Architecture is qualiadelic

Qualia are features of things. (

Qualia characterize the features of things. (

My brother, who lives in Oregon, has just published a book. It delves into the most intimate and profound aspects of ritual, and how engaging with one’s own patterns of ritual creatively can improve one’s life, and open one’s mind to insight about the world around you. The book is called Matter, Qualia, Mind and Cosmos. I asked him to write me something that could help me connect his thoughts with the concerns of architects. Here is what he sent me:

Architecture is very qualiadelic. The perfect building is as elusive as the perfect snowflake. Both form around qualia: snowflakes form around hexagons and buildings form around the designs of architects. They are inevitably flawed – every snowflake is unique and so is every building – but therein lies the charm. Alas, if a snowflake is too unique, if it strays too far from its hexagonal qualia, it won’t endure. The same is true for architecture: as it strays from a certain aesthetic harmony and attempts, consciously, to be too sublime, it is doomed.

Matter, Qualia, Mind and Cosmos tells the story of qualia – and the journey of consciousness – through landscapes of value, sense, cognition, and aesthetics.

My brother’s way with words is out of this world. And I am not referring to his use of unfamiliar terms like qualia, qualiadelic and ritualing. I mean that even amid a discussion that most doctoral candidates in philosophy would find recondite, Tony finds a way to describe a natural phenomenon, a reality, or a truth in a manner so magical that it carves out a space in your brain to live. His book is fun to read, and offers insights on everyday life of which you were entirely unaware before reading them.

You can get a free copy of Tony’s book at (My link function is malfunctioning for the moment. Don’t know why.) The illustration atop this post is not from the book but from a Google search of the term “qualia.” For some reason, most of the images called up by the search were of exotic ocean locations seen from the inside of wooden cottages of a distinctly contemporary design.

[My link tool is still down so please click on No. 14 in “Blogs I Follow” to the right of this post to find out how to get Tony’s free book.]

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Art and design, Book/Film Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Architecture is qualiadelic

  1. realmaven18 says:

    Reblogged this on My Favorite Blogs.


  2. Reblogged this on Architecture Here and There and commented:

    My link tool is still down so please click on No. 14 in Blogs I Follow, at far right, to find out how to get Tony Brussat’s new book for free.


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