Richard Sennett – Closed and Open Design
Tuesday, December 17 2013, 7 p.m., Oberlichtsaal/Main Building, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 8

Brief Biography

Richard Sennett is University Professor of the Humanities at New York University (NYU) and the Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). He is internationally acclaimed scholar in the fields of urban studies and the sociology of labor. Sennett has studied social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world. In Weimar Richard Sennett will give us insights in his recent work on cities, city planning and urbanism.

His research on urban studies dates back to one of his first books The Uses of Disorder (1970), that looked at how personal identity takes form in the modern city. The Conscience of the Eye (1990 / dt.: Civitas. Die Großstadt und die Kultur des Unterschieds, 1991) is focusing on urban design while Flesh and Stone (1992; Fleisch und Stein, 1995) is a more general historical study of how bodily experience has been shaped by the evolution of cities.

In the mid 1990s, as the work world of modern capitalism began to alter quickly and radically, Sennett began a project charting its personal consequences for workers. The Corrosion of Character (1998 / dt.: Der flexible Mensch, 1998) is an ethnographic account of how middle-level employees make sense of the “new economy”. Respect in a World of Inequality (2002 / dt.: Respekt im Zeitalter der Ungleichheit, 2004) charts the effects of new ways of working on the welfare state; The Culture of the New Capitalism (2006 / dt.: Die Kultur des neuen Kapitalismus, 2005) provides an over-view of change.

Sennett currently is working on a project called 'Homo Faber,' exploring material ways of making culture. With The Craftsman (2008 / dt.: Handwerk, 2008), and Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation (2012 / dt.: Zusammenarbeit. Was unsere Gesellschaft zusammenhält, 2012) he has explored more positive aspects of labor. The upcoming and third book in this series will again focus on cities and the making of the urban environment—and this will also be the topic for Richard Sennett’s talk in Weimar.

Introduced by Prof. Dr. Frank Hartmann, Dean of the Department of Art & Design

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