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The sense and non-sense of Rudolf Steiner's architecture

Gray, Fiona 2013, The sense and non-sense of Rudolf Steiner's architecture, in Cultural ecology : new approaches to culture, architecture and ecology, School of Architecture + Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic., pp. 98-105.

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Title The sense and non-sense of Rudolf Steiner's architecture
Author(s) Gray, Fiona
Conference name Cultural Ecology. Symposium (2012 : Geelong, Victoria)
Conference location Geelong, Victoria
Conference dates 23-24 Oct. 2012
Title of proceedings Cultural ecology : new approaches to culture, architecture and ecology
Editor(s) Lozanovska, Mirjana
Publication date 2013
Conference series Cultural Ecology Symposium
Start page 98
End page 105
Total pages 8
Publisher School of Architecture + Built Environment, Deakin University
Place of publication Geelong, Vic.
Keyword(s) Rudolf Steiner
sensory architecture
colour theory
Summary According to Rudolf Steiner, within the sensory world there exists a spiritual world that remains concealed from our consciousness to the extent that our perception is limited to our senses and sense bound thinking. He argued that ignorance of this supersensible realm was the result of a limited understanding of the senses. Rather than the usual five senses, Steiner differentiated twelve sense functions through which, he believed, human beings were capable of perceiving subtle dimensions of life beyond the immediately apparent physical realm of being. His theory of the senses elucidated the potentiality for an understanding of the way the spiritual world creates its image in the physical world and he saw artistic activity as a means of making this hidden union manifest. As such, Steiner advocated a multi-sensory architecture that articulated its spiritual presence experientially through an active engagement with its forms, colours, textures, light and sound. However, due to the esoteric overtones of Steiner's writing, his theory of the senses has received very little scholarly attention, particularly in relation to its relevance to architectural creation. This paper aims to peel back the layers of jargon and mysticism that Steiner employed in order to reveal how his unique insights into the nature of the senses informed his architectural products. Such an approach will provide a more comprehensive understanding of Steiner's distinctive architectural forms as well as the significant philosophical ideas that inform them.
Language eng
Field of Research 129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
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Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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