PhD research week 15


The last couple weeks built up to this week's supervisor meeting, a very pleasant chat, from which we concluded that I will be focusing on exploring empathy and meeting some more alternative food initiatives, so I will be posting these soon enough.  I also met with designer Rob Maslin, who has been actively engaged in designing towards sustainable food systems, particularly 'green walls' and 'grow your own'.

Workshop: Aesthetics of Sustainability Session 1

Led by Torsten Schroeder, Associate Lecturer Architecture: Spaces and Objects, this first session was an  interesting discussion, with a combination of MA students, lecturers and phd researchers.  It focused on 3 propositions: A) understanding and conceptualising the "environment out there" B) Images as communication boosters of urban architectural practices C) Aesthetics understood as theory of perception - how can we create images that seduce the viewer/disturb/introduce new ways of looking at the world?

The last propositions is where I am hopeful the workshop will contribute to ideas within my research.

Reading on Empathy

“No quality of human nature is more remarkable, both in itself and in its consequences, than that propensity we have to sympathize with others, and to receive by communication their inclinations and sentiments, however different from, or even contrary to our own.” - David Hume 'A treatise of human nature' 1739

“You may not like what I am going to say. I shall argue that there is a blinkering effect to decency. Being a morally sensitive person, and having internalized a code of behaviour that restricts the range of actions that one takes as live options for oneself, constrains ones imagination. It becomes harder to identify imaginatively with important parts of human possibility. It limits the capacity to empathise with those who perform atrocious acts. They become alien to one. This is an obstacle to understanding many important, if awful, human actions. It is a problem decent people have to grapple with.”- Adam Morton 'Empathy for the Devil'

For inspiration - slightly unrelated to research, but I have been very inspired by the Man-Animal relationship explored by Russian Photographer Andy Prokh