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Designing Spaces for Thought

LSE Literary Weekend/ Urban Age panel discussion

By exploring the experiential and social impacts of creating spaces for public engagement, contemplation and education - including the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square and the LSE's New Academic Building - an artist, an architect and a sociologist discuss the intellectual practice of 'designing spaces for thought'.

Antony Gormley is an award winning British sculptor. Over the last 25 years he has revitalised the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation, using his own body as subject, tool and material. Since 1990 he has expanded his concern with the human condition to explore the collective body and the relationship between self and other in large-scale installations like Allotment, Critical Mass, Another Place, Domain Field, and Inside Australia. His recent work increasingly engages with energy systems, fields and vectors, rather than mass and defined volume, evident in works like Clearing, Blind Light, Firmament and Another Singularity. Antony Gormley’s work has been exhibited extensively, with solo shows throughout the UK in venues such as the Whitechapel, Tate and the Hayward Galleries, the British Museum and White Cube. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997. In 2007 he was awarded the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Trinity College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, and has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

Richard Sennett was born in Chicago in 1943. He grew up in the Cabrini Green Housing Project, one of the first racially-mixed public housing projects in the United States. At the age of six he began to study the piano and the cello, eventually working with Frank Miller of the Chicago Symphony and Claus Adam of the Julliard Quartet. Mr. Sennett was one of the last students of the conductor Pierre Monteux. In 1963 a hand injury put a sudden end to his musical career; for better or worse he then embarked on academic study. Professor Sennett trained at the University of Chicago and at Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1969. He then moved to New York where, in the 1970s he founded, with Susan Sontag and Joseph Brodsky, The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. In the 1980s he served as an advisor to UNESCO and as president of the American Council on Work; he also taught occasionally at Harvard. Richard Sennett is currently centennial professor of Sociology at LSE and Bemis professor of Social Sciences at MIT. Professor Sennett's first book, The Uses of Disorder [1970] looked at how personal identity takes form in the modern city, his latest The Craftsmen [2008] explores the values of good craftsmanship in society today.

Neven Sidor is a partner in Grimshaw Architects, who designed LSE's New Academic Building. He studied architecture at Nottingham University, qualifying in 1977. He joined Grimshaw Architects in 1981. He devotes the bulk of his time to design and believes in the spirit of exploration; to follow a chain of rational decisions and see where that leads you in terms of design. Faithful adherence to practical steps combined with the confidence to embrace the unknown can lead to surprising and distinctive results. Neven leads all competition work, recently winning two London university projects and continually driving Grimshaw to explore new areas and territories. In London, Neven directed the International Terminal at Waterloo and Sainsbury's supermarket in Camden Town. He also led Grimsaw's first art gallery, the Fundacion Caixa Galicia in Spain.

This is part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Weekend, the LSE's first ever Literary Festival, celebrating the completion of the New Academic Building.


Anthony Gormley | talks
Professor Richard Sennett | talks | www
Neven Sidor | talks
Professor Ricky Burdett | talks


Date and Time:

28 February 2009 at 11:30 am


1 hour 30 minutes



Sheikh Zayed Theatre, London School of Economics
New Academic Building
Lincoln's Inn Fields

Show map

Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




Available from:

This event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required. One ticket per person may be requested from 10am on Tuesday 17 February.

Members of the public can request one ticket via the online ticket request form which will be live on www.lse.ac.uk/events from 10.00am on Tuesday 17 February.

Additional Information:

For more information, visit www.lse.ac.uk/collections/spaceForThought/literaryWeekend.

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