The wisdom of architecture 15.10.2016
In my work as an architecture critic and theory teacher, I have come across many ideas about architecture that have no relevance whatsoever in what I personally perceive and experience. On many occasions, such ideas seem to stem from addressing architecture from the perspective of philosophy, literature theory, social sciences, or from another similar extra-architectural discipline. The great architectural theory boom that we have witnessed to sweep over architecture since the 1980s has created some fantastic new ideas, but also quite a pile of theoretical mumbo jumbo about ‘critical criticality’, ‘projective projectiveness’ and other similar nonsense – often spiced up with an array of audacious namedropping. Genuine originality and sensitivity to the art of architecture is rare and underrated.
One such uncommon, great theoretical mind belongs to Juhani Pallasmaa whom I have learned to know as an inspiring and erudite lecturer and writer, and the most influential figure behind the scenes of Finnish architecture since the 1960s. His texts are never shallow, and his thoughts have strange eternal value. His solemn words resonate in the minds of the 1st-year student and the defeatist designer alike.
We here at bookm-ark.fi feel very honoured to carry two recent collections of Pallasmaa’s essays in our shop. Encounters 1 and 2 are both edited by Professor Peter MacKeith, and they were published by Rakennustieto Publishing in 2012. Juhani Pallasmaa celebrated his 80th anniversary last month, on the 14th of September 2016, so we offer you free shipping for these titles with a coupon code “juhani80”.
Architecture is primarily not about theory, technique, or function, but about the world. Architecture creates pictures; it creates images that evoke the experience of life.
– Juhani Pallasmaa in “The contemporary avant-garde and the wisdom of architecture” (1993). In Encounters 1: Architectural Essays, edited by Peter MacKeith. Rakennuskirja Publishing, 2012, p. 174.
Happy birthday, Juhani, and many happy returns!