The infrastructural landscapes commissioned by Robert Moses and designed by master structural engineers such as Othmar Ammann from the 1920s to the 1960s demonstrate a vast range of design qualities. Beauty has not always been deemed relevant to the creation of structure and infrastructure, and yet there are lessons from this era in the design and interpretation of the physical environment. Building upon qualitative techniques that enabled structural artists to use slender elements to, in the words of Hans-Georg Gadamer, “defy the traditional principles of structural engineering… and to create something totally new,” this project illuminates the potential of structures to embody humanistic richness and depth of perceptual experience.
Gadamer was born in , , the son of Johannes Gadamer (1867–1928) a pharmaceutical professor who later also served as the of the . He resisted his father's urging to take up the and became more and more interested in the . His mother, Emma Karoline Johanna Geiese (1869–1904) died of while Hans-Georg was four years old, and he later noted that this may have had an effect on his decision to not pursue scientific studies. describes Gadamer as finding in his mother "a poetic and almost religious counterpart to the iron fist of his father". Gadamer did not serve during for reasons of ill health and similarly was exempted from serving during due to .
Posts about Postmodern terms written by Richard Bolai
Gadamer's essay "The Relevance of the Beautiful" presents a twentieth-century defense of such art. In this essay experience becomes the reference point, even group experiences as one finds them in the historical record. Gadamer includes, not just experiences recorded in artworks or great poetry, which would create a circular argument, but in anthropological records of such things as (1) the role of play in human life, (2) the high experiences of festiveness in our own and other cultures, and (3) the power of participation in symbolic religious rites. In groping for an explanation of the power of art and a defense of its legitimacy, Gadamer offers an analysis of three categoriesplay, symbol, and festival.