From Familiar to Uncanny. Aesthetics of Atmospheres in Domestic Spaces

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The notion of “familiar” has recently become crucial in the debate generated by Everyday Aesthetics. In this essay I will explore this concept following Arto Haapala and Yuriko Saito’s theories, then I will investigate the notion of familiar – and some antonym notions (i.e. strange, uncanny, alien) – while embracing a phenomenological approach. Referring to German phenomenologist Gernot Böhme's theory of atmospheres, my paper shall compare a notion of a glass house, theorized by Modernism, and a notion of a shell house, seen from different perspectives by Walter Benjamin, Gaston Bachelard and Juhani Pallasmaa. I will finally draw attention to the notion of strange as possibly degenerating into the idea of uncanny or alien, for instance when the transparency of glass is used as a tool for control or when it is embodied in the digital screens of hyper-technological homes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st International Congress of Aesthetics, Possible Worlds of Contemporary Aesthetics: Aesthetics Between History, Geography and Media
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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