The Eyes Of The Skin Literature Review Sample

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Architecture, World, Sense, Literature, Books, Skin, Human, Vision

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/12/21

The Eyes of the Skin, by Juhani Pallaasma , is a profoundly important small book. I feel as if this book will affect me on many levels for some time to come, as it applies not only to the world of architecture, but to the world of everything. It draws in the worlds of painting and poetry and photography as well as architecture. The phrase that comes to me right now is “the poetry of architecture,” (my own phrase).
On page 68 of his book, Pallaasma (2005) says on art that “enigmatically, we encounter ourselves in the work.” His main thesis is that the sense of sight has taken over our world, disconnecting us from our other senses, particularly when it comes to architecture. He talks some about the history of architecture and mentions the Greeks as having had a sense of proportion and of “touchability” in the fabulous structures that they built. He commended Frank Lloyd Wright and Alvar Aalto as two recent architects who had a strong sense for building structures that incorporated all the senses.
In recent years, however, he laments that most architecture has become cold and unapproachable. Large sheets of reflective glass have nothing of the human element in them and are distinctly cold. Stone, wood, and brick, by contrast, have texture and a sense of antiquity to them that makes one want to reach out and touch them. He talks about his experiences in old historic European cities, and about how inviting and approachable the streets and the buildings are and how one returns home from such visits with every sense involved in their memories.
Pallassma’s belief is that the warmth, sense of scale, interplay of light and shadow, use of human-friendly smaller passageways, sound, and scent could all be reintroduced into architecture. On page 25, (Pallasma 2005), he made a statement that really touched me: “The gradually growing hegemony seems to be parallel with development of Western consciousness and the gradually increasing separation of the self and the world; vision separates us from the world whereas the other senses unite us with it.” He gives lot of examples of the roles the other senses used to play in our lives before we became so vision-oriented. He says that the architect needs to throw his whole body into his work in order to be effective.
Overall, this is one of the most unusual little books I have ever read, and it does a wonderful job of challenging the precepts of modern architecture, and, indeed, of much of the modern world. I think it should be required reading for all architects and architecture students, and for anyone interested in a modern take on the kind of material that Plato addressed so long ago.


Pallaasma, J 2005, The Eyes of the Skin, Wiley Academy, West Sussex, England

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The Eyes Of The Skin Literature Review Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 21, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2024.

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