The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture

by Juhanni Palassmaa



In this book Pallasmaa progresses his case for a multi–sensory approach to architecture, espoused in The Eyes of the Skin, by taking a wider view of the role of embodiment in human existential reactions, experiences and expressions as well as the processes of making and thinking. The Thinking Hand is a metaphor for the characteristic independence and autonomous activity of all our senses as they constantly scan the physical world. Many of our most crucial skills are internalized as automatic reactions that we are not consciously aware of. Even in the case of learning skills, the sequence of movements in a task is internalized and embodied rather than understood and remembered intellectually. Prevailing educational philosophies continue to emphasize conceptual, intellectual and verbal knowledge over this tacit and non–conceptual wisdom of our embodied processes, which is so essential to our experience and understanding of the physical and the built.

Additional information


The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture


Juhanni Palassmaa

Year Published



John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication City

Chichester, U.K.



You may also like…