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floors, flows, health and hygiene in R.M. Schindler's architecture
Gabu Heindl, published in:
"La Culture hygiénique: métaphores et allégories", Lausanne 2003

"As a mere product of the civilisatory urge, all shoes might be alike. Compare, however, the
shoe of Japan with our western one. The former is a geometrically shaped sole, which is
actively held in place by the toes. It is related to the form of the foot only by its size. It may
be understood as a piece of the floor covering lifted out and carried along for protection...”
Rudolph M. Schindler, “Furniture and the Modern House: A Theory of Interior Design
in: Architect and Engineer (San Francisco), vol.123, December 1935

This quote by Viennese emigré architect Rudolph M. Schindler is peculiar for at least three reasons. To
begin with it is unusual for architects to write about shoes; even more so since it is a Viennese architect
writing about a Japanese shoe (without ever having been in Japan). In this quote Schindler views the shoe
as a mobile, transportable piece of floor. In distinction to the western shoe that covers the foot ergonomically,
the "Geta" is not considered as an extended body part, but as a separating plane that protects the foot from
the ground as well as the ground from the foot...

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content: (c) GABU Heindl Architektur 2008