Rethinking Aesthetics is the first book to bring together prominent voices in the fields of architecture, philosophy, aesthetics, and cognitive sciences to radically rethink the relationship between body and design. These essays argue that aesthetic experiences can be nurtured at any moment in everyday life, thanks to recent discoveries by researchers in neuroscience, phenomenology, somatics, and analytic philosophy of the mind, who have made the correlations between aesthetic cognition, the human body, and everyday life much clearer.

The essays, by Yuriko Saito, Juhani Pallasmaa, and Richard Shusterman, among others, range from an integrated mind-body approach to chair design, to Zen Buddhist notions of mindfulness, to theoretical accounts of existential relationships with buildings, to present a full spectrum of possible inquiries. By placing the body in the center of design, Rethinking Aesthetics opens new directions for rethinking the limits of both essentialism and skepticism.

chapter |10 pages


part 1|129 pages

Role of Aesthetic Response in Everyday Life

chapter 2|15 pages

Dewey’s Big Idea for Aesthetics

chapter 4|15 pages

From Buildings to Architecture

Construing Nelson Goodman’s Aesthetics

chapter 5|40 pages

The Extended Self

Tacit Knowing and Place-Identity

part 2|90 pages

Modes of Aesthetic Response

chapter 6|15 pages

Somatics and Aesthetics

The Role of Body in Design 1

chapter 8|23 pages

Traditional Knowledge for Contemporary Uses

An Analysis of Everyday Practices of Self-Help in Architecture

chapter 9|10 pages

Environmental Embodiment, Merleau-Ponty, and Bill Hillier’s Theory of Space Syntax

Toward a Phenomenology of People-In-Place

chapter 10|17 pages

Mental and Existential Ecology