Architectural aesthetics as a catalyst of social change



My Ph.D. project, titled ‘Architectural aesthetics as catalyst of agency’, is an interdisciplinary investigation of perception through a conceptually-driven research by design methodology. The project is based on my educational background as a psychologist (MSc.Psych) and professional background with artistic concept development (for Studio Olafur Eliasson). In the Ph.d. project, I develop and explore a link between the concepts affordances and atmosphere and explore the relevance of this link in relation to the concept Anthropocene. The concept of affordances is from the ecological theory of perception, developed by James Gibson, while the concept of atmosphere is from the theory of atmosphere as perception developed by Gernot Böhme. Both theories of perception are based on the individual-environment unit as the basis for analysis, however, the theory of affordances explores functional interactions whereas the theory of affordances explores affective interactions. By developing a link between affordances and atmosphere, I seek to understand how affective perception influences the perception of possibilities for action. Furthermore, urban atmospheres can be and are designed by architects, artists and other design professionals. The influence of urban atmospheres on perception of affordances is often subconscious. In my PhD project, I specifically explore how to design an architectural installation that brings an existing urban atmosphere to peoples’ attention, and whether this conscious awareness of atmosphere impacts the perceived affordances. My exploration is based on two installations – Urban Carpet realized in August 2018 for the crossroad on Banegårdspladsen in Aarhus in collaboration with Elias Melvin Christiansen and Sense Membrane V realized in January 2019 for KEA Library in Copenhagen in collaboration with AREA Studio.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/09/201620/12/2019