In this article, artist and writer Taney Roniger, reviews Sarah Robinson’s recent book, ‘Architecture is a Verb’, which outlines an approach that shifts the fundamental premises of architectural design and practice in several important ways. First, it acknowledges the centrality of the human organism as an active participant interdependent in its environment. Second, it understands human action in terms of radical embodiment―grounding the range of human activities traditionally attributed to mind and cognition: imagining, thinking, remembering―in the body. Third, it asks what a building does―that is, extends the performative functional interpretation of design to interrogate how buildings move and in turn move us, how they shape thought and action. Finally, it is committed to articulating concrete situations by developing a taxonomy of human/building interactions.
Joshua Burraway is a medical anthropologist working at the intersection between social and political theory, cultural phenomenology, addiction medicine, and psychiatry. He is interested in how historical and structural forces shape different modes of subjectivity, in particular with regards to altered states of consciousness induced by psychoactive chemicals among homeless substance-users. ‘The Black Stuff’ and ‘The Sill’ are recent short stories he has written.
A meditation on creativity in life, art and psychotherapy, its expression as a phenomenology of bursting, and the challenge of keeping going, with John Coltrane, Rainer Maria Rilke and Maurice Merleau-Ponty as companions.
Derek Bean is a practising Existential-Phenomenological Psychotherapist and registered member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
Guillaume Thierry is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Bangor University.
“I am passionate about the human mind and how it makes sense of the world around us. My research is devoted to understanding how we form concepts, consciously or unconsciously, how we manipulate them, through language or nonverbally, how we learn, remember, forget, and imagine. In my applied work, I strive to inspire individuals to attain higher state of awareness of the world and of themselves. I share real stories and construct fictional ones to entice the imagination of others and invite everyone along on the path to higher levels of insight, understanding, and joy.”
CIRCLINGS shows examples of a new book of drawings by Garry Kennard, which were prompted by the final lines of the last canto of Dante’s Divine Comedy. These words describe the vision that Dante experiences at end of his journey through hell, purgatory and paradise. They tell of his witnessing the creative power at the heart of creation. In this he sees a great circling of reflected spheres and rainbows and, somehow, the human image within it all. The article includes the preface by Paul Broks, clinical neuropsychologist-turned-writer.
Andre Spicer is Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Cass Business School, City, University of London. His main expertise is in the area of organizational behaviour. In particular he has done work on organizational power and politics, identity, the creation of new organizational forms, space and architecture plays at work and more recently leadership.
Fiona Stafford is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford and tutorial fellow at Somerville College. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She works on literature of the Romantic period, especially Austen, Burns, Clare, Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge, and on their literary influences on modern poetry. Her research interests also include late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century culture; Irish and Scottish literature (post 1700); Archipelagic literature and art; Place and Nature Writing (old and new); Trees, Flowers and their cultural history; Environmental Humanities; literature and the visual arts.
Her most recent book is ‘The Brief Life of Flowers’ (2018). Like her acclaimed book, ‘The Long, Long Life of Trees’ (2016), it draws on first hand observation, literature, art, folklore, mythology, cultural history, natural science, botany, history of medicine.
Elisabeth Gruner is Associate Professor of English, University of Richmond. Dr. Gruner teaches children’s and young adult literature and Victorian literature, as well as Creative Nonfiction Writing. Her current research is on young adult literature and the “crisis in reading”; more broadly, she is interested in the relationships between children’s and young adult literature and education. She is also a former associate dean of Arts & Sciences and Director of the Academic Advising Resources Center, and the former coordinator of the First-Year Seminar Program.
When celebrated neuropsychologist Paul Broks’s wife died of cancer, it sparked a journey of grief and reflection that traced a lifelong attempt to understand how the brain gives rise to the soul. The result of that journey. ‘The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars’, is a gorgeous, evocative meditation on fate, death, consciousness, and what it means to be human.
In this correspondence Paul Broks discusses the production of this book with Garry Kennard, its illustrator.
Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher who works with information and data. She was a 2018 EMAP fellow and was listed by Artnet as one of nine “pioneering artists” exploring AI’s creative potential. She is particularly interested in constructing stories and narratives and exploring the intersections of where the quantitative meets the qualitative.
Georgia Ward Dyer studied Philosophy at the University of Cambridge before developing an art practice which focuses on creating conversations about abstract, complex ideas by making them tangible through process-led, multivalent works. Her work often addresses questions of meaning, ontology and epistemology.