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Ruskin’s Ontology of Architecture

Pedro Marques de Abreu    CIAUD, Faculdade de Arquitectura – Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal    

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abstract

Ruskin’s critique to architecture is usually understood from the subject of style, as the defence of Gothic against Classicism. If that had been the case, his writings about architecture would have lost all of their pertinacity. But that is not the case. This paper inspects the topicality of Ruskin’s thinking about architecture. His observations on the subject are phenomenological observations avant la lettre: the result of his own experience, highly sensitive, and of his personal reflection upon it, deeply human. Almost a century before Heidegger, Ruskin describes the anthropological responsibility of architecture in a very similar manner to the one the German philosopher. My understanding is that Ruskin is revealing the ‘dwelling’ ability that pertains to architecture, and that gives it its proper identity. Without architecture’s stamp on the landscape, it would not be possible for men to ‘dwell’ on Earth, and hence, it would not be possible for men to be rightly humans, i.e. to re-member (in Ruskin’s terminology) – to accomplish that specific human trait of existence that is necessary for an authentic living, which is to be self-aware.

Published
Dec. 15, 2020
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-488-2
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-487-5

Keywords: NoveltyRuskinHumanityArchitectureMemoryDesignPhenomenologyShelterDwelling inDrawingIntentionality

Copyright: © 2020 Pedro Marques de Abreu. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted in unadapted form only and provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.