This PhD project applies a research by design methodology to investigate the potential of aesthetic properties of the built environment to catalyse social change.
The project will move between theory and practice by experimenting with transdisciplinary approaches to aesthetics and materiality in the design processes of several architectural installations to be realised in public space in Denmark, Norway and USA.
These architectural installations will seek to create atmospheric interventions that engage the users emotionally, inspiring exploration and the discovery of new possibilities for action.
The transdisciplinary experimentation during the design processes will be guided by ecological psychology and theories of embodiment, process-oriented ontology, and new, transdisciplinary architectural practices.
The project will collect data about the role of aesthetic properties to catalyse social change both during and after the realisation of the architectural installations, capturing the whole process of becoming of the spatial installation from initial research by the designer to the appropriation by users.
The data collection will inform the development of prescriptive theory that will aspire to contribute with a more nuanced understanding on the potential of aesthetic properties of a built environment to catalyse social change.
Furthermore, by widening the understanding of aesthetics and social change in architectural theory and design practice, this PhD project intends to contribute to debates on transdisciplinary architectural practice, concepts of sustainability and the ethics of architecture.