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International Experts Gather At U.Va. To Discuss Ethics And Aesthetics In Architecture

March 21, 2002--

WHAT: "Ethics and Aesthetics in Architecture"

WHEN: Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6

A schedule of events is available online at

WHERE: U.Va. School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, Room 153

In a profession focused on problem solving, the social role of architecture is often overlooked. In a two-day symposium –"Ethics and Aesthetics in Modern Architecture" – sponsored by the University of Virginia Institute for Practical Ethics and the School of Architecture, designers, historians, theorists and writers from diverse backgrounds will gather to explore the complex issues that underlie the relationship between ethics and esthetics in architecture.

Conference participants will join U.Va. art and architecture faculty in round table discussions, lectures and presentations to explore issues connecting ethics and aesthetics with history, politics, nature, sustainability, style, construction, gender and architecture’s impact on everyday lives.

An exhibition of paintings by artist Robert Slutzky are on view in the Architecture School Gallery through April 8. The artist will be at an exhibition reception to kick off the conference on Friday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the gallery. Slutzky is co-author of the book "Transparency," which explores the relationship between art and architecture. His paintings have been exhibited in the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Introductory talks will be given by John Frohnmayer and Joan Ockman on Friday April 5 at 4 and 5 p.m. respectively.

Frohnmayer, a lawyer and First Amendment scholar, was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1989 to 1992. His talk, "The Architect as Hero," will address issues of shared community ethics and how buildings reflect community values.

Ockman, a contemporary architecture scholar and director of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, will address the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in 20th-century architecture and the problem of an ethical theory for the 21st century.

Other conference participants include:

    • Steven Moore teaches design and courses related to philosophy, history and the application of environmental technology at the University of Texas where he directs the Design With Climate program. He is the author of "Technology and Place: Sustainable Architecture and the Blueprint Farm." His talk is titled "Architecture, Aesthetics and Public Health."
    • Peter Latz and Anneliesse Latz are innovative landscape architects and planners whose projects incorporate history and sustainable practices in reclaiming industrial sites in Germany and across Europe.
    • Gilles Perraudin is recognized for his exploration of glass-enclosed, micro-climate environments surrounding buildings that reduce energy consumption and create communal spaces promoting social interaction.
    • Mark Robbins is the director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts where he initiated a program to strengthen the awareness of design in the public realm.
    • Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton are recognized for their ecologically aware designs in urban post-industrial cities such as Berlin. Their work explores how architecture and urbanism can be shaped by the flows of natural energy.
    • Zaha Hadid is an international award-winning London architect, whose fragmented geometric architecture and paintings pushes the boundaries of architectural space.
    • Joseph Giovannini writes and lectures on the status of architectural design in the climate of cultural exchange in today’s globalization. He has written as an architecture critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and The New York Times and is currently architecture critic for New York Magazine.
    • Robert Pogue Harrison, the Pierotti Professor of Italian at Stanford University, will give the concluding lecture, "What Does Architecture Owe the World, and What Does the World Owe to Architecture?" on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. The author of "The Body of Beatrice," "Forests: The Shadow of Civilization" and "Rome, la pluie," he writes about how humans define their existence within the natural world.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Contact: Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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