The Place of Being and Becoming

‘Now what does the word “phusis” say? It says what emerges from itself (for example, the emergence, the blossoming, of a rose), the unfolding that opens itself up, the coming-into-appearance in such unfolding, and holding itself and persisting in appearance—in short, the emerging-abiding sway.’ — Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics.[1] I take that ‘emerging-abiding sway’... Continue Reading →

Being as Place: Introduction to Metaphysics – Part One

Based on the new translation of Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics (2000), this article, aside from presenting Heidegger’s metaphysical discourse on Being, aims at elucidating the ground for my reinterpretation of the traditional concept of place and the related concepts of space and time. This ground has many intersecting threads with Heidegger’s elucidation of the notion... Continue Reading →

On the Ambiguous Language of Space

With this article, I shall turn my attention back to the diffusion of the concept of space in architecture, in the first decades of the XX century. Again, this is to show that space should be preferably understood as an ideal entity (to grasp not without epistemological ambiguities) rather than a physical entity existing ‘out... Continue Reading →

Place and Occasion

I arrived at the conclusion that whatever space and time mean, place and occasion mean more, for space in the image of man is place, and time in the image of man is occasion. Split apart by the schizophrenic mechanism of determinist thinking, time and space remain frozen abstractions... A house should therefore be a... Continue Reading →

Spacetime and the Event-Place (1995-2021)

Images 01-02: From space-time — early study painting for the Vitra Fire Station, © Zaha Hadid Foundation — to the event-place, 17 April 1995 — Encounters at the Vitra Fire Station (1991-1993),Weil am Rhein, Germany, Zaha Hadid Architects (Photo by Wojtek Gurak, Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0). Slideshow: Event-place, 20 July 2021 — Encounter with and... Continue Reading →

Mind, Space, Architecture: On The International Style

In the captions that describe the images of the 74 buildings contained in the seminal book for architects, The International Style,[1] the two American authors — architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock and architect Philip Johnson — speak about every element of the so-called modern style of architecture. With hindsight, we can rightly affirm that just one... Continue Reading →

Concepts of Space in Vitruvius

The previous article could be read as a prologue to the present one: that article — Place Space and the Unicorn — unveils the premises and the reasons which took me to analyze an ancient text like De Architectura, written by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the first century B.C.,  to understand how the notion... Continue Reading →

Place Space and the Unicorn

With this article, I want to make a point on the main traditional presuppositions and personal assumptions I have presented so far concerning the meanings of the concepts of space and place. The basic consideration on which I have founded my research on the concepts of space and place concerns the belief that concepts have... Continue Reading →

The Feeling for Space and Place

The Feeling for Space and Place. Photographic report on how the concepts of space (spazio) and place (luogo) are perceived and used with communicative intent through the streets of Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto. How are the concepts of space and place perceived and used with communicative intent through the streets of Milano?... Continue Reading →

On the Structure of Reality

“… static patterns of value are divided into four systems: inorganic patterns, biological patterns, social patterns and intellectual patterns. They are exhaustive. That's all there are. If you construct an encyclopedia of four topics - Inorganic, Biological, Social and Intellectual — nothing is left out. No 'thing,' that is. Only Dynamic Quality, which cannot be... Continue Reading →

The Place of Processes: Nature and Life

In October 1933 the American philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead delivered two lectures at the University of Chicago, published under the title ‘Nature and Life’, the following year.[1] The content of those two lectures, now in the public domain, is available in the Internet Archive. What follows is the integral reproduction of the second... Continue Reading →

Architecture as Place of Sustainability

The argument I’m introducing regards the result of my initial inquiry into the relation between architecture and the concept of environmental sustainability, which is an issue I began to work on in the second part of the last decade. The draft of this document goes back to the late 2012 and it was the architectural... Continue Reading →

The Place of Sustainability

In the second part of the first decade of the 2000s, I felt very dissatisfied with the current status of architecture, which had reached a peak of extreme formalism far beyond the premises of postmodernist and deconstructivist trends, which dominated the architectural debate over the last decades of the past century. With the definitive capillary... Continue Reading →

