The International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA) invites paper and panel proposals for the 15th International Summer Congress, “Scoping Sustainable Aesthetics.” 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.

Call for Abstracts: Scoping Sustainable Aesthetics – Rethinking Nature, Man-Made Environment. XV Summer Congress of the International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA). Lahti, Finland, 12–14 June 2023

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 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.

We are looking for papers of 20 minutes’ duration, taking an interest in the following topics and questions, which are suggested here to inspire, not to limit, the discussion. After each presentation, 10 minutes will be reserved for discussion. In addition to individual papers, we are looking for interdisciplinary panels, of 90 minutes’ duration (including discussion), focusing transactionally on one of the topics:

  • Retrospective accounts on the theme “Nature, Man-Made Environment.”
  • Historical or artistic reflections on the evolvement of the discussion of sustainability and aesthetics.
  • The significance of the various dimensions of sustainability, e.g., ecological, economic, social, for philosophical aesthetics.
  • Conceptual rephrasing concerning, e.g., aesthetic sustainability, aesthetics of sustainability, sustainable aesthetics.
  • Critical responses: What are the limitations of sustainability considerations to aesthetic issues?
  • Methodological prospects: Bridging empirical and philosophical approaches in aesthetics.
  • How to navigate diverse approaches at the interface between philosophical/empirical aesthetics and sustainability science/ practice?
  • The relationship between aesthetics, politics, and scientific modelling.
  • Practical considerations on sustainability and aesthetic issues in, e.g., architecture, design, artistic work, education, mass media, consumer behaviour.

Send your abstract (maximum 300 words) and three-five keywords to by 31 January 2023. Panel proposals should not exceed 500 words. Add information concerning whether you propose to present on-site or on-line, but do not add notes or a list of references. Communication of acceptance: 15 Feb 2023. Please, note that only a limited number of on-line presentations can be included in the conference programme.

The conference will be conducted in English and on-site in Lahti, Finland. Information regarding the keynote presentations and the conference will be updated on the congress web page:

The IIAA is organising the conference in collaboration with the city of Lahti, the Lahti University Campus, the University of Helsinki, and the Finnish Society for Aesthetics.

The registration fee for participants with a presentation is 150 EUR. The fee for students is 100 EUR. Limited online participation is possible for a fee of 50 EUR.

Programme committee:

Arto Haapala, University of Helsinki
Virpi Kaukio, Mire Trend Research Project, University of Eastern Finland
Mateusz Salwa, University of Warsaw
Noora-Helena Korpelainen, University of Helsinki