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Landscapes of Architectural Education: Architecture, Knowledge and Existential Wisdom


Landscapes of Architectural Education: Architecture, Knowledge and Existential Wisdom

Juhani Pallasmaa, Finland

Education in the creative fields tends to emphasize facts, certainty and learning primarily as an intellectual process. Yet, facts become meaningful only when properly contextualized and in architectural, design and artistic education, the self-identity and sense of self is an essential core of learning. Even today education tends to neglect the fact that emotion is a category of intelligence, and often of the most synthetic and unarguable judgement. Learning is not an accumulation of facts, but a gradual growth into knowledge, integrated personality and, finally, wisdom. The process of learning is neither a linear or logical process, but an emotionally charged journey and exploration into the essences of perception, thinking, human interaction, life, and the specific world of art.
Architecture is essentially a complex and philosophically ”impure” discipline, which fuses conflicting and irreconcilable aspects into an artistic synthesis. As Alvar Aalto writes: ”In every case [of creative work] one must achieve a simultaneous solution of opposites […] this harmony cannot be achieved by any other means than those of art”. Due to the complex and conflicting nature of architecture, its practice tends to be increasingly dominated by intellectualization.
All art forms are engaged in the same existential issues, and consequently, architects can learn decisively by studying other art forms; literature, visual arts, cinema and music. All the arts are engaged in exploring the enigmas and meanings of human existence. Also history is an essential source for artistic mastery and wisdom. It reveals the ethical and epic dimensions of life, and teaches a combined sense of individual humility and pride.
Professor Juhani Pallasmaa visit is initiated and realized through the collaboration with Ajla Selenic, Serbian Architect living and working in Finland.

  • Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Amphitheatre, King Alexander’s Boulevard 73/2nd floor

  • Monday, 19 May 2014
    7.00 pm