When and Where

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
University of Toronto
March 7-8, 2014


Friday March 7th

1:15pm Conference Opening
introduction by Matthew Allen, University of Toronto

1:30pm – 3:30pm Cognitive Commons
Sarah Williams Goldhagen, Architecture Critic, The New Republic
Jonathan Hale, University of Nottingham
Lian Chikako Chang, Director of Research and Information, ACSA
response by John May, University of Toronto

4:00pm – 6:00pm Concept and Affect
Harry Francis Mallgrave, Illinois Institute of Technology
Winifred E. Newman, Florida International University
Gabrielle Jackson, Institute for Advanced Study
response by Zeynep Çelik Alexander, University of Toronto

6:30pm – 8:00pm Keynote
Sanford Kwinter, Harvard University

Saturday March 8th

9:15am – 11:00am Cognitive Capitalism
Warren Neidich, Berlin/LA based artist and writer

11:30am – 1:30pm Grey Matter
Catherine Ingraham, Pratt Institute
Graham Harman, American University in Cairo
Marie-Pier Boucher, Duke University
response by Matthew Allen, University of Toronto


The decade of the brain is now decades past, and its effects have rippled through all disciplines. The time has come to consolidate its gains. What relevance do the discoveries of neuroscience have for architecture, a culture and a discipline with its own matters of concern? Skepticism of “scientism,” born of a half-century of critical acuity, has held back efforts at theorization, no matter how reasonable and even necessary they may be. This symposium takes as its premise that “the brain” – as a discursive object, material reality, and perceptual apparatus – belongs to architecture as much as any other field. The lessons of the decade of the brain can help us rethink central aspects of architectural expertise and reformulate elements of its conceptual foundation.

Can “universal” commonalities coexist with culturally-constructed differences? What means do we have of combining the conceptual with the affective? What agency do we have in the way we are molded by our environment? How can the mechanisms of “experience” be used as a basis for design?

The symposium is structured around panel presentations and discussions with architecture theorists, historians, philosophers, and artists. It is free and open to the public.

    Organized by

Matthew Allen
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

    Funding provided by

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design

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