by Juhani Pallasmaa

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Juhani Pallasmaa is an architect and visiting Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as well as the current Plym Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign inChampaign, Illinois. Also a former professor of architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology and a former Director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, he is the author of numerous books, including Archipelago. Essays on Architecture, The Eyes of the Skin – Architecture and the Senses and The Thinking Hand, the last of which is required reading for all architecture students in the College of Design at NC State. Pallasmaa is the current director of an architecture studio, Arkkitehtitoimisto Juhani Pallasmaa – in Helsink, Pallasmaa
Pallasmaa’s article is a variation of the preface to The Thinking Hand, written for the Student Publication. In the article, Palasmaa considers the interrelationship of technology, handwork and how we think. “During the past century and half”, Palasmaa argues, “the mechanized and automated processes of industrial manufacture have largely eliminated the presence of the human hand from our daily objects and settings of life. This gradual distancing from the embodied and tactile world of the hand has been heightened in the past few decades by the computerized methods of drawing, modelling and designing. This digital development is actually detaching the human processes of thinking and imagination from their essential connection with memory, body, and the sense of existence and self.”

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