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Architecture has been incessantly theorized, taught and practiced merely as an art of aestheticised material structures and space. Sarah Robinson presents architecture convincingly and inspiringly as a network of relationships, actions and interactions; buildings reveal, structure and articulate our encounters and relations with the world. Through deftly weaving knowledge from diverse disciplines ranging from philosophy to psychology, anthropology to neuroscience and history to poetics—this book opens up comprehensive and balanced but truly radical views of the complex phenomenon of architecture. The reader will surely encounter and experience buildings differently after having read this significant book.


—Juhani Pallasmaa, Architect, Professor emeritus (Aalto University), Writer, Member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury, 2008-2014


Although we spend more than ninety percent of our lives inside buildings, we understand very little about how the built environment affects our thoughts, emotions, and well-being. We are biological beings whose senses and neural systems have developed over millions of years; it stands to reason that research in the life sciences, particularly neuroscience, can offer compelling insights into the ways our buildings shape our interactions with the world. This expanded understanding can help architects design buildings that support both mind and body. This is this first work to gather leading thinkers from architecture and other disciplines, including neuroscience, cognitive science, psychiatry, and philosophy, to explore what architecture and neuroscience can learn from each other. Together they offer historical context, examine the implications for current architectural practice and education, and imagine a neuroscientifically informed architecture of the future.

Contributors include: Thomas D. Albright, Michael Arbib, John Paul Eberhard, Melissa Farling, Vittorio Gallese, Alessandro Gattara, Mark L. Johnson, Harry Francis Mallgrave, Iain McGilchrist, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Sarah Robinson


An important contribution to theory and debate in architecture today, this original investigation in the overlapping fields of philosophy, aesthetics, environmental psychology and cognitive science reveals the way objective and subjective thought fuse in unforeseen ways. As an author of Questions of Perception, I feel Sarah's book takes a crucial next step towards a phenomenology of architecture.

-Steven Holl,

Architect, Writer and Professor


This book has been translated into Italian and is available from Safara Editore, Pordenone. 

It has also been translated into Romanian and is available from Arhitext Design Foundation. 


The Architecture and Empathy seminar was held in June 2014 as part of the centennial celebration of the Tapio Wirkkala-Rut Bryk Foundation. This book, the third volume of the Design Reader series, presents the proceedings of the event with contributions from leading thinkers in architecture and aesthetic theory.


Intertwining is an international, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to understanding the experience and making of architecture. It includes the voices of science alongside those of the arts – as both ways of knowing are critical to the multidimensional nature of our inquiry.

“We want to move beyond thinking of architecture as an object. Architecture is not separate from us – it is not something to be judged merely by its formal properties, its satisfaction of programmatic concerns or its performance in terms of technical parameters. We are not dismissing the importance of these factors but wish to enrich them, to understand and articulate how architecture can capture and express unseen layers of meaning and purpose. We want to think of architecture as a verb, a mover, a shaper, an active agent in human flourishing. In order to appreciate the potential power of architecture we want to explore the experience of architecture, and the intimately related experience of making architecture. Turning our attention to experience requires that we listen to and consider knowledge from a full array of disciplines. Experience is multi-dimensional, multi-directional, irreducible, always overflows over any boundary that attempts to circumscribe it.”


Published by Mimesis International in Milan.

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