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Phenomenology

This tag is associated with 9 posts

Through the Eye of the Mirror

In Jacques Tati’s 1967 movie Playtime the bus-loads of tourists who have come to visit Paris seem permanently marooned in a grey and endless suburban business centre. Caught in the spatial limbo of something like an infinite airport arrivals hall – the very archetype of the contemporary ‘non-place’ described by the anthropologist Marc Augé (Auge, … Continue reading

The Tectonic Sensibility

One of the problems that haunts any discussion of tectonics in architecture (typically defined as the raising of construction to an art form) is that it can often seem like an obvious fallacy is being committed, broadly of the pars pro toto variety. If we become too fixated on the fabric of the building as … Continue reading

Architectural Projects of Marco Frascari: The Pleasure of a Demonstration

Review of: Architectural Projects of Marco Frascari: The Pleasure of a Demonstration, by Sam Ridgway (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), ISBN 978-1-4724-4174-4, Hb, pp. 109. This is a useful collection of commentaries on the fascinating work – both written and built – of the Italian architect and academic Marco Frascari, who died in 2013. Frascari, born in 1945 “under the … Continue reading

The Extended Self: Architecture, Memes and Minds

Review of: The Extended Self: Architecture, Memes and Minds, by Chris Abel (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015) ISBN 978-0-7190-9612-9, Pb, pp. 357. This is both a fascinating and a frustrating book. It ranges freely across a broad intellectual landscape and is rich with philosophical references. For me, the real fascination came from the discussion of architecture as a category of technology, … Continue reading

Rosemary Butcher – Moving in Time

Exhibitions about dance have to face a similar dilemma to most exhibitions about architecture – literally a dance around the void created by the notable absence of the object. But in the case of Rosemary Butcher this problem takes on a whole new meaning in the sense that in much of her work the performance … Continue reading

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

Latest Book

Link to Routledge website

Hale, J., Merleau-Ponty for Architects. Abingdon: Routledge (July) 2016.

Latest Article

Material Imagination book cover

Hale, J. "Found Spaces and Material Memory: Remarks on the Thickness of Time in Architecture." In: MINDRUP, M., ed., The Material Imagination. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, pp169-180.

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