March 20, 2012

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Sense of sight is something most people are born with, but Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Spring 2012 Distinguished Faculty Lecture showed that there is more to vision than surface appearance. The lecture, titled “Learning to See,” featured professors George Katsiaficas and Fredrick Kuhn focusing on learning to interpret one’s surroundings through symbolism and multiple perspectives. Each professor sought to help the audience better understand the world around them through open minds and recognition of hidden symbols and patterns in the world around us.

Industrial design professor Kuhn started the discussion by explaining numerological symbolism, mostly the famed Fibonacci sequence, in the works of painter and printmaker, Edward Hopper. He went on to explain how numerological patterns occur all around us, such as within the binary construction of vehicles, with two mirrors, four wheels, four windows, etc. Because of this, according to Kuhn, Hopper’s paintings actually replicate recurring patterns in the real world.

Following Professor Kuhn’s presentation, Professor Katsiaficas, of humanities and social sciences, gave his lecture on “Learning to See through Cultures.” Katsiaficas discussed beauty to explain the different ways various cultures see something or someone. He utilized pictures of supermodels as well as ancient statues from the Museum of Fine Art’s collection in order to contrast what beauty means within the confines of American culture, against what beauty meant hundreds-of-years ago to African tribes.

“This interdisciplinary lecture series [was] designed to bring together faculty from different departments to address a similar topic related to their scholarship,” said Karen Britton, director of academic relations. “Attendees always gain a greater understanding of teaching within various disciplines.”

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