mercredi 3 décembre 2014

Can we recosmize architecture ? / A. BERQUE

Filip Dujardin
(c) Filip Dujardin
JIA 建築家大会岡山2014/9/25-27
(英訳/English version)
The Japanese Institute of Architects 2014 Congress, Okayama
Keynote lecture

Can we recosmize architecture ?

Augustin BERQUE

1. Cosmicity and the origin of architecture
A dozen years ago, Rem Koolhaas ended a writing about what he has dubbed junkspace with the following sentence: “The cosmetic is the new cosmic”.[1] Though not dealing with literature, but with architecture and urban space, this text was in itself a perfect sample of junkspace, with not a single indented line in fifteen pages and no perceivable structuring of the prose, constituted with a rambling of assertions such as the following: “It [i.e. junkspace] replaces hierarchy with accumulation, composition with addition.
More and more, more is more” (p. 176), “Junkspace is beyond measure, beyond code” (p. 177), “There is no form, only proliferation” (p.  177), “Junkspace is a web without a spider” (p. 179), “The idea that a profession [i.e. architects] once dictated, or at least presumed to predict, people’s movements now seems laughable, or worse: unthinkable” (p. 181),  “a politics of systematic disarray” (p. 183), and so on. Needless to comment, this “politics of systematic disarray” was the author’s  own claimed and acclaimed practice not only of writing, but of building.
            Now, how has it come possible to exalt junkspace in such a way, deliberately endorsing a “politics of systematic disarray”,  “while – as Koolhaas himself writes p. 177 – whole millennia [had] worked in favor of permanence, axialities, relationships and proportions”?
            As seen from Japan, the above question may at first appear a bit off the mark, since Japanese spatiality has traditionally exalted, on the contrary, asymmetry and impermanence – mujô 無常, ukiyo浮世, to say nothing of Kamo no Chômei’s famous opening lines of An Account of my Hut (Hôjôki) : “The flow of the river is ceaseless and its water is never the same. The bubbles that float in the pools, now vanishing, now forming, are not of long duration. So in the world are man and his dwellings (ゆく河の流れは絶えずしてしかももとの水にあらずよどみに浮かぶうたかたは、かつ消えかつ結びて、久しくとどまりたるためしなし。世の中にある人とすみかと、またかくのごとし)[2].  This tendency[3] is still alive, as can be witnessed by the postmodern favour of kaosu (chaos) during the bubble years in Japan. Yet,  we should not confuse the traditional spatiality of Japanese culture with chaos or junkspace. It had its proper order, which can immediately be felt, for example, in what remains of machinami 町並み, which can be translated with “street array” or “town array”. Needless to say, such an array is precisely the contrary of  the disarray of junkspace.
            As a matter of fact, before the reign of junkspace, all human cultures, in their respective worlds, have had their proper way of arranging space and thus create their own spatiality. This is what we can call spatial array. The English word array comes from the old French verb arreyer, which meant to arrange, dispose orderly, and also adorn, outfit, dress. Array has much in common with the Greek kosmos and with the Latin mundus, save the acceptation of  “world”. The common fundamental meaning of kosmos, mundus and array is that of order, an order which encompasses both the disposition of things into a certain spatial array, of people into a certain society, and the adornment of the human body – thus making a world (as for kosmos and mundus), that is the contrary of chaos.
            Hence the etymological link between the two adjectives cosmic and cosmetic, which enables Koolhaas to end his text with the pun “The cosmetic is the new cosmic”. Nowadays, this is indeed no more than a playing on words, because these two adjective relate to two antithetic dimensions – a fundamental and universal order on the one hand, a superficial and vain adornment on the other hand – , but the fact is that in traditional societies, these two dimensions were integrated into one and the same cosmicity, that of a certain world: a kosmos. That is to say that the cosmetic referred to the cosmic, and the cosmic was expressed through the cosmetic, in a mutual relationship.
