Home » Call for papers » Call For Papers: ‘Dwelling Aesthetics: New paradigms and perspectives’ (ESPES – The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics)

Call For Papers: ‘Dwelling Aesthetics: New paradigms and perspectives’ (ESPES – The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics)

What can aesthetics tell us about the way we dwell in the world? What role do atmospheres play in our relationship with the inhabited environment? And how can our gender identity influence the phenomenological experience we have of spaces?

Since the mid-twentieth century, a new dwelling culture has developed in philosophy and architecture, fueled by an interest in the lived, sensitive, and phenomenological dimension of space (Husserl 1913; Merleau-Ponty 1945). In the wake of Heidegger’s 1951 Darmstadt lecture, dwelling has been regarded as the fundamental form of our sensitive relationship with the world, a dimension affecting our being and existence. Many theoreticians and practitioners have drawn their attention to the aesthetic character of dwelling, emphasizing its phenomenological and experiential aspects. Philosophers such as Gaston Bachelard, Otto Friederich Bollnow, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Steen Eiler Rasmussen, for example, have discussed the importance of experiencing the space around us. Analogously, architects such as Steven Holl, Christian Norberg – Schulz, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto PérezGómez, and Peter Zumthor have considered the relationship between the built space and the lived space, thus initiating a new phenomenological trend in architecture.

In recent years, new research paths have arisen in relation to notions of atmosphere, body, and gender. While the analysis of the rapport between space and atmospheres has clarified what it means to ‘feel’ a space (De Matteis 2017, 2020), the introduction of the concept of the living body into aesthetics has cast new light on the quality of good living (Shusterman 1996). Finally, gender studies have led to a new sociological understanding of space as intrinsically gendered (Spain 1992) as well as to the recognition of a ‘third gender’ inhabiting at the crossroads of different experiences (Braidotti 2020; Preciado 2019). As our bodies are increasingly diversified and our gender identity becomes more fluid, architectural criteria are still based on a standardized approach that confines human beings to a fixed model. Rethinking dwelling today is thus needed to meet these new societal needs.

To promote discussion on this timely issue, ESPES – The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics intends to dedicate a special Thematic Symposium to the topic of the Aesthetics of Dwelling, guest-edited by Aurosa Alison (Politecnico di Milano, Italy). We encourage short papers exploring the connection between dwelling and atmosphere, sensory body, and gender. Should a philosophical focus on the atmospheric, bodily, and gendered experience of dwelling take priority when designing objects, cities, interiors, urban places?

Various aspects of the notion of dwelling can be addressed, including:

  • Living Space and Relational Space
  • Phenomenology of Architecture
  • Somaesthetics and Lived Space
  • Atmospheres/Project Atmospheres
  • Gender and Living


Types of Contributions
Contributions are meant to be kept brief, with clearly stated aims and tightly controlled arguments.
They should not exceed 3500 words (excluding notes and bibliography) and should conform to the
usual ESPES stylistic requirements for Short Essays and Discussion Pieces. An abstract in English
should be added of no more than 150 words.

Stylistic Guidelines
Language of Contribution: English.
The complete formatting instructions are available at: shorturl.at/ftESY. Submissions that do not
comply with these instructions will be returned to the author.
All submissions will undergo a double-blind review process.

Submission deadline: June 1, 2022
Publication date: December 2022
Submission via espes.ff.unipo.sk.

Any queries should be addressed to the editors at: espes@ff.unipo.sk; aurorarosa.alison@polimi.it

Aurosa Alison
Politecnico di Milano, Italy