The essays included in Encounters 1 range from considerations of identity and intention to technology and nature, from standardized systems of construction to phenomenological approaches to architecture. With references to anthropology, psychology, sociology, and philosophy alongside images drawn from literature, theater, music, and the visual arts, Pallasmaa delineates an architectural landscape of active, deep, humanistic cultural engagement. By turns idealistic and somber, skeptical and persuasive, Encounters is a passionate and precisely phrased set of arguments addressing “the task of architecture” at hand.
Encounters binds together a highly selective collection of essays, lectures, and articles in an edited, thematically comprehensive format. Several essays, previously given as lectures, are published here for the first time. Important essays, with previously limited availability - “The Geometry of Feeling,” and “Hapticity and Time,” for example - are included, as are lesser known articles addressing specific architectural works, the figures of Aulis Blomstedt and Alvar Aalto, and the consequences of a contemporary culture obsessed with materialism and consumption. An equally careful selection of images accompanies the essays.