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Encounters 1 considers "the task of architecture"

“Architecture frames human existential experience and provides a horizon of understanding. As architects, we do condition others’ lives; this definitively projects a decisive ethical dimension onto our work. Architecture also implies the significant allocation of collective resources—this is a serious responsibility. For me, the current course of Western culture—towards a surreal cult of materialism and consumption, temporary fashion and image—poses another moral imperative. The task of the artist and architect is to resist these forces, to prevent the erosion of value and meaning.” Juhani Pallasmaa

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.

Juhani Pallasmaa, Finnish architect, educator, and critic, is a leading international figure in contemporary architecture, design and art culture. Since 2008, he has served on the jury for the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. Pallasmaa is the author and editor of numerous books, including Encounters: Architectural Essays (2006) and The Architecture of Image (2001). The 1999 recipient of the UIA Jean Tschumi Gold Medal for Architectural Criticism and an Academician of the International Academy of Architecture, Pallasmaa has written and lectured extensively across the world for over 40 years on architecture, the visual arts, environmental phenomenology, and cultural philosophy.

Encounters 1 – Architectural Essays Juhani Pallasmaa
Edited by Peter MacKeith
Publisher: Rakennustieto Publishing
2nd edition
384 pp., e 59,00 (VAT included)
Softback with folds
190 x 250 portrait
ISBN 978-952-267-022-9
402 photographs

More information, press photos and press copies: Rakennustieto Publishing /

Copies of the book can be purchased from our online bookstore as well as at our own bookstores in Finland and other good bookshops around the world.

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Press release 20.9.2012

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