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The overpowering, diverse physicality of a city makes it appear to be a mass of innumerable objects, too big to take in all at once. However, a city also speaks to us through tangible atmospheres—some locations within it appeal to us, whereas some do not. This book traverses the city—the space we experience, where ambient, environmental qualities create atmospheric moods that ultimately determine our personal state. The question this book poses is this: can such an analysis of purely subjective urban impressions lead to a deeper understanding of the city? This experiment in phenomenological aesthetics does not serve an esoteric agenda that is at home in a familiar, gentrified or prettified context—it is a critique of the living city as it is experienced. In this book the fleeting, ethereal, affective space aspect of the city speaks—through urban districts, architectonic forms, aestheticising presentations and appealing or forbidding locations. The text is supplemented by photographs that exemplify certain atmospheres. Above all, the purely visual nature of the impressions they give conveys the book’s open-minded search for non-verbal but immersive urban realities that lie beyond the sense of sight.
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