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Accomplished American architect Professor Michael Benedikt says society's fascination with achieving personal growth through rewarding experiences has turned architecture into a form of entertainment, which is not what it could and should be.

Benedikt will discuss the impact of experientialism – the idea that experience is a source of knowledge on architecture at the next UNSW Utzon lecture Architecture Beyond Experience this Wednesday, 27 May.

After looking to the philosopher Martin Buber and the neuroscientist Michael Graziano, Benedikt will show examples of relational thinking in modern painting and photography, in the life and work of Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, and Frank Gehry, and in his own research with animation.

Benedikt is the Director of the Center for American Architecture and Design at the University of Texas, Austin, where he holds the Hal Box Chair in Urbanism and teaches design studio and architectural theory.

Professor Alec Tzannes, Dean of UNSW’s Built Environment, said Benedikt is an important thought leader in architecture and has guided the profession with his exceptional books and as an educator for the past 30 years.

“His voice continues to resonate as we contemplate new ways of thinking to address the changing nature of our engagement with contemporary architecture and its role in society,” said Professor Tzannes.

The Utzon Lecture series was officially launched five years ago by Jan Utzon the son of the renowned Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Held on a monthly basis at UNSW, the series focuses on the presentation of ideas from leading contributors of international significance in the design, delivery and management of the built environment.

What:  2015 Utzon Lecture – Professor Michael Benedikt on: Architecture Beyond Experience

When: Wednesday, 27 May 2015 from 6:30 PM

Where: The Law Theatre, Ground Floor Law Building, UNSW Kensington campus

Cost: Free. RSVP essential. Click here to register.

Click here for the full 2015 Utzon Lecture program.