Past Congresses

XV International Summer Conference

Scoping Sustainable Aesthetics – Rethinking Nature, Man-Made Environment

The IIAA was founded in Lahti in June 1993 by the University of Helsinki, the City of Lahti, the Finnish Society for Aesthetics, and the Päijät-Häme Region University Association. The first Summer Congress was held in 1995, after the World Congress in Aesthetics in Lahti, under the title “Nature, Man-Made Environment.” The City of Lahti has offered a base for the IIAA since the beginning. A lot has happened with environmental issues in the world since the 1990s. The city of Lahti has celebrated this change as its sustainability transformation (

During the past thirty years, the idea of sustainability has become pervasive in all areas of human life, but we are still far from achieving, for example, the United Nations’ sustainability goals (UN SDGs). Nevertheless, with the rise of sustainability-related discussion and work, we have witnessed the return of moral interest that concerns care, respect, accountability, and ethical development, not only within and about the human community, but also beyond. Philosophical aesthetics has addressed these issues, especially in relation to environmental and everyday aesthetics.

The International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA) is organizing its 15th International Summer Congress with the title “Scoping Sustainable Aesthetics – Rethinking Nature, Man-Made Environment.” With this three-day conference celebrating the IIAA’s thirty years of facilitating thought formation on environmental aesthetics, the aim of the IIAA is to bring together people interested in the interface between philosophical/applied aesthetics and those approaches that seek to enhance ecological and social sustainability.

The aim of the IIAA’s XV international conference is to scope the potentials and risks of sustainable aesthetics, to critically investigate its status in the contemporary world and influence on the future(s). “Scoping Sustainable Aesthetics” thus invites us to (re)think about the role of aesthetics in sustainable development and the contemporary transitions towards environmentally sustainable and socially just well-being of both humans and non-humans.

XIV International Summer Conference

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.