Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group

Architecture and Embodiment

This area explores the history and theory of the relationship between architecture and the body. As human beings are fundamentally embodied entities, this bodily condition has far-reaching consequences for how we think and act in relation to our built environment.

Research draws on ideas and methods from a number of related fields, such as philosophy,

Merleau-Ponty for Architects  (Routledge 2017) Jonathan Hale - Book cover

psychology, history, cultural studies and computer science, and addresses key areas of architectural activity including drawing and design tools; construction, tectonics and materiality, interpretation and architectural criticism.


Merleau-Ponty for Architects

The phenomenological features of Merleau-Ponty’s notion of embodiment have today received extensive support by contemporary biological and neuroscientific research. Hale’s book, which highlights and distills the pivotal insights of the French philosopher, is essential reading for every architect who might ponder how people actually perceive their designed environments.' - Harry Francis Mallgrave, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA.

Buy the book - Routledge

Merleau-Ponty for Architects  (Routledge 2017) Jonathan Hale - Book cover

Healing Spaces

Healing Spaces, Modern Architecture, and the Body brings together cutting-edge scholarship examining the myriad ways that architects, urban planners, medical practitioners, and everyday people have applied modern ideas about health and the body to the spaces in which they live, work, and heal. The book’s contributors explore North American and European understandings of the relationship between physical movement, bodily health, technological innovation, medical concepts, natural environments, and architectural settings from the nineteenth century through the heyday of modernist architectural experimentation in the 1920s and 1930s and onward into the 1970s. Not only does the book focus on how professionals have engaged with the architecture of healing and the body, it also explores how urban dwellers have strategized and modified their living environments themselves to create a kind of vernacular modernist architecture of health in their homes, gardens, and backyards. This new work builds upon a growing interdisciplinary field incorporating the urban humanities, geography, architectural history, the history of medicine, and critical visual studies that reflects our current preoccupation with the body and its corresponding therapeutic culture.

Buy the book - Routledge

Healing Spaces, Modern Architecture, and the Body



Architecture, Culture and Tectonics

The University of Nottingham
Faculty of Engineering
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 86257