The German-American philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) once stated that spatial thinking is ‘political’ thinking, as it is concerned about the world and its inhabitants. We certainly can understand spatial thinking here as architectural thinking: the ‘world’ for Arendt meant the ways in which we make the globe habitable for people: how we build houses and cities, infrastructures and other networks, and furnish spaces with tables, chairs, paintings and photographs. According to Arendt, this world-of-things was crucial for political life: it is this world that simultaneously connects people and separates them, just like a table organises the people (and the conversation) around it.
This OASE examines architecture – design, building, built environment – from this perspective. The issue opens with an introduction to Arendt’s political thinking, and how it is connected to the (production of) the world. Next, a variety of architects, including George Baird, Patrick Bouchain, Pier Vittorio Aureli, and Mary Duggan, will have the floor to examine their daily practice from Arendt’s perspective.