Do Architecture and Philosophy Mix?–or–My Consternation Regarding Phenomenological Epistemology

Architects are notorious for speaking a ridiculous language known to some as ‘archispeak.’  Some of it can be attributed to smart people trying to economize their words, some of it to dumb people trying to fit in, and some of it to architects’ weird obsession with philosophy.  As it turns out, philosophy plays a big role in the work of architects ranging from Peter Zumthor, known for his Therme Vals to Coop Himmelb(l)au and their Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse (below).

In fact, here is a list of philosophers that are commonly linked to architectural movements:

  • Gaston Bachelard
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Jaques Derrida
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Immanuel Kant

And here is a list of all the philosophers my peers, mentors, employers, and clients have brought up in conversation about architecture:

As you can see, philosophy doesn’t really come up all that much but I’ll be damned if I don’t try to squeeze phenomenological into conversation at least once a day to seem smart.  I don’t mean to downplay the significance of philosophy in architecture–it really has led to some great ideas–but if you are ever working with an architect and he tries to explain that his design is based on Husserlian ideas, tell him to shut up and speak plain English.

(If you really want to learn about how philosophy has informed the development of architectural history, stay tuned. I plan on writing more on the specifics in future posts.)

Advertisements

One response to “Do Architecture and Philosophy Mix?–or–My Consternation Regarding Phenomenological Epistemology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s