Aesthetics of Human Spaces: Between Urban and Nature

KSEI:n IX kansainvälinen kesäkongressi. Ihmisen tilojen esteetiikkaa: kaupunkimaisen ja luonnon välissä.

Aesthetics of Human Spaces

Between Urban and Nature

The IXth IIAA International Summer Conference on Environmental Aesthetics

17.–19.6.2011, Lahti, Finland.

The concept of space has become one of the most important instruments for investigating the constitutive factors involved in building human relationship to the surroundings. Recent research in different fields has revealed various dimensions of the concept and different viewpoints from which it can be addressed. The concept of space helps direct attention to the human, felt dimension not only of natural environments, but of urban environments as well. The concept of space is also an importantly aesthetic one, as it is connected to critical issues in contemporary aesthetics. For example, focus in aesthetics on the corporeal side of human existence has provoked new questions and may provide new insights about the aesthetic experience of human spaces: What kinds of role do the senses play in our experience of spaces? Are the different senses involved in the experience of space in equal interaction with one another, or are one or more senses in some way primary or even foundational?  

One important way of approaching human spaces is to make a distinction between private and public space. Some spaces could be called “hybrid spaces,” including aspects from different kinds of spaces. What are the differences between the aesthetics of the different forms of space? What sort of a role does the experience of spaces play in human life as a whole?

A diversified approach to research into the variants of spaces, including the role different spaces play in human existence by e.g. contributing to well-being, can help in finding ways of creating more meaningful spaces and might aid those in positions of power to make informed decisions about public spaces that better satisfy the needs of human life.

Conference programme

Keynote speakers:

Arnold Berleant (Long Island University, US)

Isis Brook (Writtle College, UK)

Andrew Ballantyne (University of Newcastle, UK)

Martin Seel (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Germany

Organizing committee:

Arto Haapala, Aesthetics, University of Helsinki.

Kalle Puolakka, IIAA, Palmenia Centre, University of Helsinki

Sanna Lehtinen, IIAA, Palmenia Centre, University of Helsinki