The work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) has influenced the design work of architects as diverse as Steven Holl and Peter Zumthor and has also informed schools of architectural theory. Merleau-Ponty suggested that the value of people’s experience of the world gained through their immediate bodily engagement with it remains greater than the value of understanding gleaned through abstract mathematical, scientific or technological systems.
This book summarizes what Merleau-Ponty has to offer specifically for architects. It locates his architectural thinking in the context of his work, introduces key texts, helps decode difficult terms and provides quick reference for further reading.
1. Introduction 2. A Walk through a Museum 3. Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Life, Work, Inspiration and Influence 4. Phenomenology of Perception: A Philosophy of the ‘Lived Body’ 5. Merleau-Ponty’s Aesthetics 6. The ‘Flesh of the World’ 7. Merleau-Ponty and… 8. Conclusion: Why Should Architects Think About Merleau-Ponty?