            This relation can still be seen nowadays in some societies, for instance in the body paintings of the Aborigines in Australia, which express the very cosmicity or integration of their proper world. In ancient Rome, it was magnified and celebrated at each foundation of a new city,  especially by way of boring a hole called mundus, which established a link between the world of the living and that of the dead, and also made that city the navel of its own world.  This is the far-off origin of the mediaeval saying that “all roads lead to Rome”[4], since Rome was the centre of the Roman world (mundus). That same word mundus also had the meaning of dressing and adorning the human body, especially that of women (mundus muliebris), and this also concerned the house, in the sense of cleaning and housekeeping. An orderly and meaningful correspondence was thus established between the microcosm (the body, the house) and the macrocosm (the world). Except the sense of sacred hole (mundus), the same can be said about the Greek word kosmos and variously derived notions, for instance kosmètès, which, at the scale of the macrocosm, could designate the supreme god Zeus, and at that of the microcosm, a perfumer or a barber.
            This cosmicity was directly embodied by architecture, especially that of temples. The Latin word templum, the root of which relates to the idea of cutting out (temnein in Greek), originally means a portion of space delineated in the sky by the stick of an augur, and projected down onto the ground as a sacred enclosure (temenos in Greek) at the time of the founding of a city. Hence the meaning of temple, that is, a particular space establishing a correspondence between the earth and the sky. This sacred correspondence, symbolically expressed by the architecture of the temple, is the original meaning of the Greek word summetria, which, as Didier Laroque reminds us, was “not ‘symmetry’ in the debased sense which we nowadays give currently to that word [but an] exact correspondence in form, size and position of opposed parts [and a] regular distribution of parts, similar objects on each side of an axis, around a centre”.[5] That is, nothing else than the symbolic array – the cosmicity – projecting the order of the  sky (kosmos) itself into an orderly human world. 
            The very idea of architecture comes from this cosmic array of the Greek temple, in the original correspondence of the sky with the human world: “Architecture is that which uncovers an archè, the first element, order. Architecture is that which founds the origin”.[6]  And this origin is nothing else than a correspondence – a common measure, summetria – between sky and earth, the macrocosm and the microcosm, nature and the human.

2. Kosmos and (not only human) values
Architecture, of course, is not only symbolical ; it is necessarily also technical. Yet, opposing the technical to the symbolical is a modern distinction which in itself partakes in the disarray which has led to junkspace. In the cosmic array of a human world, technique and symbol go hand in hand; and this is precisely why architecture is cosmophanic : it makes this kosmos appear (phainein) evidently not only through its symbolicity, but, at the same time, through its technicality.  
            In his famous text Bauen wohnen denken (Building inhabiting thinking), Heidegger has shown that “Pro-ducing (hervorbringen) is called in Greek tiktô. The root tek of this verb can also be found in the word technè, technique. For the Greeks, this word signified neither art nor craft, but really : to make something appear as this or that, in such and such a way, among present things. The Greeks think of technè, pro-duction, from this ‘making appear’”.[7]
            Now, making something appear as such and such a thing is also the fundamental function of a symbol. The difference is that technique deals with the material aspect of things, and symbol with their immaterial meaning, but they both have the same source; that is, that which Watsuji Tetsurô, in his famous book Fûdo (1935), has dubbed fûdosei 風土性 (mediance), and defined as “the structural moment of human existence (ningen sonzai no kôzô keiki 人間存在の構造契機)”.[8] 
            Let us here first comment on one of the main implications of this “structural moment”. Moment here should be understood not as a small part of time, but, like in mechanics, as a power of moving produced by the combination of two forces – here individual Being on the one hand, and milieu on the other hand. What then is a milieu? Watsuji here establishes a fundamental distinction between milieu (fûdo 風土) and the natural environment (shizen kankyô 自然環境). Environment, he writes, is a thing that modern science has abstracted from the concrete ground of human existence – that is, mediance –  in order to make it an object, whereas milieu precisely supposes the selfhood or subjecthood (shutaisei 主体性) of human existence in order to be what it is: a dynamic “half” of the structural moment he calls mediance.
