Providing a concise and accessible introduction to the work of the celebrated twentieth century German philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer, this book focuses on the aspects of Gadamer’s philosophy that have been the most influential among architects, educators in architecture, and architectural theorists.
Gadamer’s philosophy of art gives a special place to the activity of "play" as it occurs in artistic creation. His reflections on meaning and symbolism in art draw upon his teacher, Martin Heidegger, while moving Heidegger’s thought in new directions. His theory of interpretation, or "philosophical hermeneutics," offers profound ways to understand the influence of the past upon the present and to appropriate cultural history in ever new forms.
For architects, architectural theorists, architectural historians, and students in these fields, Gadamer’s thought opens a world of possibilities for understanding how building today can be rich with human meaning, relating to architecture’s history in ways that do not merely repeat nor repudiate that history.
In addition, Gadamer’s sensitivity to the importance of practical thinking – to the way that theory arises out of practice – gives his thought a remarkable usefulness in the everyday work of professional life.
1. Introduction 2. The Play of Art and the Art of Architecture 3. Historical Understanding and Architecture's Past 4. Humanism in the Age of Science 5. Practical Wisdom in Creative Collaboration 6. Architecture as a Way of Being Conclusion: The Hermeneutically-Minded Architect
Architects have often looked to thinkers in philosophy and theory to find design ideas or in search of a critical framework for practice. Yet architects, and students of architecture, can struggle to navigate thinkers’ writings. It can be daunting to approach original texts with little appreciation of their contexts. And existing introductions seldom explore architectural material in any detail.
This original series offers clear, quick and accurate introductions to key thinkers who have written about architecture. Each book summarises what a thinker has to offer for architects. It locates their architectural thinking in the body of their work, introduces significant books and essays, helps decode terms and provides quick reference for further reading. If you find philosophical and theoretical writing about architecture difficult, or just don’t know where to begin, this series will be indispensable.
Books in the Thinkers for Architects series come out of architecture. They pursue architectural modes of understanding, aiming to introduce a thinker to an architectural audience. Each author in the series – an architect or an architectural critic – has focussed on a selection of a thinker’s writings which they judge most relevant to designers and interpreters of architecture. Thinkers for Architects has proved highly successful, now with over ten volumes dealing with familiar cultural figures whose writings have influenced architectural designers, critics and commentators in distinctive and important ways. The series continues to expand, addressing an increasingly rich diversity of contemporary thinkers who have something to say to architects.