Networks and Natures MetaLAB – “New Work on Aerial Vision”

Whether in architecture, the sciences, social sciences, or urban planning, the View from Above has had a lasting impact on the production of knowledge throughout the twentieth century. Aerial vision has been central to the development of some of the quintessential projects in modernist architecture, such as those initiated by Le Corbusier and, simultaneously, to the social scientific critiques of these design in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It has led to camouflage in war; new social scientific theories; and has preoccupied the thinking of numerous landscape architects and planners in Europe and America. Sponsored by the metaLAB (at) Harvard, this event presents two recent contributions to the rich legacy of work on aerial vision: Sonja Dümpelmann’s Flights on Imagination: Powered Aviation and the Art and Science of Landscape Design and Planning (University of Virginia Press, 2014), and Jeanne Haffner’s The View from Above: The Science of Social Space (MIT Press, 2013). Featuring novel projections of aerial imagery, short talks and refreshments, this “air-minded” gathering invites visitors from diverse academic disciplines and the general public to consider the continuing legacy of the view from above.

Jeanne Haffner is a lecturer in the Department of the History if Science at Harvard University and an affiliate of metaLAB at Harvard. Her book, The View From above: The Science of Social Space (MIT Press, 201; foreword by Peter Galison) received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts in 2011. Her work has been published in Arch+ magazine, Architecture Boston, and Next City magazine, and she has previously taught at the ETH in Zürich and Brown University.

Sonja Dümpelmann is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of design (GSD). Her publications include a book on the Italian landscape architect Maria Teresa Parpagliolo Shephard (VDG Weimar, 2004) and most recently the forthcoming edited volume A Garden Cultural History in the Age of Empire (Berg Publishers, 2013), and the co-edited Greening the City: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century (University of Virginia press, 2011) her book Flights of Imagination: Powered Aviation and the Art and Science of Landscape Design and Planning is forthcoming with the university of Virginia press.  

Network + Natures MetaLAB (at) Harvard

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