Thin Place Design: Architecture of the Numinous

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6.93 X 9.92 X 0.55 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author
Phillip James Tabb is Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Texas A&M University and was the Liz and Nelson Mitchell Professor of Residential Design. He served as Head of the Department from 2001 to 2005 and was Director of the School of Architecture and Construction Management at Washington State University from 1998 to 2001. He completed a PhD dissertation on The Solar Village Archetype: A Study of English Village Form Applicable to Energy Integrated Planning Principles for Satellite Settlements in Temperate Climates in 1990. Among his publication is Solar Energy Planning published by McGraw-Hill in 1984, co-authored The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design published by Ashgate in 2014, coedited Architecture, Culture and Spirituality also published by Ashgate in 2015. He was author of Serene Urbanism: A Biophilic Theory and Practice of Sustainable Placemaking in 2017, Elemental Architecture: Temperaments of Sustainability in 2019, and Biophilic Urbanism: Designing Resilient Communities for the Future in 2021 all published by Routledge. He received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado, and PhD in the Energy and Environment Programme from the Architectural Association in London. Dr. Tabb taught studio design, sustainable architecture, the theory of placemaking and study abroad in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. He is a practicing urban designer and licensed architect, and an emeritus member of the American Institute of Architects holding a NCARB Certificate.

"So much of what we build is bland and soulless. We need spaces that can move us out of the mundane. How do we describe the boundary between the common place and the magical, the secular and the sacred? In Dr. Phillip Tabb's Thin Place Design, we see that there are portals that can set the stage for the meditative and to the experience of profound awe. Sometimes these are natural settings, but they can also be deliberately designed. In this book we get an understanding of what makes these special places work, how to analyze their effectiveness, and how to go about creating them. We see examples in Thin Place Design that are both grand and intimate, and a pathway to creating more fulling places."

William Browning, Managing Partner, Terrapin Bright Green

"In the midst of an immanence dominant cultural landscape, architect Phillip Tabb invites us to be enticed by thin places. Experiences that startle us from the prevalence of the repetition into Otto's numinous sense of the wholly other. An awe-fullness filled with the terror of an unconditional embrace of the sound of silence. Revelatory or charged experiences capable of challenging our quotidian numbness with the Heideggerian question of being. Drawing upon social science disciplines that seek to define the character of the numinous, he finds a common denominator in purposeful integrity and alluring gracefulness. Thin Places invites us to be open to a sense of the numinous not only in dwellings of place-making enchantment, but in enchanted dwelling places where ontic meets ontology."

Richard Nourse, D. Min.

"Dr. Phil Tabb has such a beautiful way of inviting us into the mysterious and the sublime. He allows the readers to get lost in the places and spaces that not only touch our senses but tug at our hearts. Often, I have wondered why I am so drawn to certain locations I have traveled to in my lifetime. Was it the sheer beauty of the space or was there something deeper that my body was tuning into? Dr. Tabb shares the history of Thin Places and why we feel connections to them. He invites us to slow down and to recognize the feeling we receive from spaces we find ourselves in. We all have an inner knowing and Dr. Tabb shares so many powerful examples from around the world of how and why they are considered spaces of reverence. Through Dr. Tabb's work, we learn if when we look hard at something and treat it with gravity and respect, we see beauty and find ways to be kinder to ourselves and our surroundings."

Jennifer Walsh, Founder and Creative Director, AIKR Lab & Institute