Architectural Aura: Living Earth, Architecture on Earth

Architecture on Earth, Building Aura, Surface Design

Architectural Aura : Living Earth

Architecture Discussion by Dr. Peter Magyar

24 May 2011

Architecture Aura

Interesting to slow down with the flow of the bombarding information overload, and concentrate our thoughts for a few moments on the idea of the living earth. Not as a copyrighted name of an organization, or not as a commercial venture, not even as the motto of a political rally, but just what those two words denote: the Earth, what lives. As an enigmatic grand organism, secrets of which people, as part of this being, failed to decipher. Even when our life and livelihood is in absolute dependency from it. To state, that our knowledge is superficial about it, is already an overstatement. But let us abandon the hollow philosophizing and intentionally misspell a recently used word, superficial, and distort it for our purpose, as “super-facial”. Especially the face, so with a little cognitive jump = the “surface”.

I readily admit, that my curvaceous logic is quite transparent, that what I really would like to speak about, is architecture. The extended surface of the Earth, on and in we conduct our lives.

Forgive me please for another deviation, when I bring in the word:”aura”, as related to a surface, as it is …”surrounding a person or a thing.” (Part of its definition from the Encyclopedia Britannica.) If we continue, we can read also the following sentence-fragment: …”luminous radiation, surrounding the body, or specific part of the body”…so it must be some unknown form of energy (with zero carbon footprint!)

The first quoted definition of ‘aura’ relates it not only to persons, but also to “things”. One can read about it in not-yet-legitimized writings, that objects, animals, even rocks have them, so it is just a little jump, to half playfully, half seriously assume, that the Earth has it also. The expressions “lay of the land” or “the special magnetism of the place” most probably are just another way of describing it. And now we arrived to the essential question of this un-scientific, but strongly felt capriccio: could or should architecture participate in the continuation of the flow of this earth-aura-layer, and if so, how? Some of the subcutaneous buildings, built “underground”, or rather sub-surface – besides tangible advantages – seem to avoid the answer. However, most of our building stock is above ground.

If you are willing to play, here is my question to the readers of this issue of “e-architect”: which are those few buildings from the large number of novel and very interesting projects published here, of which you think are able to participate in that flow of energy, and pass it on in an unbroken way, or even enhance it? I have my few candidates, to act also as the edge of infinity, but I don’t reveal them. Maybe this is another, possibly spiritual, not quantifiable way, to feel architecture!

Dr. Peter Magyar

The guest editor of this issue of e-Architect is Dr. Peter Magyar, RIBA., an International educator, architect and author. Since 1989 he has been head and director of three Architectural Departments, or School, at the Penn State, Florida Atlantic and Kansas State Universities respectively. He is interested in the intuitive and cognitive processes of design, archived thousands of drawings in this field, some of them are published in his latest books: “Thought Palaces”, 1999 Architectura & Natura Press, and “ThinkInk”, 2010, Kendall Hunt. About a drawn Explanation of “Spaceprints” visit You Tube, and search for: video.

Peter Magyar
Dr. Peter Magyar




Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China
SOM, architects
Pearl River Tower
photo : SOM

Architecture Masters : article by Dr. Peter Magyar. 2 Oct 2012

Architect Engineer Artist : article by Dr. Peter Magyar. 20 Mar 2012

Invention in Architecture : article by Dr. Peter Magyar. 7 Dec 2010

Architecture Context : article by Trevor Tucker. 21 Sep 2010

Design Narrative : article by Lee Miles – 7 Sep 2010

Planetization : article by Mphethi Morojele – 17 Aug 2010




Moliner House, Zaragoza, Spain
Alberto Campo Baeza
Moliner House Zaragoza
photo : Javier Callejas

Sustainable Architecture – Building Issues : article by Adrian Welch

Comments / photos for the Architectural AuraLiving Earth Architecture Article page welcome

Architecture Aura