At Home in the World: Architecture, the Public and the Writings of Hannah Arendt

Hans Teerds

    Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

    23 Downloads (Pure)


    The modern emphasis on authenticity and the individual not only caused an ‘astonishing flowering of poetry and music’ and ‘the rise of the novel’ states the philosopher Hannah Arendt in her well-known book The Human Condition, but also the fall and ‘decline of the more public arts, especially architecture.’ In this study Hans Teerds takes up the challenge to address the public aspects of architecture, as they emerge from the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt. Starting from a reflection upon the contemporary urban landscape and its seemingly loss of public space, he challenges the contemporary theoretical discourses on the fall of the public character of architecture. Architecture, this study argues, shapes the experience of public appearance rather than being able to guarantee public life. It enables the human being to appear in public and to be ‘at home in the world’. The essential task of architecture is to shape and make tangible the common in society, to ‘thicken our understanding of the world.’ Architecture therefore is to be understood as a public enterprise, not simply a matter of the architect and other stakeholders only. After its fall, the challenge thus is to recover architecture as public art.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Delft University of Technology
    • Avermaete, Tom, Supervisor
    Award date13 Dec 2017
    Print ISBNs978-94-92516-91-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Architecture
    • public spaces
    • Hannah Arendt
    • Public Realm
    • Political philosophy


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