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Towards a neuroscience of Architecture

Lavori in corpore vivi
1 Ottobre 2014
Il Progetto 40
1 Ottobre 2014
Juhani Pallasmaa


1. Fred Gage, “Neuroscience and Architecture”, as quoted in Melissa Farling, “From intuition to Evidence”, manuscript for MindingDesign: Neuroscience, Design education and the Imagination, Sarah Robinson, Juhani Pallasmaa, editors, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Scottsdale, Arizona (in progress 2013), p.3.
2. Sarah Robinson, “Nested Bodies”, manuscript for MindingDesign, op.cit., p.15.
3. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962, p. 407.
4. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Oxford, 1999, as quoted in Bernhard Leitner, The Wittgenstein House, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2000, p.188.
5. Jean-Paul Sartre, The Emotions: An Outline of a Theory, Carol Publishing Co., New York, 1993, p. 9
6. Karsten Harries, ‘Building and the Terror of Time’, Perspecta: The Yale Architecture Journal, issue 19. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1982.
7. Paul Virilio, Katoamisen estetiikka (The aesthetics of Disappearance), Gaudeamus, Tampere, 1994, the page number unidentified.
8. Keijo Petäjä, architect and professor (1919–1988), one of the founders of the Finnish journal Le Carré Bleu specialized in architectural theory. In Finnish the sentence reads: “Arkkitehtuuri on rakennettua mielentilaa.”
9. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, ‘The Intertwining–The Chiasm’, The Visible and the Invisible, Claude Lefort, editor, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, 1969.
10. Michael Arbib, lecture at “MindingDesign: Neuroscience, Design Education and the Imagination” Symposium, Nov 9, 2012, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Scottsdale, Arizona.
11. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Signs, Nortwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill., 1982, p. 56.
12. Salman Rushdie, ‘Eikö mikään ole pyhää?’ (Isn’t anything sacred?), Parnasso, Helsinki 1.1996, p. 8.
13. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as quoted in Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2010, p. 409.
14. Alvar Aalto, ‘Taide ja tekniikka’ (Art and Technology), lecture, Academy of Finland, October 3, 1955, in: Göran Schildt, Alvar Aalto Luonnoksia, Otava Publishers, Helsinki, 1972, pp. 87–88
15. Paul Valéry, Dialogues, Pantheon Books, New York, 1956, p. XIII.
16. Joseph Brodsky, ‘An immodest Proposal’, On Grief and Reason, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1997, p. 206
17. John Dewey, Art As Experience, 1934 (1987), as quoted in Mark Johnson, The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 2007, p. 73.
18. See Carl G. Jung et al. (editors), Man and His Symbols, Doubleday, New York, 1968, p. 57.
19. Stephen J. Pyre, Fire: Nature and Culture, Reaction Books Ltd, London, 2012, p. 47
20. Grant Hildebrandt, The Wright Space: Pattern and Meaning in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Houses, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1992.
21. Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension, Anchor Books, New York · London · Toronto · Sydney · Auckland, 1990, pp. 33–34. The writer refers to endocrinological research by A.S.Parkes and H.M.Bruce. The researchers even launched a term “exocrinoloy” to supplement the notion of endocrinology.
22. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Primacy of Perception, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill., 1964, p. 162.
23. Alvar Aalto, ‘Rationalism and Man’, 1935, in Göran Schildt, ed., Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, Rizzoli, New York, 1997, p. 91.
24. Ibid., p. 102.
25. Op.cit., p. 92.
26. Alvar Aalto, ‘The Trout and the Stream’, Domus/Arkkitehti, 1948. Republished in Schildt, ed., Alvar Aalto in His Own Words, p. 108.
27. Semir Zeki, Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999, pp. 22–36.
28. Ibid., p. 2.
29. J.H. Van den Berg, as quoted in Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, op.cit., p. XXIV.
30. Jonah Lehrer, Proust was a Neuroscientist, Houghton Mifin Company, Boston–New York, 2008.
31. Harry Francis Mallgrave, The Architects’s Brain: Neuroscience, Creativity, and Architecture, Wiley–Blackwell, Chichester, 2010, and Architecture and Embodiment: The Implications of the New Sciences and Humanities for Design, Routledge, Abingdon, 2013.
32. Semir Zeki, op.cit., p. 1.
33. Joseph Brodsky, “An Immodest Proposal”, in On Grief and Reason, Farrar,Straus and Giroux, New York, 1995, p.208.
34. Semir Zeki, op.cit., p. 1.
35.Ilpo Kojo, ‘Mielikuvat ovat aivoille todellisia (Images are real for the brain), Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki, 26.3.1996. The article refers to research at Harvard University under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Rosslyn in the mid-1990s.
36. Arthur Zajonc, Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995, p.5.
37. Quoted in Jonah Lehrer, op.cit., p. VI.
38. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, op.cit., p. 6.


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