            This means that both the human being and the milieu (which necessarily supposes the social link between humans) cannot exist without each other; they co-imply each other. This radically differentiates the milieu from the environment, because the latter does not suppose the human in order to be what it is. Watsuji probably derived this idea from the findings of the great naturalist Jakob von Uexküll, whom he may have heard of through Heidegger during his stay in Germany (1927-1928). Indeed Uexküll, who profoundly influenced Heidegger at that time, had similarly established a fundamental distinction between what he called Umwelt (milieu or ambient world) on the one hand, and Umgebung on the other hand, i.e. the objective data (Gebung) of the environment. Umwelt corresponds to what Watsuji calls fûdo, and Umgebung to shizen kankyô. The only difference is that Watsuji deals with the human, while Uexküll deals with the living in general; and consequently, whereas Watsuji uses the historical method of the humanities, Uexküll uses the experimental method of the natural sciences. Yet, the founding principle of both approaches is the selfhood of the concerned being, were it animal or human.
            Owing to the structural moment of mediance – i.e. to the co-implication of milieu and Being –, the milieu is fraught with values, which are proper to the concerned being. Uexküll calls such values Ton, and analyzes a series of these, positive or negative; e.g. Esston (value as food), Hinderniston  (value as obstacle), Schutzton (value as shelter), Wohnton (value as dwelling), etc. All this depends on the concerned animal, since different species will feed in different ways, hide in different ways, etc. This means that food, obstacles, shelters, dwellings etc. do not exist in themselves as such, but only through their relationship with a certain species. The species and its milieu qualify each other, and properly exist in this reciprocity.
            From this, and through experimentation, Uexküll deduced an absolute principle: whatever the environment (Umgebung), a milieu (Umwelt) is necessarily the best possible as for the concerned species: “Optimale, d.h. denkbar günstige Umwelt und pessimale Umgebung wird als allgemeine Regel gelten können (An optimal milieu, that is the most favourable one can think of, and a pessimal environment, this may be considered as a general rule)”.[9]
            Though human values are considerably more elaborated than those of other living beings, the same principle also applies to human milieux. Each culture creates its proper milieu, whichever the environment. Similar environments will be interpreted differently by different societies, and as bad as may be the environment, the resulting milieux will necessarily be the best suited to the corresponding societies. This is exactly the rule discovered by Uexküll:  pessimale Umgebung, optimale Umwelt.
            This rule has indeed be discovered by modern science with its own experimental methods, but in fact, it had already been formulated long before as an ontological principle by Plato in the last few lines of the Timaeus, where it is said that “thus the world was born, visible living containing all the visible living, (…) the biggest, best, most beautiful and most perfect (ho kosmos houtô, zôon horaton ta horata periechon,, (…) megistos kai aristos kallistos te kai teleôtatos gegonen)”.[10] Of course, Plato had no idea of what Uexküll and Watsuji, two millennia later,  have dubbed mesology (Umweltlehre, fûdoron) ; that is, the study of milieu, which is distinct from ecology, the study of the environment. Yet this sentence contains in fact the three basic principles of mesology. First, that the milieu (here called kosmos) is “living” (zôon); and indeed, the milieu is living inasmuch as it partakes in the structural moment of the existence of a living being (whereas the greater part of the environment, e.g. stones, air and water, is not alive). Second, that the milieu is “visible” (horaton); and indeed, the milieu is what is perceived by a certain living being (whereas many aspects of the environment, though existing physically, are not perceived by living beings, who all perceive only some specific aspects of it). And third, since the milieu is the best suited to the concerned living being, it appears as endowed with superlative qualities (megistos kai aristos kallistos te kai teleôtatos).[11]
            In the case of human realities, this entails that the milieu is fraught with the three basic human qualities (and of course, their contraries as well): the Good, the Beautiful and the True, which respectively found ethics, aesthetics and either religion or science. Moreover, it entails that these three qualities imply each other and must not be separated, otherwise the array of the world will be disarrayed, and by definition decosmized (cease to exist as a world, and become a chaos).
