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The very essence of the lived experience is moulded by hapticity and peripheral unfocused vision. Focused vision confronts us with the world whereas peripheral vision envelops us in the flesh of the world. Alongside the critique of the hegemony of vision, we need to reconsider the very essence of sight itself.

All the senses, including vision, are extensions of the tactile sense; the senses are specialisations of skin tissue, and all sensory experiences are modes of touching and thus related to tactility. Our contact with the world takes place at the boundary line of the self through specialised parts of our enveloping membrane.


A forest context, and richly moulded architectural space, provide ample stimuli for peripheral vision, and these settings centre us in the very space. The preconscious perceptual realm, which is experienced outside the sphere of focused vision, seems to be just as important existentially as the focused image. In fact, there is medical evidence that peripheral vision has a higher priority in our perceptual and mental system.

These observations suggest that one of the reasons why the architectural and urban settings of our time tend to make us feel like outsiders, in comparison with the forceful emotional engagement of natural and historical settings, is their poverty in the field of peripheral vision…Peripheral vision integrates us with space, while focused vision pushes us out of the space, making us mere spectators.

Juhani Pallasmaa
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“There is a strong identity between the naked skin and the sensation of home. The experience of home is essentially an experience of intimate warmth.”

Juhani Pallasmaa

Good architecture should receive the human visitor, should enable him to experience it and live in it, but it should not constantly talk at him.
Peter Zumthor.

Time does not pass in architecture, it accumulates.
Daivd Leatherbarrow,

In a society that celebrates the inessential, architecture can counteract the waste of forms and meanings.
Peter Zumthor.

What is aural in music is spatial in architecture.
Simon Unwin.

A squiggle is free and fluid but not random; its curves are related to the geometry of the hand and the arm.
Simon Unwin.

As we look, the eye touches, and before we see an object we have already touched it and judged its weight, temperature and surface texture.
Juhani Pallasmaa

The door handle is the handshake of a building.
Juhani Pallasmaa.

Architecture is most appealing with simple lines and clear ideas. A city, on the other hand, becomes alive when it is rich with experiences and surprises. So the paradoxical challenge is to simultaneously create simplicity and variety, diversity and coherence. In other words, to create a city in the building
Bjarke Ingels

To make an extraordinary material special, is banal. To heighten one’s awareness of a humble material like brick, is poetic.
Adam Caruso

Non architects have trouble reading a plan, it’s like trying to envisage the shape of a body by reading footprints in the snow
David Leatherbarrow


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August 2014

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