Reconciling Poetics and Ethics in Architecture


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Juhani Pallasmaa
Juhani Pallasmaa Architects

- reality sense and idealization in architecture

Buildings are not merely instruments of utility; they structure our perception and understanding of the world; they enable us to dwell in space and time. Architecture is a fundamentally dialectical art form; it arises from the interface between utility and metaphysics, individual and collective, culture and hope, reason and poetics, aesthetics and ethics. In our time of surreal materialism, globalization, self-centeredness, and fashion the ethical task of architecture, as of all art, is to defend the authenticity and autonomy of human experience. This defence of the individual is possible only through revealing the poetic and fundamentally mysterious essence of human existence that amalgamates reality, imagination and dream. As Joseph Brodsky, the poet, argues: “Man is an aesthetic being before becoming an ethical being.”

Friday, September 14, 2007, 18:00
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920 rue Baile
Paul Desmarais Theatre

The lecture will be followed by a reception sponsored by the Embassy of Finland, Ottawa, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the History and Theory of Architecture Program, McGill University