TAB 2019

2-Day Symposium “Beauty Matters. Just Like Love, It’s Real”

Beauty Matters. Just Like Love, It’s Real


Tallinn Creative Hub / Kultuurikatel

The symposium is geared for both practising and academic architects, from Estonia and abroad, and for members of the public with a general interest in culture. It is an opportunity to catch up with the now in a number of disciplines including: architecture, neuroscience, neuroaesthetics, poetry, mathematics, artificial intelligence and digital technologies related to these fields. Symposium participants include both distinguished scholars and leading architects and designers. 

The experience of beauty is similar in architecture, poetry, mathematics, music, and in the visual and performing arts, being characterised by qualities such as elegance, profundity, originality, clarity, seriousness, significance, ambiguity. The list goes on, becauseno one can define beauty in simple terms.It is quite striking when one considers the significance of visual thinking to intuition and good design, how subjectivity and intuition lead the way in creative activity, and how beauty is related to all of that.

The symposium aims to achieve stimulating interdisciplinary debate. A number of panels will discuss why beauty matters today, how come it was dormant for some 80 years, and reflect on new buds of beauty in architecture. 

Watch the TAB Symposium panel discussion on Youtube link HERE.


Thursday, 12th of September 2019:

– Yael Reisner, TAB 2019 Head Curator – Beauty Matters; The Resurgence of Beauty;
– Taylor Enoch and Ron Aharoni – Why Beauty Matters;
– Taylor Enoch and Graham Harman – New Reasons For the Interest In Beauty;
– Maria Lee and Ron Aharoni – The Desire For Beauty

Beauty through the lens of Habitation;
– Barnaby Gunning, Yael Reisner and soma architecture: Practice’s Retrospective. Moderator Fleur Watson;
– Kadri Kerge and soma architecture: The Exhibit. Moderator Kaja Pae.

Beauty and VR / AR / MR experience in Architecture:
– Paula Strunden and Nathan , Jakob Tulve, with Yael Reisner: The Exhibit;
– Space Popular and Paula Strunden: Practice’s retrospective;
– Elena Manferdini and Soomeen Hahm , Gwyllim Jahn, Igor Pantic:  Practice’s retrospective;
– Elena Manferdini and Space Popular: The Exhibit.

Friday 13th of September 2019:

– Installation Programme Competition winning project Steampunk Steampunk. Installation Competition curator Gilles Retsin &  Installation Competition Winners: Gwyllim Jahn, Cameron Newnham (Fologram), Soomeen Hahm, Igor Pantic. Moderator Martyn Hook;

– Maria Lee and Taylor Enoch: On the Subjective Experience of Beauty and its Relevance;
– Ron Aharoni and Graham Harman: The Interest in Beauty Through History;

– Keynote Speaker Graham Harman: Why Architecture and Beauty Need Each Other.

Smart home and Beauty:
– Kim Listmann, March Studio and Barnaby Gunning. Moderator Kaja Pae.

Beauty through the lens of Habitation:
– Sou Fujimoto, Barnaby Gunning and Yael Reisner: The Exhibit. Moderator Martyn Hook.
– Kadri Kerge and Kadarik Tüür Architects – In the context of Estonia. Practice’s retrospective.  Moderator Kaja Pae;
– Kadarik Tüür Architects and March Studio: The Exhibit.  Moderator Fleur Watson;
– March Studio and Sou Fujimoto: Practice’s retrospective.

Ron Aharoni

Ron Aharoni is an Israeli mathematician, who has, over the years, made forays into several other fields. He taught and instructed teachers in elementary school, and a book describing his experiences there, “Arithmetic for Parents”, has been translated into many languages. He also published poetry and short stories, and wrote two books on poetry: “Mathematics, Poetry and Beauty”, and “Man Detaches Meaning” – the latter on techniques common to jokes and poetry. In another book, “The Cat that is Not There”, he offers a non-philosophical view of philosophy. 

Graham Harman

Graham Harman is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything (2018) and Speculative Realism: An Introduction (2018). Harman has lectured in thirty-nine countries, and his writings have been translated into twenty-one languages. Along with being one of the founding members of the Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology movements, he is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Open Philosophy, Speculative Realism series editor at Edinburgh University Press, and (with Bruno Latour) Co-Editor of the New Metaphysics series at Open Humanities Press.

Maria Lee

Maria Lee graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2008 as a dramaturge and has worked a significant time of her life in theatre; recently she acquired the vocation of print technology and is presently working in a print house, also doing some graphic design. Amongst other things, Maria Lee is an Estonian poetess. She has published two books of poetry and as a poet, has been silent for many years. She’s developing her third book, searching for space and aesthetics that would make sense for her in the rapidly changing and malforming time.

