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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Architecture engineering, History, Ethics, Architectural design

Publication Details

The Dublin School of Architecture Yearbook 2012


Noting that “the aesthetic should not be limited merely to the way things look” the organisers of this conference sought “in part to address the discursive limitation in architecture and related subjects by broadening the aesthetic discourse beyond questions relating to purely visual phenomena in order to include those derived from all facets of human experience”.

So where does etchics come in? Well, the introductory brochure noted that most philosophical trained aestheticians will say that “the aesthetic is everything” hinting perhaps of the necessity for a more haptic experience of architecture. It also drew on Wittgenstein’s quote that “ethics and aesthetics are one and the same”, and suggested questions of broader meanings that architecture has beyond purely visual stimulation, such as social or economic ideals, and their relationship to architectural form and inhabitants’ perceptions.

So we were to grapple with that eternal question – what is good, ethical architecture and environmental policy and how is this embodied in societal and cultural ethical codes?

The 3-day exploration and discussion covering three strands of architecture, landscape and practice with session themes of ‘Ethics-Aesthetics’, ‘Everyday’, ‘Phenomenology’ and ‘Culture and Politic’ was as wide, interesting and problematic as expected; sometimes obscure (for those without PhDs in philosophy), sometimes heated, sometimes both - as Kantian ‘free play’ almost came to metaphorical blows with Hegelian ‘end of art’ stuff.