The symposium is geared for both practising and academic architects, from Estonia and abroad, and for members of the public with a general interest in culture. It is an opportunity to catch up with the now in a number of disciplines including: architecture, neuroscience, neuroaesthetics, poetry, mathematics, artificial intelligence and digital technologies related to these fields. Symposium participants include both distinguished scholars and leading architects and designers.
The experience of beauty is similar in architecture, poetry, mathematics, music, and in the visual and performing arts, being characterised by qualities such as elegance, profundity, originality, clarity, seriousness, significance, ambiguity. The list goes on, becauseno one can define beauty in simple terms.It is quite striking when one considers the significance of visual thinking to intuition and good design, how subjectivity and intuition lead the way in creative activity, and how beauty is related to all of that.
The symposium aims to achieve stimulating interdisciplinary debate. A number of panels will discuss why beauty matters today, how come it was dormant for some 80 years, and reflect on new buds of beauty in architecture.
Ron Aharoni is an Israeli mathematician, who has, over the years, made forays into several other fields. He taught and instructed teachers in elementary school, and a book describing his experiences there, “Arithmetic for Parents”, has been translated into many languages. He also published poetry and short stories, and wrote two books on poetry: “Mathematics, Poetry and Beauty”, and “Man Detaches Meaning” – the latter on techniques common to jokes and poetry. In another book, “The Cat that is Not There”, he offers a non-philosophical view of philosophy.
Graham Harman is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything (2018) and Speculative Realism: An Introduction (2018). Harman has lectured in thirty-nine countries, and his writings have been translated into twenty-one languages. Along with being one of the founding members of the Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology movements, he is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Open Philosophy, Speculative Realism series editor at Edinburgh University Press, and (with Bruno Latour) Co-Editor of the New Metaphysics series at Open Humanities Press.
Maria Lee graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2008 as a dramaturge and has worked a significant time of her life in theatre; recently she acquired the vocation of print technology and is presently working in a print house, also doing some graphic design. Amongst other things, Maria Lee is an Estonian poetess. She has published two books of poetry and as a poet, has been silent for many years. She’s developing her third book, searching for space and aesthetics that would make sense for her in the rapidly changing and malforming time.
Taylor Enoch is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant in philosophy at University College London. His research is in aesthetics, neuroesthetics, and philosophy of art, with a focus in the phenomenology of aesthetic experience. He has published on experimental aesthetics, and the philosophies of Kant and Husserl (forthcoming). Taylor has lectured at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Bartlett School of Architecture, and is an associate of the UCL Laboratory of Neurobiology and the TCNJ Experimental Philosophy Laboratory.