Architecture can influence the way we feel, and can help us along as we go about our lives, or sabotage our habitual ways of doing things. The essays collected here challenge, and help to define a view of architecture which ranges from the minimal domesticity of Diogenes' barrel, to the exuberant experiments of the contemporary avant-garde. Architecture is always more than building, but is a folding together of buildings and culture, so that the buildings come to have meaning as they are caught up in a way of life, and architecture is best appreciated as part of an art of living. Andrew Ballantyne's substantial essay "The Nest and the Pillar of Fire" introduces the collection, which explores some themes and problems generated by architecture, from the everyday to the extraordinary, by looking at architecture and what people have to say about it. Collected here, there are reflections on everyday life and the posthumanist subject, and on both the words and the deeds of philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Deleuze.
There are essays by philosophers, architects and art historians, including Roger Scruton, Bernard Tschumi, Demetri Pophyrios, Kenneth Frampton, Diane Ghirardo and David Goldblatt. They consider what architecture should be, what it does, and how it is involved in our lives, whether by reminding us of lofty ideals, or exasperating us by generating housework. Philosophy has a role to play, either by helping to make an exacting and incisive analysis, or by being deployed as a means of seduction. Roger Scruton, Diane Ghirardo, Michel de Certeau, Neil Leach, Kathleen McHugh, Joyce Henri Robinson, Demetri Porphyrios, Kenneth Frampton, David Goldblatt, Bernard Tschumi