The air from outside: Getting to know the world through air practices

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This article evolves around air: how we experience air, become knowledgeable about our environment through air and include sociality in our actions relating to air. Based on a qualitative study in Denmark about how people use air from the outside and let it into their homes, the article investigates the relation between the air we breathe and learn from and the air we ‘perform’, such as airing our homes. The study indicates patterns of use that reflect on air as a vital element in our being-in-the-world as well as being socially and bodily significant for shaping our everyday life. The article begins by showing air as an integrative practice with three dimensions: functional, bodily/ sensory and social. It is shown how knowledge of the environment is constructed in the process of ‘practising’ air, how this knowledge is transferred into a sense of being-in-the-world and how emotions are part of this becoming.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Material Culture
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)171– 187
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Air
  • Knowledge
  • Phenomenology
  • Practices and everyday life
  • The senses


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