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NewSchool Lecture Series: Billie Tsien, Thomas Albright, and Alberto Perez-Gomez

NewSchool is pleased to announce that three lectures included in our Neuroscience for Architecture, Urbanism, and Design Summer Intersession program are open to the general public. For more information about the Neuroscience for Architecture program at NewSchool, click here.


Billie Tsien | Practicing

Thursday, August 16, 9:00 AM
NewSchool Auditorium

About the Lecturer
Billie Tsien, FAIA, born in Ithaca, NY and received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and her Master of Architecture degree from UCLA. She began working with Tod Williams in 1977. Together, they established their architectural practice in 1986. Over the past three decades, Tod and Billie have received more than two dozen awards from the American Institute of Architects, as well as numerous national and international citations. Billie is the current President of the Architectural League of New York and a Director of the Public Art Fund. In parallel with her practice, Billie maintains an active academic career and lectures worldwide. At various times, she has taught at the Cooper Union, Harvard University, Cornell University, University of Texas, City College of New York, and Yale University.

Thomas Albright | Towards a Neuroscience for Architecture and Design

Thursday, August 16, 10:15 AM
NewSchool Auditorium

About the Lecturer
Thomas D. Albright, Ph.D., is Professor and Conrad T. Prebys Chair at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he joined the faculty in 1986. He is also Director of the Salk Institute Center for the Neurobiology of Vision and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego. Albright is an authority on the neural basis of visual perception, memory, and visually guided behavior. His laboratory seeks to understand how visual perception is affected by attention, behavioral goals, and memories of previous experiences. An important goal of this work is the development of therapies for blindness and perceptual impairments resulting from disease, trauma or developmental disorders of the brain. A second aim of Dr. Albright’s work is to use our growing knowledge of brain, perception, and memory to inform design in architecture and the arts, and to leverage societal decisions and public policy. Albright received a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an associate of the Neuroscience Research Program. He is past president of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (2012-2014), a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, and a member of the U.S.National Commission on Forensic Science

Alberto Perez-Gomez | In Quest of Attuned Architectural Atmospheres

In my most recent book, I unpacked the centrality of the concept of atmosphere for architectural meaning and its historical roots. I explained the relevance of our growing concern with attuned places, at odds with the dominant concept of architecture as a geometric, aesthetic object. I showed the association of Stimmung, the unique German term implying both atmosphere and mood, with the traditional aims of architectural meaning since Vitruvius, encompassed by terms such as harmony and temperance, explaining how architecture had traditionally sought psychosomatic health, framing lived experience with order and stability congruent with local cultural values. Stimmung became a central concern for artistic expression in view of the adverse cultural conditions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and was engaged by practices of resistance against the dominant formalistic and technological assumptions of mainstream modern planning and building production. In order to fully grasp the possibilities of Stimmung and its implementation nowadays, creating life-enhancing atmospheres responsive to human action and to place in the fullest sense (as both natural and cultural context), a proper understanding of consciousness and perception beyond Cartesian misunderstandings is crucial. To this aim, insights drawn from neurophenomenology and so-called third-generation cognitive science prove indispensable. This lecture is aimed at discussing some of these insights.

Thursday, August 16, 11:45 AM
NewSchool Auditorium

About the Lecturer
Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Ph.D, has lectured extensively around the world and is the author of numerous articles published in major periodicals and books. His book Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science (MIT Press, 1983) won the Hitchcock Award in 1984. Later books include Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge (co-authored with Louise Pelletier, 1997), which traces the history and theory of modern European architectural representation, Built upon Love: Architectural Longing after Ethics and Aesthetics (2006), examining points of convergence between ethics and poetics in architectural history and philosophy, and more recently Attunement, Architectural Meaning after the Crisis of Modern Science (2016), drawing connections between phenomenology and recent cognitive science towards the implementation of attuned atmosphere in architecture and the urban environment.

August 16 @ 09:00
09:00 — 13:00 (4h)

NewSchool Auditorium