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Thanima - the three years of journey


IThe THANIMA conference was initiated to address the homogenization of our aesthetic sensibilities. The Western aesthetic is sweeping the whole world making the very idea of culture redundant. Cultural diversity would soon be eliminated totally if we don't explore deeply various aspects of the formation of aesthetic sensibility in humans. We need to come together to explore deeply various aspects of aesthetic formation, its roots, its connection with the context, formative process, connection with cognition, connection with culture and also how it gets awakened, distorted and destroyed.


The second conference was held in Jan 2017 again at NIT, Calicut, supported by IIA, Calicut Center and was called ‘Reimagining Aesthetic Unfolding – From Conditioning to Awakening’ The 2nd International Conference on Design Pedagogy and Contextual Aesthetics (ICDPCA) . See the link for details

                    Thanima conference generated a deep interest among the participants to take this search forward. There is a need for some of us to come together to deepen our own understanding about what are we trying to do in the name of Thanima. What it means to be authentic and original? Even though 'creation' of knowledge is also an important part of being authentic we are, FOR THE TIME BEING restricting ourselves to the formation of aesthetic sense.

Please join the group to be part of the thanima next explorations

what needs to be done is to re think how foundation is conducted so that we don't condition the aesthetic sensibilities but approach it differently so that it is awakened.

Thanima 1
January 30- 31- 2015

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The objective of the Conference
The Objective of the Conference is to explore various aspects of aesthetics- its formation, conditioning, politics, connection with culture, and ways of teaching design (pedagogy). This is also an open invitation for collaborative research in allied areas as well.

The theme

The visual experience of modern spaces all over the world is beginning to look alike. In this regard, architecture and artifacts are no exceptions! Until the last century we have had diverse cultures with
distinct ways of life and fitting aesthetic sensibilities. The homogenization of human cultures is one of the biggest challenges of modernity to be addressed by both academia and practice. The real issue is to understand how aesthetic sensibilities as manifested by the things they make and the spaces they employ are inextricably linked to the cultural context. It is the innate need of the system for its aesthetics to respond to cultural needs and nurture cultural diversity of local contexts. Modernity as embraced in most contexts (let it be art, architecture or theater) bluntly deny this.

In the present era, education conditions and homogenizes the sensibility of people through the way it imparts lessons in art, architecture, design etc. (to begin with). In the process, we are neglecting vibrant contextual elements and thereby constructing a generic world lacking humane facets of design. So if aesthetic awareness through education is reinvented as awakening the senses through creating situations to connect to the natural context of the learner, authentic diverse cultures can stage a comeback. Through this approach, the organizers sincerely hope that if not in full, at least a part of our lost sensibilities can be regained. Conference is poised to be a form to do this on a continuous basis from time to time.

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