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Beauty in Architecture, for Truth’s Sake

February 27 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Vitruvius wrote in his Ten Books on Architecture that an architect should focus on three central themes when preparing a design for a building: firmitas (strength), utilitas (functionality), and venustas (beauty). Strength and functionality we understand by learning about them empirically since our earliest memories of childhood–sometimes the hard way. But venustas (beauty) is the more complex theme. Is it found only in the eye of the beholder?

John Haigh, AIA is in his fourth year as an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Benedictine College in northeastern Kansas, where he moved to establish a new classical, pre-professional, liberal arts degree in architecture. John received his M.Arch. from the University of Notre Dame in 2004 and is licensed architect who currently resides in Atchison, KS.

AIA Objectives:
-Learn historical criteria for beauty, beginning with the most ancient treatise, Vitruvius’ Ten Books.
-Study ways that the design and construction of a what a culture deems a beautiful building is rooted in the movement and patterns of organic nature.
-Consider the role of form in architectural design as something that engages with events in nature; that forms derive from certain rhythms of life.
-Explore how attempting to identify beauty in architecture ultimately requires a honing of a sense of both unity and diversity within a work; that it is about capturing and communicating a sense of wholeness, a cosmology, and the place of human beings in relation to it.