            Now, this is exactly what, little by little, has been brought forth by modernity, and –  revealed in and by architecture, precisely because architecture is “that which founds the origin” – , finally has engendered junkspace.  Let us now analyze this process.
3. The acosmy brought forth by dualism
As Watsuji writes, mediance is the concrete ground (gutaiteki jiban 具体的地盤)[12] from which one abstracts the natural environment in order to make it a scientific object. Now, since the ontological structure of mediance co-implies (implies reciprocally) both a certain being and its milieu, this is to say that the concerned being is also abstracted as a subject from this concrete ground. This is precisely what was meant by Descartes when he wrote the following in the Discourse on method: “I knew thereby that I was a substance, the whole essence or nature of which is only thinking, and which, in order to be, needs not any place, nor depends on any material thing”.[13] These few lines are the birth certificate of modern dualism, which, at the same time and reciprocally, gave rise to the modern individual subject on the one hand, and to the modern discrete object on the other hand, both abstracted from their common concrete ground: the structural moment of human existence, i.e. mediance.
            By the same token, this double abstraction was the ontological foundation of modernity, which, little by little, was to express itself on the surface of the Earth, ipso facto converted into an objectified Umgebung. No more a milieu but, as said Descartes, a pure material extensio, that is a neutral object devoid of any ontological link with the subject’s existence.
            Now, architecture is that which, through a combination of technique and symbol, builds a properly human abode on the Earth; that is, concretely, by constructing adequate buildings in particular places. Then what happens in architecture when the ontological link between place and Being is cut by dualism? Two specifically modern events:
- First, architecture looses its concrete ground (mediance), which is replaced by the abstraction of what Mies van der Rohe has dubbed universal space. Universal space is the architectural translation of one of the founding principles of classic-modern physics: Newton’s absolute space, which is homogeneous (the same everywhere), isotropic (the same in all directions), and infinite. That is, the exact contrary of concrete milieux, which necessarily are heterogeneous (since all concrete places are different and singular), anisotropic (since, concretely, up is not down, forward is not backward, and right is not left), and finite (since, everywhere on this planet, there necessarily is a horizon). The resulting architecture is that which Philip Johnson has called the international style: everywhere the same forms.
- Second, the architectural expression of the cosmic array of the three basic human values (the Good, the Beautiful, the True) is disarrayed and torn apart. The Beautiful, embodied in the ornament, is torn apart from the Good and the True, and the ornament is discarded as a lie – both bad and false, a mere cosmetic devoid of any cosmicity. As said Adolf Loos, ornament is a crime. According to Laroque, this death sentence of the ornament, and by the same token the disarray of architecture, was symbolically foreboded as soon as the XVIIIth  century in Piranesi’s famous engravings Campo Marzio, which show the ruins of ancient Roman monuments (including the ruins of their ornaments): “Piranesi did not represent ruins of architecture, but the ruin of architecture”.[14]
            If ornament is a lie, then where is the True? The modern answer is clear: in matter and function. This is nothing else than the essence of mechanism, which itself was entailed by dualism. Indeed, if selfhood is concentrated in the modern subject alone, then the rest of the world becomes a mere objectal machine. This principle was first expressed by Descartes’ conception of the animal machine (i.e. the animal as a machine), but its consequences are much wider and more profound. Its means indeed that the whole milieu has ceased to be alive, ipso facto ceasing to be a milieu and becoming a mere mechanical environment. Translated into city planning and architectural terms, this engendered the Athens Charter and Le Corbusier’s declaration: “Une maison est une machine à habiter” (A house is a machine for living in). You just have to employ matter adequately to the function, and the result will be architecture, since, as Louis Sullivan certified, “form follows function”.
           As we have seen, this all started in the ontological abstraction of both the subject and the object from the concrete ground of mediance. From thereon, the True was to be sought for analytically, in the machinery of ever simpler material elements. This entailed reductionism: the complex must be reduced to the simplex. And since the physical is simpler than the biological, and the biological simpler than the human, you have to reduce the human to the biological, and the biological to the physical (including the chemical). The simpler the truer! This principle – the lex parsimoniae – dates back to Occam’s razor, in the XIVth century.
