You Must Change your Life

Hermosillo at night, Mexico. Ernesto Valero Thomas 2012
Hermosillo at night, Mexico. Ernesto Valero Thomas 2012

“Poetry does not fly above and surmount the earth in order to escape it and hover over it. Poetry is what first brings man onto the earth, making him belong to it, and thus brings him into dwelling.

Martin Heidegger

I encountered the thought of the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk back in 2011, while reading an interview about his position towards ecological design in Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment. I still owe to myself the reading of his trylogy Spheres; however, Sloterdjik has captured my attention through one sentence: YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Here is an extract of the interview:

“… the history of high culture is nothing but a long line of people who have taken the imperative “You must change your life” literally, and read it according to the circumstances of their time, as Brahmans, Buddhists, Stoics, Christians, aestheticians, politicians. In today’s situation, “You must change your life” means that the old model for civilization of Western, now global, industrial culture has to be turned completely upside down an replaced by something entirely new. This can be thought of as a spiritual requirement but also as pragmatic advice. There is no need to create a new religion to dissuade us from ecological suicide. The absolute imperative of our time demands an ethos and a technology compatible with the advanced state of cosmopolitan, ecological consciousness.”

On my search of solutions and theories around sustainability in architecture and urban design, the work of Slorterdjik is an inspiration.


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