After 80 years of aggressive suppression of engagement with aesthetics the temporarily dormant preoccupation with beauty is back. This is evidenced by a current cultural shift from the supposedly objective to an emerging trust in the subjective. This renewed fascination for aesthetics is supported by new knowledge emanating simultaneously from disparate disciplines. The interdisciplinary approach to this re-emerging interest in beauty is found across neuroscience, neuroaesthetics, mathematics, philosophy and architecture.

I’ll expand on all that, and discuss the work of the architects, in practice and academe, who are generating new aesthetics, while highlight the presence of others, who still reject the engagement with beauty, missing its paramount importance to the very strength of the profession and its agency these days.

Yael Reisner

In 2019 Reisner was the Head Curator of the Tallinn Architecture Biennale, and Guest-Editor of September 2019’s issue of Wiley’s AD magazine. Both included interdisciplinary contributors debating the resurgence of beauty and its symbiotic relationship with architecture. Earlier discussions covered in her book (with Fleur Watson) ‘Architecture and Beauty Conversations with Architects about A Troubled Relationship, (Wiley UK 2010), translated to Chinese (2014). In 2017 a guest professor at Peter Behrens School of the Arts Düsseldorf, and a member of RMIT’s PhD external examiners board. She has taught at the Bartlett, and held workshops and seminars at SCI-Arc, University of Innsbruck, Pratt Institute, Lund University and extensively elsewhere. In 2014 Yael Reisner Studio designed and led the public installation Take My Hand, Rights and Weddings, in Barcelona. She has RMIT Melbourne’s PhD, AA Diploma, RIBA part 1 & 2, and BSc (Hons) in Biology.