The Tangible Presence of Human Labor in Architecture

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This essay aims to show that in many of the theories that fundament material culture and architectural experience, labor is implied in the constitution of material and, although seldom directly addressed, it is a determining dimension of materiality. From the Vitruvian and Renaissance treatises and Gottfried Semper to John Ruskin and the Art and Crafts Movement, the underlying presence of labor can be seen intertwined with materials whenever they are called into architectural discussion as sensorial arguments. Just like the physical qualities of materials, labor, skills and techniques are imprinted in the built environment and contribute to the creation of particular atmospheres.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International Congress on Ambiances, Alloaesthesia: Senses, Inventions, Worlds
Place of PublicationFrance
PublisherRéseau International Ambiances
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAmbiances, Alloaesthesia: Senses, Inventions, Worlds: 4th International Congress on Ambiances, e-Conference - University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
Duration: 2 Dec 20204 Dec 2020


ConferenceAmbiances, Alloaesthesia: Senses, Inventions, Worlds
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Barbara
Internet address


  • Architectural Experience
  • Sensuous Perception
  • Material Culture
  • Labor


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