“Is there ‘action’ in architecture’s apparent passivity, in its steady and static permanence?”
—David Leatherbarrow,

Architecture Oriented Otherwise, p. 48.

 

 

 

“I am at a loss — fear grips my mind — whether to act, or not to act and take my chances.”
—King Pelasgus in

Aeschylus’ Suppliants, lines 379-80.


 

 

 

“Life is a material and corporeal movement, an action which is by its very essence imperfect and irregular; I apply myself to serving it in its own way…”
—Montaigne

“Of Vanity,” Essays, 3.9.

 

 

 

“To act, in its most general sense, means to take an initiative, to begin… to set something into motion.”
—Hannah Arendt,

The Human Condition, p. 177.

 

 

 

“Be not too tame, neither; but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.”
—Hamlet to a player in

Shakespeare'sHamlet, 3.2.

 

 

 

“…true activity can be invisible…”
—Peter Brook, The Empty Space p.129.

 

 

 

“In the constitution of a poem, the Action is aimed at by the poet, which answers Place in a building; and that Action hath his largeness, compass, and proportion.”
—Ben Jonson,

Discoveries.

 

 

 

“Things move, persons act.”
—Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Language, p. 64.

 

 

 

“[T]he whole structure of culture may be considered as the long detour which starts with action and returns to action.”
—Paul Ricoeur,

History and Truth, p. 200.

 

 

 

 

“...perceiving is a way of acting… It is something we do.”
—Alva Noë,

Action in Perception, p. 1.

 

 

 

"the poet must be a maker not of verses but of stories [mythos], since he is a poet in virtue of his representation [mimesis], and what he represents is action [praxis]"
—Aristotle, Poetics 1451b.

 

 

 

“All physical things, especially bodies and buildings, offer themselves to visual experience as sedimentations of actions…”
—David Leatherbarrow,

Architecture Oriented Otherwise, p. 82.

 

 

 

 

 

"The end or telos of the practical disciplines or praxis, according to Aristotle, is not theoretical knowledge (although such knowledge is important for the practical disciplines). It is rather a distinctive type of activity.”
—Richard J. Bernstein,

Praxis and Action, p. 316.

 

 

 

 

"Architecture is defined by the actions it witnesses as much as by the enclosure of its walls.”
—Bernard Tschumi,


Architecture and Disjunction, p. 100.

 

 

 

 

“…architecture, like any other art, is a representation of human praxis [action] and not a representation of nature or ideas.”
—Dalibor Vesely,


“Architecture and the Poetics of Representation”, p. 33.

 

 

 

 

“…to think is also a form of acting… thinking, as is sometimes said, is a kind of ‘inner action’.”
—Hannah Arendt,


Responsibility and Judgment, p. 105.

 

 

 

 

“Malevich, Lissitsky, Kandinsky, Tatlin, Pevsner, Rodchenko… all believed in the social role of art… Their works were like hinged doors, connecting activity with activity. Art with engineering; music with painting; poetry with design; fine art with propaganda; photographs with typography; diagrams with action; the studio with the street…”
—John Berger,


Art and Revolution, p. 37-8.

 

 

 

 

“You may sit without a motion and at the same time be in full action.”
—Konstantin Stanislavski,


“Action” in An Actor Prepares.

 

 

 

 

"[W]hen all representations of action pass into oblivion… lethargy is elevated to the most glorious magnitude.”
—Robert Smithson,

“Entropy and the New Monuments” (1966).

 

 

 

 

"[W]here shall we find any serious or sustained example of the collaboration of town planner, park and garden designer, and gardener with architect, sculptor, and craftsman? …a growing association of civic and social action with architectural and artistic effort…”
—Patrick Geddes,

Cities in Evolution, p. 219-20.

 

 

 

 

 

"In reality, social space ‘incorporates’ social actions…”
—Henri Lefebvre,


The Production of Space, p.33.

 

 

 

 

 

“Action can only be understood in relation to place; only by staying in place can the imagination conceive or understand action in terms of consequence, of cause and effect. The meaning of action in time is inseparable from its meaning in place.”
—Wendell Berry


Standing by Words, p. 88.

 

 

 

 

"An ‘actor’… is not the source of an action but the moving target of a vast array of entities swarming toward it.”
—Bruno Latour,


Reassembling the Social, p. 46.

 

 

 

 

“The main concern of architectural discourse is ethical… The practice that emerges… may be better grasped as a verb rather than through its heterogeneous products…”
—Alberto Pérez-Gómez,


Built Upon Love, p. 205.

 

 

 


“… logos once meant action…”
—Eugene Ionesco, Fragments of a Journal, p. 73.

 

 

 

 

“All interactions that effect stability and order in the whirling flux of change are rhythms… Contrast of lack and fullness, of struggle and achievement, of adjustment after consummated irregularity, form the drama in which action, feeling, and meaning are one… In the process of living, attainment of a period of equilibrium is at the same time the initiation of a new relation to the environment, one that brings with it potency of new adjustments to be made through struggle.”
—John Dewey,


Art as Experience, p. 15-17.

 

 

 

 

“…the faculty of ‘action’… can be actualized only in one of the many and manifold forms of human community.”
—Hannah Arendt,


Responsibility and Judgment, p. 158.

 

 

 

 

logos is the shadow of action.”
—Democritus, Fragment 31.

 

 

 

 

"No action is ‘social’ or even meaningful without an implicit acknowledgement of a frame or field within which we are reflexively aware of our own position.”
—Kirsten Hastrup,


Action, p. 337.

 

 

 

 

 

“To express something, to formulate it, can be not only to get it in articulate focus, but also to place it in public space, and thus to bring us together qua participants in a common act of focusing… The matter talked about is no longer just for me or for you, but for us.”
— Charles Taylor,


Human Agency and Language, p. 260.

 

 

 

 

 

"The focus now, as ever, is agency.”
—Kurt Evans, Iben Falconer & Ian Mills,


Perspecta 45: Agency, p. 3.

 

 

 

 

"Building and action interpenetrate in the courtyards, arcades, and stairways. In everything they preserve the scope to become a theater of new, unforeseen constellations.”
—Walter Benjamin,


“Naples” in Reflections, p. 165-6.

 

 

 

 

"An action requires an agent, someone to whom we attribute the movement in question as its author…”
—Christine Korsgaard

Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity, p.18.

 

 

 

 

"[T]he critic steps back from the object of perception in order to ‘get closer to it’… This motion—we step back to come nearer, we narrow our eyes to see more fully—entails judgment. Why should this be? Because action (the critic’s motion) is not, cannot be indifferent.”
—George Steiner,


“‘Critic’/ ‘Reader’” (1979).

 

 

 

 

“The responsibility of our acts within any social space rests on a reflexive awareness, or an ability to act as double agents: as simultaneously selves and characters.”
—Kirsten Hastrup,


Action, p. 337.