            The problem is that the real deployment of Being on the Earth went exactly the other way round. The simplex became ever more complex, not the reverse. The physical planet progressively engendered a biological (ecological) biosphere, which in its turn engendered a human ecumene – that is, the total sum of human milieux, adding technical and symbolical systems to the ecosystems. The ecumene is eco-techno-symbolical, not only ecological like the biosphere, which already was not only physico-chemical like the planet. This is to say that reductionism is ontologically a lie. To begin with, animals are not machines; as Uexküll put it, they are subjects, not objects. With all the more reason, a house is not a machine; it is an aspect of human mediance, and therefore, if functional it must be, it should be as a structural moment of our own existence. Much more than a machine, a house is an aspect of human Being.
            The same for architecture in general. The simpler is nor the truer, the question is not so simple. When coupled with mechanism, Mies van der Rohe’s superb principle “less is more” has nothing to do with, say, Rikyu’s principle of wabi, according to which deprivation becomes a source of both ethic and aesthetic richness; it ends up in a mere impoverishment in both aesthetical and ethical terms, inevitably bringing forth Robert Venturi’s condemnation: “less is bore”. Human beings cannot live in mere parallelepipeds, because human life exceeds geometry. It needs architecture.
            Indeed, as Charles Jencks told us in 1977 in The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, we know that “Modern architecture died in St Louis, Missouri on July 15, 1972, at 3.32pm (or thereabouts)", when the buildings of the large housing complex of Pruitt-Igoe started to be dynamited. That is, nearly half a century ago. But is it really so? For certain, postmodern architecture did liberate form, which had been enslaved by function. Ornament came back to the front of the stage, and beautiful forms flourished everywhere. Yet most of these were only formal forms, mere aesthetic katachi disconnected from any ethical kata , and arbitrarily dropping their singular sugata 姿 anywhere, without the least consideration for a common composition. The postmodern thus became the golden age of what I called E.T. architecture: an architecture coming down from the stars – a starchitecture, so to say – and landing freely in any place on Earth.
            In fact, postmodern architecture did not overturn at all the founding principle of modern architecture, that is, the abstraction of Being from place. On the contrary, it was a peroration of that same principle, substituting to the modern motto “Everywhere the same form!” the outbidder motto “Anywhere any form!” – which, far from rediscovering placeness, was on the contrary a further negation of place. A good illustration of this attitude may be found in Takamatsu Shin’s practice, who, it is said, made a point of not setting foot on the site of a future building, preferring to design its form on a white sheet in his studio, and letting his subordinates take the necessary measures on site. From this resulted such E.T. architecture as that of the building Syntax, in Kyôto. A derisive name indeed, since there is no syntax at all between this building and its surroundings. It looks like the flying robot Great Mazinger, landing there fortuitously, as it might have anywhere else.
            What resulted from this double punch of modern then postmodern architecture against placeness is junkspace: completely decosmized forms proliferating all over the Earth. Facing this phenomenon, we may choose between two attitudes:
- One may, like Koolhaas himself, ratify junkspace, and outbid E.T. architecture with ever more Alien architecture, playing derisively with the most basic markers of earthliness, such as gravity. From this principle result purely cosmetic katachi like the enormous De Rotterdam, which evokes a set of skittles on the brink of tumbling down; or like what the Pekinese have nicknamed “the big underpants” (dà kùchă ), the headquarters of the Chinese television (CCTV), since indeed they look like a pair of stretched long johns with a big overhanging ass, again on the brink of tumbling down.
- Or one may, on the contrary, search for a solution to this disarray of architecture. This is what I shall try to do in the following section.       

4. Overcoming acosmy in architecture
Let us stress first that there is no architectural recipe for solving the problem, because it is not only an architectural problem. Architecture here is only an expression of something wider and deeper. Basically, the problem is an ontological one, and it underlies all the aspects of our present civilisation. And just as it took three centuries before the modern movement in architecture fully expressed the ontological principles of dualism and the placelessness of the modern individual subject, it may take a long time before we overcome the junkspace which these ontological principles entailed at last. What seems to be certain is that, if we cling to these ontological principles, which were those of modernity as a whole, things cannot but get worse and worse, ending in a complete chaos. Yet we cannot go back to pre-modernity, by rejecting only these principles; we have to overcome them.
