Aesthetics in the Age of Environmental Crises

The 14th international summer conference of the International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA) was held 3–5 June 2021. Here you can find information on this past event.


The city of Lahti (Finland) has provided venues for the summer conference during past years. In 2021, the conference is hosted in relation to Lahti – The European Green Capital 2021. The conference is organized, for the first time, online. 

We invite scholars, artists, and other professionals working with environmental issues, as well as everyone interested in the intersection of aesthetics and environmental crises, to join the three-day online conference.

Environments and human living conditions are undergoing drastic changes both locally and globally due to human activity. We face challenges that make it difficult to live meaningful and ecologically sustainable lives. We build our identities and pursue experiences in numerous, ecologically harmful ways. In this situation, feelings of helplessness, distress, and fear are common. It seems we do not have practices for constructively sharing the burden of encountering global environmental change.

At the same time, the effects of climate change have not fully reached environmental aesthetics. Philosophers have written very little on aesthetics and climate change. Aesthetic values, sensibility, and imagination are important factors for mitigating environmental problems. We need these perspectives to be able to redefine the everyday, enrich our perception, and to look for new ways of being and doing.

Behind the Conference

Behind the conference is the project Sensus Communis – the new age of environmental appreciation, which brings together scientific and artistic ways to support sustainable development. The project highlights the need for active participation and forms part of the official program of Lahti – European Green Capital 2021. The project blog (in Finnish) is here.

Keynote Speakers

Emily Brady (Texas A&M University, USA)

Marcello Di Paola (Humanities Department, University of Palermo, Italy)

Ville Lähde (BIOS Research Unit, Helsinki)

Conference Committee:

Arto Haapala, University of Helsinki

Jukka Mikkonen, University of Helsinki

Sanna Lehtinen, Aalto University

Kaisa Kortekallio, University of Helsinki

Noora-Helena Korpelainen (Coordinator), University of Helsinki

In association with the performing arts project