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A Sensuous Ethics of Difference

Authors

  • RACHEL McCANN


Abstract

This essay outlines how Western culture, and in particular the practice of architecture, has failed to develop a nuanced and ethical approach to alterity. It examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty's conception of the flesh as a process of continual self-interrogation through perceptual acts that intertwine communality and difference, establishing a shared world through interlocution, and explores how the work of Merleau-Ponty and Luce Irigaray augment each other to deepen our understanding of alterity. It then examines architectural design as an intercorporeal and intersubjective act that creatively refigures sedimented spatial and social habits. Using the example of an architectural design studio, it demonstrates how designers can critically confront nuances of alterity through investigating the corporeal and social depths of architecture.

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