Reading: Heidegger’s “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”

“… when to dwell means merely that we take shelter in them” (Heidegger 100)

“What, then, does Bauen building, mean? The Old English and High German word for building, buan means to dwell. This signifies; to remain, to stay in place. The real meaning of the verb, bauen, namely, to dwell, has been lost to us” (Heidegger 100).

“When we speak of dwelling we usually think of an activity that man performs alongside many other activities. We work here and dwell there. We do not merely dwell – that would be virtual inactivity” (Heidegger 100).

“The old word bauen says that man is insofar as he dwells, this word bauen however also means at the same time to cherish and protect, to preserve and care for, specifically to till the soil,, to cultivate the vine. Such building only takes care – it tends the growth that ripens into its fruit of its own accord” (Heidegger 101).

“Here building, in contrast with cultivating,is a constructing. Both modes of building – building as cultivating, Latin colere, cultura, and building, that is dwelling as the raising up of edifices, aedifiare – are comprised within genuine building, that is, dwelling” (Heidegger 101).

“1) Building is really dwelling. 2) Dwelling is the manner in which mortals are on the earth. 3) Building as dwelling unfolds into the building that cultivates growing things and the building that erects buildings” (Heidegger 102).

“Gathering or assembly, by an ancient word of our language, is called ‘thing’. The bridge is a thing – and indeed, it is such as the gathering of the fourfold” (Heidegger 104).

“Things which, as locations, allow a site we now in anticipation call buildings. They are also called because they are made by a process of building construction. Of what sort this making – building – must be, however, we find out only after we have first given thought to the nature of those things which of themselves require building as the process by which they are made. These things are locations that allow a site for the fourfold, a site that in each case provides space” (Heidegger 105).

“Yet space is not something that faces man. It is neither an external object nor an inner experience” (Heidegger 106).

“Building puts up locations that make space and a site for the fourfold. From the simple oneness in which earth and sky, divinities and mortals belong together, building receives the directive for its erecting of locations” (Heidegger 107).

“For his cultivates the growing things of the earth and takes care of his increase. Cultivating and caring are a kind of building. But man not only cultivates what produces growth out of itself; he also builds in the sense of aedificare, by erecting things that cannot come into being and subsist by growing. Things that are built in this sense include not only buildings but all the works made by man’s hands and through his arrangements” (Heidegger 112).

“Building in the sense of the farmer’s cultivation of growing things, and of erecting edifices and works and the production of tools, is already a consequence of the nature of dwelling, but it is not its ground, let alone its grounding. This grounding must take place in a different building” (Heidegger 112).



Works Cited:

Heidegger, Martin. Building, Dwelling, Thinking. 2000. 100-124. Print.

Reading: Turner’s “Housing by People: towards Autonomy in Building Environments”

“This confusion and consequent error can only be avoided by recognizing the different meanings of ‘housing’ and ‘value’ and by using them properly. Market values are, of course, different from human values” (Turner 64).

“In English the word ‘housing’ means both the stock of swelling units (a noun) and the process by which that stock is created and maintained (a verb)” (Turner 64).

“Housing must, therefore, be used as a verb rather than as a noun- as a process that subsumes products. Real values are those that lie in the relationships between the elements of housing action – between the actors, their activities and their achievements” (Turner 66).

“Quantitative methods cannot describe the relationships between things, people and nature – which is just where experience and human values lie. They may be essential for determining resource allocation, and as aids in identifying complex systems and their components, but quantitative methods can only indicate, not measure, non-quantifiable components – the human realities of housing” (Turner 66).

“as a subsystem of the large system or systems of which it can been seen as a part. Any subject matter of value must have three elements: people, the things they do, and the relationships between the two. Or, as Geddes expressed it: organism – function – environment (where function is the relationship and oth organism and environment are acting on each other). In the simplist useful terms, any specific housing process can be described as the interaction of the people (or actors) and their products (or achievements) through the medium of their roles and responsibilities (or activities)” (Turner 70).

Works Cited

Turner, John F. C. “Chapter 3.” Housing by People: towards Autonomy in Building Environments. New York: Pantheon, 1977. 53-77. Print.

Reading: Habraken’s “Supports: an Alternative to Mass Housing”

” to build is first and foremost serve, and therefore is principally concerned with the humanitarian side of the problem” (Habraken, 3)

“We can only talk about a housing problem when all the difficulties connected with living and building slot together. That is, when one problem causes another, or the solution of one problem depends on that of all the others” (Habraken 6).

“In short, those who are concerned with housing feel largely powerless to produce more and better results because action in their own field either appears to be insufficient or presupposes interrelated action on the part of many others…. The way in which it fits in with the others is what requires our attention.” (Habraken 7).

“Forces by themselves of course are neither destructive nor constructive nor constructive: their effect lies in the direction in which their operate” (Habraken 12).

“If we investigate the nature of the influence which the inhabitant can exercise, it will soon appear that it is not negligible, for because it arises from the everyday actions of people it is closely connected with essential human activities” (Habraken 12).

“These activities of the individual turn out to be the undesirable interference which mass housing has made them out to be, but are on the contrary so natural and self-evident, so simple and everyday, that it seems superfluous to mention them. At the same time they are so interwoven with human happiness and human dignity that they are far more than merely an influence in the housing process” (Habraken 12).

“It may be that the individual will be asked to make certain sacrifice to enable society as a whole to fulfill its housing task” Kabraken 12).

“But there are totally different requirements to be fulfilled in the field of housing; requirements which do not ask for products, but which are themselves productive or creative” (Habraken 14).

“… for civilization is first and foremost rooted in everyday actions of ordinary people going about their business. The material forms in which civilization is expressed result in the first place from these simple daily tasks” (Habraken 15).

“We imagine that, to produce, no matter how, or why, or by whom, means ‘civilization,’ whereas on the contrary civilization is concerned with the interaction between people and their activities in terms of each other and their environment. When these activities result in tangible forms, these are symbols of a civilization only by virtue of the manner in which they came about, which is reflected in their form” (Habraken 16).

“To possess something we have to take possession. We have to make it part of ourselves” (Habraken 18).

“The creation of a building is sometimes an artistic event, but ist is always an identification, and therefore it is of importance to us to note that this identification is closely connected with the urge to possess” (Habraken 20).

“And yet no two things are further apart than the dwelling and the machine. For the purpose of the machine is to perform certain actions for us, while the dwelling should enable us to perform certain actions ourselves. We live in it, a great part of our lives is ‘performed’ in it” (Habraken 24).

“These two notions cannot be separated, but together comprise the notion of man housing himself; dwelling is building. We are constantly faced with the results of the same relation between man and matter” (Habraken 25).


Works Cited:

Habraken, N. J. “Chapter One.” Supports: an Alternative to Mass Housing. New York: Praeger, 1972. Print.