Anne Dufourmantelle, 2018, The Power of Gentleness: Meditations on the Risk of Living, Fordham University Press. First published 2013.

The Power of Gentleness

Roemer van Toorn

The Power of Gentleness is a discursive research project on how architecture can examine how micro-experiences of power and strength in our everyday lives can contribute to an idea of potential change; a possible emancipatory future. This series of online conversations and journal article will propose a new ethics of hospitality – an open architecture – by incorporating multiple voices, backgrounds and ethnicities through its aesthetic regime. It makes a case for cities that accommodate and foster diversity, liveliness and unpredictability, in stark opposition to over-determination and exclusion. Gentleness is about a power that is also soft, a nobility that is also humble, a sweetness that is also intelligent, a subtlety that is nevertheless striking. Gentleness is about a fragility that has the potential to subvert and change the status quo, a micro-politics of speculative construction towards an open, ecological and socially just future.