., (eds), From Models to Drawings: Imagination and Representation in Architecture, Abingdon: Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0-415-48798-6.


Rethinking Technology: A Reader in Architectural Theory

Edited by William W. Braham & Jonathan Hale (Routledge, 2007)

Rethinking Technology book cover

This book provides a survey of architectural literature published over the last 100 years addressing the impact of technology on the making and meaning of buildings. Focussing especially on the writings of architects – plus a number of urban and cultural theorists and philosophers – it includes several essays and extracts that specifically consider the relationship between technology and the body, some of which draw on the phenomenological analyses of technology developed by Martin Heidegger. Both Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty described the traditional hand-tool as an extension of the human body and I believe this notion can usefully be expanded to the scale of equipment, furniture and buildings. This approach is seen to hold the promise of a more productive reassessment of the role of technology in architecture in relation to the fundamentally embodied experience of space, form and materiality.

Braham, W., & Hale, J., (eds), Rethinking Technology: A Reader in Architectural Theory, Abingdon: Routledge, 2007, pp. 466. ISBN 0-415-34654-1.


Ends, Middles, Beginnings: Edward Cullinan Architects

Jonathan Hale (Black Dog Publishing, 2005)

Ends Middles Beginnings book cover

Ends, Middles, Beginnings contains a critical interpretation of the work of Edward Cullinan Architects, presenting a selection of built and unbuilt projects from the early days of the practice in the 1960s up to the present. The book provides an original thematic analysis of the Cullinan design approach, structured around phenomenological and technological notions such as ‘Territories’, ‘Place Making’, ‘Cave and Horizon’, and ‘The Art of Making Buildings’. It concludes by situating the work of the practice in a broader historical and theoretical context, and drawing out the relationships between their sophisticated articulation of form and material (based on the embodied experience of the process of construction) and also the more political implications of their concern with sustainability, participation and user engagement.

Hale, J., Ends, Middles, Beginnings: Edward Cullinan Architects, London: Black Dog Publishing, 2005, pp. 288. ISBN 1-904772-17-X.


Building Ideas: An Introduction to Architectural Theory

Jonathan Hale (Wiley, 2000)

Building Ideas book cover

This book provides a critical survey of contemporary hermeneutic practices in the field of architectural theory and criticism. It describes and analyses the dominant interpretive frameworks that emerged during the second half of the twentieth century and also presents their key historical and philosophical sources. A series of recent buildings are referred to as examples of how these approaches might be employed as interpretive strategies in architectural criticism, highlighting their possibilities and limitations, together with areas of conflict or complementarity. Based on the model of other recent texts in literary and cultural theory, the book calls for a stronger engagement with debates in related disciplines – such as history, philosophy and politics – in order to develop a more rigorous and theoretically informed approach to architectural criticism and design.

Hale, J., Building Ideas: An Introduction to Architectural Theory, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2000, pp. 242. ISBN 0-471-85194-9.

Hale, J., Building Ideas: An Introduction to Architectural Theory, (trans. Fang, B., & Wang, T.), Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press, 2015, pp. 191. ISBN 978-7-112-17115-6.

Building Ideas China cover


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