The 3rd Skin: Survival Through Design

In this article, I will analyse the traditional spatial vocabulary of a pioneer of modern architecture, Richard Neutra, as we find it in Chapter 22 — ‘Physiological Space’ - Has Direction and Ranges — of his famous 1954 book ‘Survival Through Design’.[1] My purpose is to see continuities and differences with respect to the reformed... Continue Reading →

Limit Place Appearance

Since I was an undergraduate student at the School of Architecture, Politecnico di Milano, in the 1990s, the concept of space almost exclusively attracted my attention. I soon learned — from critics and architects — that Architecture was a discipline concerned with space; but it took me a while to understand what that really meant;... Continue Reading →

Urban Spaces or Places?

I was working on the previous article concerning Heidegger and the Thing when the radio I usually listen to in the background begun to playing Billy Idol’s notorious hit, Flesh for Fantasy. This song was one of my favourites in the mid-80s, so I pumped up the volume a little bit and I enjoyed its... Continue Reading →

What Is a Thing?

One of the main tenets of my inquiry into the concepts of space and place can be synthesized by the following assertion: at fundamental level, for me, things and places are the same. It is as if there is just one substance, which I can also call place (or even space), according to the modes... Continue Reading →

Place Kicks Us Back, Space…

... does not. Heidegger’s introductive paragraph of the book What Is a Thing? — which is the extended subject of the forthcoming article — is particularly appropriate for a further clarification concerning the concepts of place and space (or, at least, it is appropriate for a clarification concerning my proposal for rethinking those concepts). As... Continue Reading →

Chōra Project for the “Concrete Geometries” Research Cluster at the AA School of Architecture in London, by Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto (April 2010). This video-clip is a survey on Perception and Geometry and it shows the process of construction of an architectural form, analyzing a case study based on the preliminary concepts of the author’s... Continue Reading →

Place, Space, and the Fabric of Reality

1. The Fabric of Reality and its Continuum In this article, I will use the terms continuum, physical continuum, dimensional continuum or even extensive continuum, to refer to the reciprocal order of things and bodies ingrained in the material substrate in which things and bodies exist and move.[1] This continuum is the invisible substrate we... Continue Reading →

The ‘Topos’ of a Thing

I briefly come back to the renewed sense of place I’ve spoken about in the previous article - What Is Place? What Is Space? - where I've said that  ‘place is any real entity emerging from inorganic, organic, social and symbolic - or intellectual - processes’ (definition I-R. a); more extendedly - and including a... Continue Reading →

James J. Gibson on the Concept of Space

I am also asking the reader to suppose that the concept of space has nothing to do with perception. Geometrical space is a pure abstraction… The visual third dimension is a misapplication of Descartes’s notion of three axes for a coordinate system. The doctrine that we could not perceive the world around us unless we... Continue Reading →

What Is Place? What Is Space?

The traditional and well-established meaning of a concept crystallized into a specific word should be the starting point for any investigation that aims at questioning that concept. In this article, I will list all of the different entries and the different senses that the noun place and the noun space have according to the Oxford... Continue Reading →

Places Everywhere

1. Young Man at His Window This is just common sense: look out the window of your home or office. What do you see? You just see places. A bench, a tree, a park where people can talk and children can play, a square, a street, a building, a mural on the facade of a... Continue Reading →

From Space to Place

The first article of this website is dedicated to the complete transcription of the paper that I presented on Friday, the 5th of September 2014, at the ‘5th Global Conference, Space and Place: Exploring Critical Issues’, held at the Mansfield College, Oxford (UK). The conference was organized by, a Global Network Association for Dynamic... Continue Reading →

Preliminary Notes

Since the beginning of the twentieth century,  following important scientific advances, a reconsideration of basic natural phenomena is underway, as well as a reconsideration of the relationship between man and nature. This fact will lead to the formalization of a new post-Newtonian cosmology, that is a new conception of nature, and, therefore, a new model... Continue Reading →

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