AHA festival 2015

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Music and architecture are sisters since they are both daughters of mathematics,” St Augustine wrote around 400 AD. Mathematics as a game characterized by beauty, is an ancient thought which we constantly need reminding of. The second AHA festival at Chalmers school of architecture has chosen the theme Numbers. It is a natural consequence of our interest in the relation between art and science. The first year, 2014, the theme was Embodiment, the solid and earth-bound base of human’s investigation of the world. Now we explore mathematics, which the author and mathematician, Willy Kyrklund, calls a “spider web stairs on which we climb towards heaven.” Poetry, music, dance, image and astronomy are parts of this festival, all with the aim to enrich architecture. And we ask with invited artists, scientists and architects, what this aphorism by the British poet W H Auden might mean.
 

Main Theme: Numbers

 
Numbers, a delightful net we cast over the world, a net that is non-human – and beautiful – because the net alone creates patterns and proportions and is a poiesis, “an action that transforms and continues the world”. Or is it the other way around, that the world is mathematical and in reality the net is woven into nature, woven by nature and therefore is found in sunflower seeds, seashells and mountain formations? How can we tell the dancer from the dance? Numbers and mathematical beauty seem foreign to us, but they also form the foundation of our actions and the buildings we live in and the thoughts we think. They may be enigmas, but in the meeting between art and science we catch a glimpse of numbers as an underlying element in our lives. Numbers are everywhere, they identify us, they know when we are born, and they know when we are going to die. Numbers are a system, like the alphabet, that grasps the ungraspable; gives form to chaos. St. Bonaventure wrote in the 13th century, “Since therefore, all things are beautiful and to some measure pleasing; and [since] there is no beauty and pleasure without proportion, and proportion is to be found primarily in numbers; all things must have numerical proportion.” Architecture determined by mathematics is an age-old idea, forgotten now and then but also, as now, returning. It can open a door into the beautiful world of numbers and make them tangible. The second AHA festival creates a platform for the meeting between math and architecture, art and science, in an attempt to make the world of numbers our world.

Proportions

 
DAY 1: Monday | 2015-11-02
 
Proportions are generated by numbers and have been an eternal theme of architecture, as well as, music and poetry. How does intuition shape? 
 

Poiesis

 
DAY 2: Tuesday | 2015.11.03
 
Poiesis is the Greek word for making in a wider sense, an action that transforms and continues the world. And this is of course, the root of poetry! 
 

Patterns

 
DAY 3: Wednesday | 2015.11.04
 
Patterns are what both mathematics and architecture, and maybe even life and physical reality, are fundamentally about. Lets dance with Fibonacci!
 
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Published: Wed 30 Sep 2015. Modified: Wed 24 Aug 2016