March 2 – April 27
All Lectures: 6:00 PM | Falvey Hall, MICA Brown Center | FREE
1.5 HSW LUs available per lecture
This year, the AIABaltimore and Baltimore Architecture Foundation Spring Lecture Series will take a critical look at Manufacturing Beauty.
Beauty has the power to arouse the senses and create a greater capacity for empathy. However, our modern understanding of beauty still tends to be limited and undervalued. We live in an era where everything is measured, material goods are prized and impersonal exchanges are the norm. And yet, beauty in the built environment can still move us and teach us something new about ourselves and the spaces we inhabit. At a time when efficiency, expense and the bottom line are often project drivers, has beauty for beauty’s sake become a lost model from a bygone era?
What is the value of beauty? This series highlights designers working to answer this question through science, details, place process, and innovation.
All lectures will be held at Falvey Hall in the MICA Brown Center at 6:00 pm with a reception to follow.
March 2 – The SCIENCE of Beauty
Ed Connor, PhD, Neuroaesthetics, Director of the JHU Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Connor’s research is part of an emerging field called neuroaesthetics, which uses neuroscience to understand and explain perceived beauty within art, music, or any other contemplated or created object. In new studies funded by the Hopkins Brain Science Institute, Dr.Connor’s laboratory has begun to investigate the sensory basis of principles behind appreciation of beauty.
The human capacity for identifying, evaluating, and interacting with objects is remarkable; how do these neural processes determine visual aesthetics, and what is distinct and interesting about the neural activity patterns evoked by beautiful sculptures, paintings,and architecture?
March 16 – Beauty in the DETAILS
Ilias Papageorgiou of SO-IL, New York, NY
llias Papageorgiou has been with SO-IL, a Brooklyn, New York based firm, from its inception in 2008 and has been a partner since 2013. SO-IL brings together extensive experience from fields of architecture, academia and the arts, and aims to be an idea-driven design office.
SO-IL combines minimalist construction with highly contemporary material use creating clean, idiosyncratic space. SO-IL has worked on an array of projects ranging in scale from the master plan of a cultural campus in Shanghai, China to a series of prints for the Guggenheim Museum. The firm has also won numerous awards since its inception for their work and various competitions.
March 30 – Beauty of PLACE
ASLA Lecture. Mikyoung Kim of Mikyoung Kim Design, Boston, MA
Mikyoung Kim is an award-winning international landscape architect and founder of Mikyoung Kim Design: a landscape architecture, urban planning, and site art firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Mikyoung’s background in sculpture and music has greatly influenced the direction of her firm’s work, which serves as a platform to blend the realms of landscape architecture and environmental art.
MKD places significant emphasis on use of contemporary materials informed by a nuanced understanding of material functionality, which unsurprisingly contributes to the quality their award-winning work. Not only does the work of Mikyoung Kim Design highlight the sculptural and artistic value of the land, but it also stands to confront environmental issues while celebrating “the beauty of our collective human experience.”
April 13 – The Beauty of PROCESS
Mark Smout of Smout Allen, London, UK
Mark Smout is a Senior lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and the co-principal, with his partner Laura Allen, of the conceptual design research practice, Smout Allen. Their work operates at the scale of entire landscapes, exploring the interplay between the natural and the man-made.
Smout Allen’s work is created through multi-media processes, often beginning with complex drawings and transforming into three dimensional mixed media constructions that are striking in their visual and information density.
April 27 – The Beauty of INNOVATION
Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote, New York, NY
Lise Anne Couture is the co-founder and managing partner at New York City-based Asymptote Architecture. Asymptote Architects has distinguished itself globally with projects that range from visionary urban masterplans, to sculptural towers, to conceptual art installations- and everything in-between.
Though many of Asymptote’s early designs went unbuilt, their parametric building forms are increasingly becoming physical architecture. Projects such as Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi, ARC Multimedia Theater in South Korea, and Kaohsiung Marine Gateway in Taiwan, demonstrate Asymptote’s ability to create physical works which stimulate the senses and seem to confirm the notion that beauty is an essential aspect of the built environment.