Poetics is a significant strand of architectural thought. An established seminar topic in theory classes around the world, it is taught in almost every architecture school. Until now, theory courses have tended to rely heavily on classic philosophical texts, such as Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space. The interest in poetics in recent years, though, has expanded beyond academia into design and practice, as the atmospheric and experiential qualities of built space have become more critical and seemingly elusive in a virtual age. How might poetics, defined as the accumulated experience of place, space and culture, be deemed to be at play in the designing of all well-conceived architectural spaces? Moreover, how might architects seek to invoke poetics when designing real projects?
The emphasis of the book is on analysing and explaining the sensibility of poetics at work in designing and constructing architecture. The book is rich in analytical diagrams, and documents featured projects through plans, sections and photography. The text is matter of fact and concrete. It, however, remains richly connected to its forebears and the writings of those such as William Lethaby, Gaston Bachelard and Steen Eiler Rasmussen. It is highly contemporary in its examples and in its connections to the evolving science of perception.
The book features selected projects from architects around the world, from emerging practices to well-established offices, including Peter Cook/CRAB studio, DSDHA, Sean Godsell Architects, O'Donnell + Tuomey, Ushida Findlay and WOHA.