A Frank Lloyd Wright Style Brain

This is a little beyond me, but since people in Chicagoland love Frank Lloyd Wright, I thought I’d pass this press release on to everyone.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Academy of Neuroscience Announce International Symposium on Neuroscience and Architecture

Taliesin West hosts world renowned architects and scientists

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.  – The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, have announced they will host an international symposium dedicated to exploring the relationship between neuroscience and architecture. The symposium titled: Minding Design: Neuroscience, Design Education and the Imagination, will be held on November 9-10, 2012 at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz., the desert campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to host international dialogue between neuroscientists, architects and educators at Taliesin West,” said Sarah Robinson, Symposium Chair and Founding Chair of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Board of Governors. “We spend about ninety percent of our lives inside buildings designed by architects. Yet the majority of the education of an architect is devoted to acquiring technical knowledge with very little emphasis on how design shapes–and is shaped by–human experience.”

Minding Design will bring together some of the world’s most distinguished architects and scientists to explore the implications of advances on the education of those who design our built world. Architects and brain scientists have much to learn from each other and discussion will address the implications of neuroplasticity on lifelong learning, how the environment changes the structure of the brain, how the imagination functions, and how to best nurture it and what is important for the designer to know and how best to teach it.

“The relatively young discipline of neuroscience is making enormous strides in understanding how environmental factors impact how we think, perceive, remember, learn and heal,” added Alison Whitelaw, President of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. “The Academy is excited to partner with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture on this ground-breaking venture.”

They symposium and workshops will feature key note speakers, including:


  • Juhani Pallasmaa: Finland’s pre-eminent architect, former director of both the Finnish Museum of Architecture and the department of architecture at Helsinki University of Technology. He is also the author or editor of over 30 books, a member of the jury for the Pritzker Prize since 2009 and will be Scholar-in-Residence at Taliesin West this fall.


  • Steven Holl: Recipient of the 2012 AIA Gold Medal and has realized cultural, civic, academic, and residential projects throughout the world. His most recent works are the Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex in Beijing, China (2009), named Best Tall Building Overall for 2009 by the Council on Tall Buildings and the Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China (2009). A professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, he is the author of numerous books most recently, Horizontal Skyscraper.


  • Iain McGilchrist: Former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London. He is the author of numerous articles, papers and books on diverse subjects and studied philosophy, trained in medicine, and became a psychiatrist.


  • Michael Arbib: The Director of the USC Brain Project, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science and a Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience and Psychology at USC. He is the author or editor of over 40 books and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.

“This symposium is exciting and forward thinking and exactly the kind of program we exist to make possible,” said Sean Malone, CEO of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Taliesin West is the perfect setting for an exploration of how the space in which we surround ourselves fundamentally affects how we think and who we are.”

The Minding Design symposium coincides with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s 75th anniversary of Taliesin West, the 80th Reunion of the Taliesin Fellows and will inaugurate the school’s alumni-funded scholar and artist-in-residence program, whose first scholar will be the distinguished Finnish architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa.

For more information visit on the event visit http://taliesin.edu/md/md.html or to register email75thevents@franklloydwright.org


About the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is a non-profit organization that was established by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1940 to be a cultural and educational institution and the primary conservator of his work.  The Foundation owns two world-famous National Historic Landmarks – Taliesin in Spring Green, Wis. and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz. – both open to inspire the public.  The Foundation also owns and manages the vast Frank Lloyd Wright Archives and operates the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, a continuation of the apprenticeship program Wright established in 1932.  www.franklloydwright.org

Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture
The mission of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture is to promote and advance knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment. The Academy benefits from the expanding body of research that has evolved within the neuroscience community in the last two decades, and the promise of even more in the coming century. Some observers have characterized what is happening in neuroscience as the most exciting frontier of human knowledge since the Renaissance. All humanity stands to benefit from this research in countless ways still to be determined. The profession of architecture has become a partner in developing the application of this knowledge base in order to increase its ability to be of service to society. http://anfarch.org/


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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