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We are happy to welcome artist and earth scientist Esmee Geerken to the IAS community as our new ArtScience fellow! You can get acquainted with her work by joining the symposium "Building as Being" that she is organising together with Waag.

About the Building as Being symposium

What does it mean to build today, how did building evolve over time and how shall we build in the future? For the main course of geological time, most shapes have grown by the principle of self-organisation, whereby order emerges without a master controller. Matter, life and human consciousness cascaded into order as elements were organised into ever more complex shapes, fueled by a source of energy: geothermal heat, the sun and predation. More recently – geologically speaking, humankind started to consciously design the environment, while disrupting eco- and climate systems. Does our expanding human ego, seeking to capture the world in models, floorplans and blueprints, interfere with our ability of being in the world? Can we reconnect to the building instincts imprinted in our collective consciousness, by seeing our houses as part of our bodies and our cities as part of the ecosystem? Would it be possible to allow more entropy in urban design and grow cities in interaction with trees, insects, microbes, birds, soils, bedrock, minerals, water and air? What can we learn from self-assembling crystals for our architectural approaches? The Building as Being Symposium explores these questions in dialogue with experts in the field of urban design, material science, sociology and art, covering three scales: The City, The Mind and Matter. Join us and take part in the conversation via the chat!


Sunday 28th of March | 15:00 – 15:40
A walk around Amsterdam Science Park with De Onkruidenier, reflecting on the evolution of the landscape and on how we can adapt to our environment instead of adapting the environment to us (note: this event will be in Dutch).

The City 
Thursday 1st of April 2021 | 20:00 – 21:15
How can self-organising principles shape our cities and how can we grow materials in collaboration with bacteria?

The Mind
Thursday 15th of April 2021 | 20:00-21:15
How does self-organisation shape the individual and collective human mind? Can we allow entropy and emergence in our collective thinking and how would this affect our building strategies and our ability to be part of the biosphere?

Thursday 22nd of April 2021 | 20:00-21:15
What is the role of self-organisation in the emergence of architectural shapes? What can we learn from self-assembling crystals and life-like systems in building and growing new materials?