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Heidegger

This tag is associated with 23 posts

In meditative mood

Being in a prison cell for a long period frees the mind of external factors and aids serious introspection. In a letter to his wife, Nelson Mandela recommended 15 minutes of mediation each day before going to sleep. Winnie was also in prison at the time. Twenty seven years in gaol, 40 days and nights in … Continue reading

The benefits of walking

“Walking cuts risk of stroke in men.” Scarcely a day passes without official confirmation of the health benefits of walking. ‘Why does one walk?’ we say; ‘that one may be healthy’; and in speaking thus we think we have given the cause. This is a direct quote from Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book 5, Section 2. Interestingly, he … Continue reading

Art challenges life

Artists, designers, curators and critics might have difficulty writing about art were it not for the useful word “challenge.” So fashion designer “Walter Van Beirendonck has continued to challenge conventional fashion trends with his distinctive vision” (link). Here are some other obvious examples. “Banksy challenges British cultural identity with warped, twisted versions of British icons” … Continue reading

Interpretation by design

As for all the arts, it’s easy enough to indicate how important interpretation is in architecture. Designers interpret the clients’ and users’ requirements, the brief, the regulations, and the site. They also interpret buildings and texts about architecture, not to mention drawings, instructions, illustrations, and photographs. In keeping with the conceits of this proud art … Continue reading

Heidegger and vertigo

Apparently Mount Everest is so busy during climbing season you have to queue to get to the top. (See Mail Online article.) Some people prefer horizontal pastimes (eg swimming), but there’s something irresistible about verticality. TV producer and scriptwriter Russell T Davies famously employed “the vertical chase” in his Dr Who episodes. Characters are pursued … Continue reading

Mystery philosopher fakes own death

Everyone loves a good mystery. Artists Gilbert and George’s latest exhibition, called “London Pictures,” at the White Cube Galleries, features displays of newspaper sellers’ posters from around London, organised thematically (Guardian). One of the artworks features a collage of headlines such as: “Driver’s mystery death”; “Search for mystery naked reveller”; “Arrest as cops probe mystery … Continue reading

What buildings want

Architect Louis Kahn (1901-1974) used to ask “What does the building want to be?” In talking about light, shadow and silence he’s also reported as saying, “Everything you make is already too thick. I would even think that a thought is also too thick.” I assume the kind of thick thinking to which Kahn refers is where … Continue reading

Inconspicuous architecture

Are first impressions important? Architect Peter Zumthor thinks so. I enter a building, see a room, and — in a fraction of a second — have this feeling about it. Buildings inevitably impress us in some way. Many buildings stand out immediately. People make snap judgements on their beauty or lack of it, their functionality … Continue reading

Why ask?

Cambridge University has launched a campaign to celebrate the physicist Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday in January 2012. You can Tweet (or email) questions to #AskHawking. The questions appearing so far are a mix of the extremely clever, sensible, predictable, witty, sarcastic and vulgar. Hawking is here serving as an oracle, a role often expected of … Continue reading

After affects

How do surveillance cameras, and increased monitoring and security procedures affect you? Such causes have undoubted effects on material circumstances and well-being. Actions affect things, and thereby produce effects. The verb, to affect, results in a noun, an effect. But there’s also such a thing as an affect, as a noun. Last Friday I attended … Continue reading

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