Well-known Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa will begin his 12-week Droga Residency in February, presenting a series of lectures in various Australian cities during the course of his residency.

Juhani Pallasmaa, Architect SAFA, HonFAIA, IntFRIBA, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, is a former juror for the Pritzker Architecture Prize and jury member for the extension of Sydney Modern. Highly regarded worldwide not only for his architectural works but also his contribution to the industry through lectures, seminars, books, exhibitions and philosophical reflections, Pallasmaa has practised architecture since the early 1960s, and has also been active in urban, exhibition, product and graphic design.

An Emeritus Professor, he has taught and lectured widely in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia and has published books and numerous essays on the philosophy and critique of architecture and the arts in over thirty languages.

Pallasmaa will present a series of lectures around the country beginning at the Sydney Opera House on 23 February.

The six Australian lectures: touching the world through architecture

Today, the art of architecture is threatened by two opposite forces: instrumentalization and aestheticization; the first turns architecture into mere utility, technique and profit, while the second turns it into shallow seduction and entertainment. It is apparent that the prevailing theoretical and educational thinking is grounded in a number of false assumptions.

The six lectures point towards alternative ways of understanding art and architecture, based on current views in phenomenological philosophy, psychology, biological and evolutionary studies, and neuroscience. The lectures survey the complex ways in which one is related with the world and how this existential understanding of the human condition might inform architecture.

Through these lectures, Juhani Pallasmaa aims to shed light on some of the seminal mental problems in architecture today through other art forms, which have not yet been totally subjected to the quasi-rationality of the current materialist world view.

The Australian Lectures – Schedule

23 February, Sydney: ATMOSPHERE AND MOOD – feeling space and place

10 March, Melbourne: DWELLING IN TIME – the architectural meaning of time

31 March, Brisbane: IN PRAISE OF VAGUENESS – diffuse thought and peripheral vision

9 April, Canberra: EMPATHETIC IMAGINATION – embodied simulation in architecture

April (Date TBC), Adelaide: COMPLEXITY OF SIMPLICITY – the inner structure of artistic imagery

13 April, Sydney: TRADITION AND NEWNESS – the meaning of artistic continuity

Image: Juhani Pallasmaa (Photo: Knut Thyberg)