Attunement. A New Book on Atmospheres

Attunement: Architectural Meaning after the Crisis of Modern Science (by  Alberto Pérez-Gómez, MIT Press, Cambridge-MA, 2016)



Architecture remains in crisis, its social relevance lost between the two poles of formal innovation and technical sustainability. In  Attunement, Alberto Pérez-Gómez calls for an architecture that can enhance our human values and capacities, an architecture that is connected – attuned – to its location and its inhabitants. Architecture, Pérez-Gómez explains, operates as a communicative setting for societies; its beauty and its meaning lie in its connection to human health and self-understanding.

Pérez-Gómez views architecture through the lens of mood and atmosphere, linking these ideas to the key German concept of  Stimmung — attunement — and its roots in Pythagorean harmony and Vitruvian temperance or proportion. He considers the primacy of place over space; the linguistic aspect of architecture – the voices of architecture and the voice of the architect; architecture as a multisensory (not pictorial) experience, with Piranesi, Ledoux, and Hejduk as examples of metaphorical modeling; and how  Stimmung might be put to work today to realize the contemporary possibilities of attunement. (via