Taylor Enoch

Taylor Enoch is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant in philosophy at University College London. His research is in aesthetics, neuroesthetics, and philosophy of art, with a focus in the phenomenology of aesthetic experience. He has published on experimental aesthetics, and the philosophies of Kant and Husserl (forthcoming). Taylor has lectured at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Bartlett School of Architecture, and is an associate of the UCL Laboratory of Neurobiology and the TCNJ Experimental Philosophy Laboratory.

Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto was born in Hokkaido in 1971. After graduating from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering at Tokyo University, he established Sou Fujimoto Architects in 2000. He now works from offices in both Tokyo and Paris.
In 2013 he became the youngest architect to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London. He has since won numerous international competitions across Europe.
His notable works include; “Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013” (2013), “House NA” (2011), “Musashino Art University Museum & Library” (2010), “Final Wooden House”(2008), “House N” (2008) and many more.

Elena Manferdini

Elena Manferdini is an Italian engineer and architect based in Venice, California, where she is the principal and owner of Atelier Manferdini. She is the Graduate Programs Chair at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. She has over fifteen years of professional experience that span across architecture, art, design, and education. Her work received the prestigious 2016 Public Art North America award and is part of the permanent collections of SFMoMA and LACMA. In 2011 she was one of the recipients of the prestigious annual grants from the United States Artists (USA) in the category of architecture and design.

Kadri Kerge

Kadri Kerge is an Estonian architect based in New York City, where she is designing large scale buildings, design strategies and master plans across the world for NBBj Architects. She is running her private studio Ministry of Architecture with her sister Maris Kerge in Tallinn, Estonia and New York, focusing on residential buildings and interior design architectural projects in Estonia and NYC. Prior to that she was working at Asymptote Architecture in New York, Coop Himmelb(l)au and Eichinger Offices in Vienna.

Paula Strunden

Paula Strunden is an architectural designer currently based in Amsterdam and London, as co-founder of Soft Bodies. With experience working for Archithese, Raumlabor and Herzog & de Meuron, Paula continuously explores the imaginary spatial potential within Virtual and Mixed Reality environments. As Associate of Store, Paula has led a series of VR workshops in London and abroad. She tutored at Whitechapel Gallery, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Bartlett Summer School Programme and holds a teaching position at the Architectural Association.

Space Popular

Lara Lesmes (Spain) and Fredrik Hellberg (Sweden), both graduates from the Architectural Association in London, founded Space Popular in Bangkok in 2013. Based in London since 2016, the practice works at multiple scales: from furniture and interior design to architecture, urbanism, and the design of virtual worlds. The duo has extensive teaching experience at INDA (Bangkok) and the Architectural Association and have lectured and participated as visiting critics internationally. Beyond their academic experience, Space Popular has ongoing and realised built projects and exhibitions in Europe and Asia.

March Studio

March Studio was founded in 2007 in Melbourne by architect Rodney Eggleston and graphic designer Anne-Laure Cavigneaux. Raised on technology and passionate about hand-made objects and traditional processes, their creative ambitions have given them the opportunity to work across the fields of residential, retail, hospitality, experiential design and community engagement. Within a few years, March Studio became a high profile, internationally published and award winning studio.

soma architecture

soma is an Austrian practice founded in 2007 by Stefan Rutzinger, Kristina Schinegger, Günther Weber and Martin Oberascher. In addition to the Theme Pavilion for the Expo 2012 Yeosu in South Korea, completed projects include the extension for the Building Academy in Austria (2012) and the travelling Art Pavilion for the Salzburg Biennale (2011). The team’s work has won numerous prizes in international competitions and has been featured in significant exhibitions such as the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 and Archilab 2013. In 2014 soma was presented in a solo show at the Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna. Since 2017 soma is run by Stefan Rutzinger and Kristina Schinegger.

Kim Listmann, Automation and Grid Technologies at ABB´s Corporate Research Center in Ladenburg, Germany

Kim Listmann

Dr. Kim Listmann is a highly respected manager for Automation and Grid Technologies at ABB´s Corporate Research Center in Ladenburg, Germany. Dr. Kim Listmann holds a Master’s degree in mechatronics (Technische Universität Dresden) and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics (Technische Universität Darmstadt). His main interests lie in the creation of radically innovative concepts to customer problems and their application in industrial environments. Listmann is the Research Department Manager; Automation & Grid Technologies in ABB.

TAB Symposium “Beauty Matters. Just Like Love, it’s Real”. 12-13.09.2019 at Kultuurikatel, Tallinn. Photos: Evert Palmets