Sense of the City: An Alternative Approach to Urbanism by Lars Muller Publishers is a book that relates a lot to my project. It’s a book that explores the urban city by making use of our sensorial perception.
Challenging the dominance of vision, Sense of the City: An Alternative Approach to Urbanism proposes a new approach – a “sensorial urbanism” whose aim is to analyze urban phenomena in terms of luminosity and darkness, seasons and climate, the smell of the air, the material surfaces of the city, and sounds. How do we perceive the urban settings that constitute the habitat of an ever greater proportion of the world’s population? In recent years, we have sought to better understand subtle, sensorial qualities of the urban environment, looking at how our perception, judgement, and tolerance of these phenomena are culturally and historically determined.
Sense of the City accompanies the 2005 CCA exhibition of the same name. Following the thematic structure of the exhibition, the book comprises a critical interpretation of the city through sensory experience. The city at night, as well as its seasons, sounds, surfaces and smells, serve as the organizing themes.
With an introduction by Mirko Zardini and preface by Phyllis Lambert, the publication features essays by cultural historians Constance Classen and Wolfgang Schivelbusch, anthropologist David Howes, urban designer and planner Norman Pressman, and historian Emily Thompson.
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