            Overcoming modernity (kindai no chôkoku 近代の超克), as we know, was chanted by the Kyôto school of philosophy (Kyôto gakuha 京都学派) before 1945, around Nishida Kitarô. Did it really overcome the ontological principles of modernity? I think not. It only overturned the Western modern paradigm, founded on the double principle of substantial Being and Aristotelian logic (the logic of the subject, shugo no ronri 主語の論理), into its opposite, a paradigm founded on the double principle of absolute nothingness (zettai mu 絶対無) and a logic of the predicate (jutsugo no ronri 述語の論理), also called logic of place (basho no ronri 場所の論理). Correlatively, the world was equated with the predicate and with absolute nothingness. That is, it was absolutized. Concretely, yet logically enough, this amounted historically to the absolutization of the Japanese world, that is to a pure ethnocentrism, in the form of Tennoism and ultranationalism. Far from overcoming modernity, this all ended in war and defeat.[15]
            Clearly, overturning the principles of modernity into their opposites is not the solution. On the other hand,  as we have seen, these principles have eventually produced junkspace, and they lead us to chaos. Now, a third way is possible, overcoming this fruitless alternative. For mesology (Umweltlehre, fûdoron), reality is neither on the side of the subject, nor on the side of the predicate, but is a dynamic combination of both. This I call trajection (tsûtai 通態). It can be represented with the formula r = S/P, which is read “reality (r) is the subject (S) taken as a predicate (P)”. This may at first look like the classical predication “S is P” in logic, but it is much more general, since in this process, S (something) is not only “predicated” in a certain way (P) verbally, but more fundamentally through the senses, action, mind (and only last, in the case of the human, words) of a certain being. Thus, S becomes the reality S/P : S as P.
            Trajection amounts to the process which Uexküll called Tönung: that which produces the Ton proper to the various aspects of the Umwelt of a certain species (e.g., as we have seen,  Esston, Schutzton etc.); in other words, the reality (S/P) of a certain Umwelt for the concerned being. It also amounts to what Heidegger, in Bauen wohnen denken, calls hervorbringen (pro-ducing), i.e. “making appear”. That is, making S appear as P. For example, in the milieu of a cow, making grass (S) appear as food (P), which is not the case in the milieu of a dog – although it is exactly the same grass in the same environment. Grass in itself is not food (it is only grass), but in the milieu of a cow, it is trajected into food. In that milieu, it exists really as food (S/P).
            In a concrete milieu (Umwelt, fûdo), then, reality is trajective (S/P), and it necessarily depends on a certain interpreter (I), that is, on the living being who interprets S as P. Dogs, for example, interpret grass (S) in another way (P) than cows do, and therefore do not live in the same milieu as cows, although they objectively are in the same environment.
            This is to say that reality is not binary (S-P), but ternary (S-I-P). Concretely, things do not exist in themselves (S); neither are they mere representations (P) in the mind of I; they necessarily suppose the three terms S, I, P.
            It follows that what architecture has to deal with is S-I-P: the concrete and trajective abode of Humankind on the Earth. Fundamentally, S is the Earth, or nature; P is our world (the way we interpret S); and we (e.g. the architect, or the inhabitant) are I, in the trinity S-I-P. It should be clear, then, that the essential function of architecture is nothing else than what Uexküll called Tönung, and Heidegger hervorbringen; that is, the trajection of the Earth (S) as our world (P), thus pro-ducing the reality of our milieu (S/P). 
