Lecture by David Avnir "On Left and Right: Chirality in Architecture"

22 may 2018 cld itmo university creative lighting design future technologies education lighting education achievements in science

David Avnir, a chemistry professor in Hebrew University of Jerusalem and co-head of SCAMT laboratory will give an open lecture “On Left and Right: Chirality in Architecture" at ITMO University. The aim is to describe the intimate, relevant link between chirality and architecture, capturing other fields of artistic design.

David Avnir, professor and co-lead of SCAMT Laboratory at ITMO University. Reference: Hebrew University


Chirality is the property of potentially having a left-form and a right-form of either physical objects or of illuminated objects. A pair of hands and opposite shadows is a classic example. In architecture, which relies heavily on shape, form, symmetry and lighting effects, considerations of chirality are non-existent, although chiral architectural design is common. For instance, spiral elements in high-rise buildings are well known, and their spirality renders them chiral, with either right-handedness as in the Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers in Nagoya, or left-handedness as in Calatrava’s Chicago Spire.

Interestingly, not only can the physical architectural design be chiral, but architectural chirality can be achieved by lighting effects. Yet we are unaware of a routine reference to the following basic question: Having designed a building which is chiral, which form should be constructed – the left-handed or the right-handed one? That question is of importance from two points of view: First, it has been documented in the arts that the aesthetic perception of left or right versions of the same object is different; and second, these two versions correspond differently with their natural and urban surroundings and environment, which, in most cases are chiral as well. It is the aim of this lecture to describe the intimate, relevant link between chirality and architecture, generalizing, as time will allow, to other fields of artistic design.

On 7 June, 2018 at SCAMT Lab

Lomonosova street, 9

Registration by the link

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