March 7-8, 2014 Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, room 103 University of Toronto
The decade of the brain is now decades past, and its effects have rippled through all disciplines. The time has come to consolidate its gains. What relevance do the discoveries of neuroscience have for architecture, a culture and a discipline with its own matters of concern? Skepticism of “scientism,” born of a half-century of critical acuity, has held back efforts at theorization, no matter how reasonable and even necessary they may be. This symposium takes as its premise that “the brain” – as a discursive object, material reality, and perceptual apparatus – belongs to architecture as much as any other field. The lessons of the decade of the brain can help us rethink central aspects of architectural expertise and reformulate elements of its conceptual foundation.
Can “universal” commonalities coexist with culturally-constructed differences? What means do we have of combining the conceptual with the affective? What agency do we have in the way we are molded by our environment? How can the mechanisms of “experience” be used as a basis for design?
The symposium is structured around panel presentations and discussions with architecture theorists, historians, philosophers, and artists. It is free and open to the public.
Friday March 7th
1:30pm – 3:30pm
Cognitive Commons Sarah Williams Goldhagen, Architecture Critic, The New Republic Jonathan Hale, University of Nottingham Lian Chikako Chang, Director of Research and Information, ACSA > response by John May, University of Toronto
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Concept and Affect Harry Francis Mallgrave, Illinois Institute of Technology Winifred E. Newman, Florida International University Gabrielle Jackson, Institute for Advanced Study > response by Zeynep Çelik Alexander, University of Toronto
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Keynote Sanford Kwinter, Harvard University
Saturday March 8th
9:15am – 11:00am
Cognitive Capitalism Warren Neidich, Berlin/LA based artist and writer > moderated by Sanford Kwinter, Harvard University
11:30am – 1:30pm
Grey Matter Catherine Ingraham, Pratt Institute Graham Harman, American University in Cairo Marie-Pier Boucher, Duke University > response by Matthew Allen, University of Toronto
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