            From this ensue two principles:
- First, architecture must necessarily refer to the Earth (S). For building a human world (P), it must rise from the ground (S), not come down from the stars of mere representations (P), like E.T. architecture arbitrarily and irresponsibly does. Yet founding on (founding P on S) is not reducing to (reducing P to S); on the contrary, it is an assumption of S into P. If, ultimately, architecture has to refer to the Earth, this does not mean at all that it must be enslaved by ecology (that is, by the Umgebung : S). Just like evolution and history have eventually done, it must combine creatively ecosystems with technical and symbolic systems – which basically are ways (P) of interpreting the Umgebung (S) into the reality of an Umwelt (S/P).
- Second, on the other hand, architecture should not be limited to a game of forms (P). Unlike poststructuralism and its metabasism (pretending to be done with the ground), it has to preserve reference, and cannot be satisfied with only difference.[16] That is, architecture cannot stop at katachi (mere beautiful forms), it must found its forms in certain types (kata) inherited from the history of a certain society, with its proper aesthetical and ethical values, and it must found its types in a certain milieu (fûdo), which itself is founded on the Earth (nature). E.T. architecture – in other words, junkspace architecture – does exactly the contrary.
            The above two principles are in fact nothing else than two different expressions of the same principle of reality (S/P). Reality needs both S as a ground, and P as an opening. Only by respecting both ground and opening can we think of overcoming, someday, the disarray of the vain alternative between the exaltation of S (modernity) and that of P (the postmodern, poststructuralism and the like). By creatively balancing S and P, the Earth and our world, we can hope to recosmize architecture, little by little but durably. And we must do it, because, as the modern natural sciences have taught us, together with history, ethics and aesthetics, there is no possible life, in the long run, without a properly arrayed milieu. [17]  

Palaiseau, 14 september 2014.

[1] Rem KOOLHAAS, « Junkspace », October, vol. 100, Obsolescence (Spring 2002), 275-190, p. 190.
[2] English translation by Donald KEENE, Anthology of Japanese Literature from the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century (New York: Grove Press, 1955), p. 199.
[3] Which I have tried to grasp in Vivre l’espace au Japon (Paris: PUF, 1981 ; 日本語訳『空間の日本文化』、筑摩書房、1985); Du geste à la cité. Formes urbaines et lien social au Japon (Paris: Gallimard, 1993 ; 日本語訳『都市の日本』、筑摩書房、1995) ; Le sens de l’espace au Japon. Vivre, penser, bâtir (with Maurice Sauzet, Paris: Arguments, 2004).
[4] Which appears in Latin in Alain de Lille’s  Liber Parabolarum (1175), in the form Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam (A thousand roads lead men forever to Rome).
[5] Didier LAROQUE, Le temple. L’ordre de la Terre et du Ciel, essai sur l’architecture, Paris : Bayard, 2002, p. 81.
[6] LAROQUE, op. cit., p. 14.
[7] Martin HEIDEGGER, Essais et conférences, Paris : Gallimard, 1958, p. 190.
[8] WATSUJI Tetsurô, Fûdo. Ningengakuteki kôsatsu, Tokyo : Iwanami, 1979 (1935), p. 3.
[9] Jakob von UEXKÜLL, Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen. Bedeutungslehre, Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1956 (1934), p. 29.
[10] PLATON, Timée, Critias, Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 1985 (1925), p. 228.
[11] I have detailed these questions in Écoumène. Introduction à l’étude des milieux humains, Paris: Belin, 2000 (日本語訳『風土学序説』、筑摩書房, 2002), and Poétique de la Terre. Histoire naturelle et histoire humaine, essai de mésologie, Paris : Belin, 2014.
[12] WATSUJI, op. cit. p. 3.
[13] René DESCARTES, Discours de la méthode, Paris : Flammarion, 2008 (1637), p. 38-39.
[14] Didier LAROQUE, Le discours de Piranèse. L’ornement sublime et le suspens de l’architecture, Paris : Éditions de la Passion, 1999, 4th cover.
[15] See about this A. BERQUE (ed.) Logique du lieu et dépassement de la modernité, Bruxelles: Ousia, 2000, 2 vol. 
[16] On this, see Catherine BELSEY, Poststructuralism. A very short introduction, Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 10.
[17] More on these perspectives in my La mésologie, pourquoi et pour quoi faire ?, Paris : Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2014.