NewSchool Colloquium: Sergei Gephstein

NewSchool Colloquium: Sergei Gephstein


NewSchool of Architecture + Design is pleased to announce their second colloquium in the 2017-18 series:  Frontiers – Neuroscience for Architecture and Design with a lecture by a San Diego scientist working in the areas of perceptual psychology and sensory neuroscience, Dr.Sergei Gepshtein. This lecture will take place THURSDAY, November 30 from 11:30am – 1:30pm in the Hang Ten Large Conference Room. Please note that this is an early afternoon lecture and seating is limited. Plan to arrive before 11:15am to get a seat at the table. The early start time will allow our guests around the world to join the live-stream. The lecture will be attended by Juhani Pallasmaa, Harry Mallgrave, Rick Joy, architects from Steven Holl’s office, neuroscientists working in Parma and Venice, and many others.

Dr.Sergei Gepshtein will be showing his cutting edge work and current research at both the Salk Institute and at USC (work in progress). Do not miss it.

Schedule: 11:30-12:30 Lecture; 12:30-1:30 Discussion.

All are welcome to attend in person or via live-streaming.
The live-streaming link is:

The lecture is titled: The Unknown Space


In his lectures delivered on French radio in 1948, the famed philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty pointed out that “the world of perception, or in other words the world which is revealed to us by our senses and in everyday life, seems at first sight to be the one we know best of all. For we need neither to measure nor to calculate in order to gain access to this world and it would seem that we can fathom it simply by opening our eyes and getting on with our lives. Yet this is a delusion.” Merleau-Ponty complained that the world of perception was “unknown territory as long as we remain in the practical or utilitarian attitude.” Experience of space was Merleau-Ponty’s prime example of our deficient understanding of human experience.

Today, human experience of space remains unknown territory. Our civilization has produced two conceptions of space, but only one of them has been investigated in depth. The latter conception belongs to natural sciences. I call it the “space of intellect” because it cannot be sensed directly but is rather conceived and promulgated by intellectual effort. It is a mathematically sophisticated, objective account of space that serves us well in physics, engineering, and cosmology, and which is removed from how you experience your immediate surroundings, here and now. The other conception is the “space of experience,” in which you are immersed in every waking moment, and which you sense from a unique “first-person” perspective. The space of experience is intrinsically subjective and highly dynamic, which are some of the reasons it has remained obscure….  


DR.SERGEI GEPSHTEIN (Salk Institute, La Jolla)

Founding director of the USC Center for Spatial Perception & Concrete Experience

Trained in neurobiology, perceptual psychology and vision science, Sergei investigates visual perception and visually guided action from the mechanistic point of view of neuroscience and from a point of view that respects visual experience as a research focus in its own right. (The latter area of studies was born in the Gestalt movement, from which it evolved into a modern and rapidly developing research of perceptual organization.) Sergei is a scientist at the Center for Neurobiology of Vision at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where he studies boundaries of visual perception in the natural world and in visual media using methods of sensory psychophysics and computational neuroscience. He also directs the Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies, which he founded at the Salk Institute in 2015.

Sergei served as a Guest Editor of the Journal of Vision; he is a member of the Editorial Board of Cognitive Processing, an International Quarterly of Cognitive Science, and an editor of Oxford Handbooks for Oxford University Press. Recipient of awards from the Swartz Foundation for Computational Neuroscience Research and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan, and recipient of grants from NIH, NSF, and the Kavli Foundation, Sergei is increasingly involved in studies of built environments and design of immersive media, as a founding member of the 5D|World Building Institute and as an inaugural recipient of the Harold Hay Award (2013) from the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, whose Board of Directors he joined in 2016.

Dr.Gepshtein’s full bio, lecture abstract, and poster are attached. More work can be found here:


Original Post Date: November 28, 2017