Spatial Design at AUT

School of Art + Design, AUT University, Auckland, NZ

Interstices Symposium “Moved: Of Atmospheres and Affects”


2013 Interstices Under Construction Symposium – “Moved: Of Atmospheres and Affects”
AUT University  and The University of Auckland, Auckland November 22 to 24, 2013.

Keynote Speaker: Professor emeritus Gernot Böhme (Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany)

Considerations of feeling, intensity, affect and immanent experience have gained importance across a range of disciplinary areas over past decades and, in architecture and related art and design fields, the notion of atmospheres has recently become important. For Peter Zumthor, atmosphere is the means by which emotional sensibility is registered, and which offers orientation faster than any critical faculty. Designers and theorists as diverse as Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell, Jean-Gilles Decosterd & Philippe Rahm, Herzog & de Meuron, Diller & Scofidio, Juhani Pallasmaa and Tim Ingold find common reference in the thinking of German philosopher Gernot Böhme.

For Böhme, atmospheres – moods and affects in their spatial situations – are the primary reality aesthetics (understood as aesthesis, a general theory of perception) has to deal with. Atmosphere demands a co-presence of perceiver and perceived that engulfs the terms of any subject/object division as well as the longstanding bifurcation of physis and techné,  nature and technology. The concept also calls for a revision of what mediation as perception entails. A double movement in modernity’s technological civilization leads, on the one hand, to affective immersions in gloom, indifference or saccharine buoyance, as well as active engineering of one’s own interior atmosphere in which abundant images nurture an otherwise truncated emotionality. However, these affectively calibrated environments are inseparable from an “invasive technification” and externalization of social constraint predicated on rational, unemotional deportment.

The symposium will address questions such as, what are the roles of emotion and imagination and the immersion in affective states? What is the role, politically, culturally, creatively, of felt or non-conscious states and excesses of affect in the context of late capital? What does being moved mean historically and in contemporary senses for thinking design practices spanning cities, architecture, scenography, interiors, objects?

Moved: Of Atmospheres and Affects is jointly organised by the School of Art and Design, AUT University and the School of Architecture and Planning, The University of Auckland.

Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts

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Conference Convenors: Andrew Douglas, Ross Jenner and Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul

The University of Auckland (NICAI Conference Centre, 22 Symonds St) and AUT (Sir Paul Reeves Building, Governor Fitzroy Place) Auckland, New Zealand.

Register HERE.