The Eyes of the Skin Analysis Essay Sample

7 July 2017

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This book was written by Juhani Pallasmaa with respect to ‘Polemics’ . on issues that were portion of the architecture discourse of the clip. i. e. 1995. It is besides an extending of thoughts expressed in an essay entitled “Architecture of the seven senses” published in 1994. As suggested by the rubric. this piece of literature efforts to foreground the importance of centripetal experience in architecture. It is so a response to what the writer footings as ‘ocularcentrism’ of Modern Architecture. Ocularcentrism is the act of prioritising ocular stimulations to all other centripetal stimulations available to a human perceptual experience. He quotes celebrated German poet. Goethe. in his defence. “the custodies want to see. the eyes want to caress” Firstly. Pallasma discusses at length the centripetal want and distance caused by ocularcentrism ; and how this keeps architecture from being every bit wholesome as it is capable of. This is so. as architecture today does non Pallasmaa argues. take into history. peripheral vision. shifting of focal point. memory. and imaginativeness. It “has housed the mind and the oculus. but left the organic structure and other senses. every bit good as our memories. imaginativeness. dreams homeless” .

Second. he points out how ocularcentrism has developed into a cultural norm ; therefore the oculus can itself be biased. “nihilistic or narcisstic” . Therefore can be distanced and detached from the other senses. for case. touch. therefore leting no emotional duologue. To back up his theory. he quotes illustrations of the kineticss of the sense of touch in heightened emotional provinces wherein. so “the custodies want to see” Third. the writer compares the image of a modern metropolis to that of what he footings a “haptic city” – a metropolis which can be touched ; contrary to the distant. exterior orientated modern metropolis. Furthermore. he discusses how since antiquity. adult male has been the step of non merely his architecture. all his activities every bit good. To back up this statement Pallasmaa quotes cases of the caryatid tribunal and the experience of runing in prehistoric culture. where adult male becomes the cardinal point of beginning of everything. He emphasises on the presence of and an enveloping satisfaction through multi stimulations in nature ; giving an illustration of a trek through a wood. and the feeling of being within the infinite of a glade invoked by peripheral vision. complete with the crunching of foliages under the pess and sap smell that surrounds us through the trek. Building on this get downing point Pallasmaa speaks of the importance of the shadow in making visible radiation.

He suggests that it is the niceties of shadows and the dimly lit which really tickle the senses. and that Modern Architecture seems to miss this grasp of the shadow. Arguing consistently he takes the reader through all the senses in inquiry ; viz. . hearing. odor. touch and gustatory sensation. For each sense he quotes an illustration from nature. therefore depicting how it is an recognition of all senses that completes a infinite. He talks of registering the velocity of air current through hearing and observing the temperature of the same through touch. Furthermore. he links odor with memory and adds that odor is by far one of the strongest mediums that add to the memory of an experience. He so brings into his statement the presence of adult male by discoursing. clip and the sense of proportion – as adult male is designed to comprehend in comparing to his ego – and action where adult male measures through traveling within a infinite. In decision. Pallasmaa discusses the importance of these senses in the design procedure. He talks of the distance created between the architecture and the design due to mechanisation of the procedure. This portion of the statement need non be dwelt on for long as the old text makes clear all the concluding behind this. one can grok in applicability to each sense. the importance of ‘feeling’ it during the design procedure. The text though really interesting. is a spot cumbrous. and requires frequent mention to the lexicon.

The statement flows really clearly and consistently and foreground the disadvantages of ocularcentrism in comparing with each sense and how that made the Modern – cold and distant from adult male. The full statement is really good illustrated with both citations. artworks and experiential mention – which add to and are really pertinent to the statement. The writer saturates the text with illustrations. This makes the argument really convincing and becomes intimate with reader. The writer besides makes psychological and physiological mentions doing this statement scientifically sound and non merely something rooted in poesy. One of the major textual mentions that are made. are to Halls book – The Hidden Dimension. The writer laments that designers today have forgotten it- and hence his written response to this ignorance. The most appealing facet of this text is that it can be understood by a laic individual. due to the fact that all illustrations are such which belong to the life of all and do non utilize edifices to exemplify hence non restricting them to designers. Qurat-ul-Ain Shamim


Pallasmaa. Juhani ( 2005 ) The Eyes Of the Skin – Architecture and the Senses. Great Britain ; Wiley Academy

Pallasmaa. Juhani ( 1994 ) Architecture of the seven senses. Questions of Perception ; Architecture + Urbanism Press

Goethe. Wolfgang ( 1790-1795 ) Romische Elegien V

Hall. Edward T. ( 1966 ) The Hidden Dimension. United States Of America ; Doubleday Publishers

[ 1 ] . Pallasmaa. Juhani ( 1994 ) Architecture of the seven senses. Questions of Perception ; Architecture + Urbanism Press [ 2 ] . Goethe. Wolfgang ( 1790-1795 ) Romische Elegien V
[ 3 ] . Pallasmaa. Juhani ( 2005 ) The Eyes Of the Skin – Architecture and the Senses. Great Britain ; Wiley Academy [ 4 ] . Hall. Edward T. ( 1966 ) The Hidden Dimension. United States Of America ; Doubleday Publishers

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