An Eco-poetic Approach to Architecture Across Boundaries


As highlighted by the post-Cartesian discourse across philosophical schools, Western thought had been struggling for a long time with conceiving interconnectedness. The problematic of Western dualism is most apparent with the so-called mind-body problem, but the issue does not only relate to the separation of body and mind but also the separation of living beings from their environments. Asian philosophy, on the other hand, has had a long history of thinking relations. The paper argues that an architectural philosophy that is open for a dialogue with Asian views would allow for a new approach to conceptualising the interconnectedness of minds, bodies, environments, and cultures. Linking Asian and Western aesthetics with a discourse on ecology, and setting it into dialogue with contemporary theories of architecture, the paper also refers torecent research on embodiment that is engaging from a new point of view with the natural sciences, and that appears to confirm positions of traditional Chinese philosophy. Reconsidering traditional Chinese art and aesthetics, the paper suggests, could initiate a new eco-poetic way of thinking the built environment and its design in favour of a future that is more than smart.

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