Gottfried Semper is today seen as one of the principal theorists and architects of the 19th century, and there are multiple dimensions in which his ideas can be pursued. This talk will consider his remarks on reading of architectural form in animistic terms, the context in which his discussion took place, his influence on later theories of empathy (Einfühlung), and the resurgence of interest in the mechanisms of empathy in contemporary biology and neuroscience. Our new understanding of emotion and embodied simulation (based on the discovery of mirror neurons) may have profound implications for contemporary design.
Harry MALLGRAVE, “Semper, Animism, and Embodied Simulation”
1.00 pm / Lecture Hall
36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES
Harry Francis Mallgrave has enjoyed a distinguished career as an award-winning scholar, translator, and editor, and is presently a professor of architectural history and theory at Illinois Institute of Technology. He has authored more than a dozen books, including Empathy, Form & Space (1994), Gottfried Semper: Architect of the Nineteenth Century (1996), and The Architect’s Brain (2011). His latest study, Architecture and Embodiment: The Implications of the New Sciences and Humanities for Design, is scheduled to appear with Routledge in March 2013.