Art, Technology and the City: Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett visit KIT on October 21 and 22

The Trondheim Academy of Fine Art and the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art are pleased to announce the keynote speakers for the annual conference of KUNO, the network of art academies in the Nordic and Baltic states.

Two distinguished academics who have shaped the discourse on globalization, urbanism and new technologies over the past decades will visit NTNU on October 21 and 22, 2016. Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in New York, and Richard Sennett is Professor at the London School of Economics and the New York University.

The visit takes place in the context of a new initiative on “Art and Technology” (ARTECH) at NTNU which brings together academics from a wide range of faculties at NTNU in order to explore the potential and address the urgencies of cross-disciplinary collaborations between art, science, technology and the humanities.

Sassen and Sennett will be joining us in Trondheim coming straight from the UN Habitat III conference in Quito which will adopt the New Urban Agenda.

Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett are co-chairs of Habitat III's "New Charter of Athens" project. In 1933, Le Corbusier, Siegfried Giedion, and others wrote a Charter of Athens to guide urban development in the 20th century. For the events occurring in 2016-17, under the auspices of UN-Habitat, Richard Sennett, Richard Burdett, Joan Clos, and Saskia Sassen chair a group writing a new charter of Athens for the 21st century.

Saskia Sassen will open the conference with a keynote on Friday at 1600 in Dokkhuset. Richard Sennett will deliver a keynote at the end of the conference Saturday at 1400, again in Dokkhuset. A Q&A follows both lectures. The program is open to the public, and admission is free.


Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired till 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables running though her work. Born in the Netherlands, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, studied in France, was raised in five languages, and began her professional life in the United States. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated in over twenty languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them multiple doctor honoris causa, the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize in the Social Sciences, election to the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands, and made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.

Richard Sennett was born in Chicago in 1943. He grew up in the Cabrini Green Housing Project, one of the first racially-mixed public housing projects in the United States. At the age of six he began to study the piano and the cello, eventually working with Frank Miller of the Chicago Symphony and Claus Adam of the Julliard Quartet. Mr. Sennett was one of the last students of the conductor Pierre Monteux. In 1963 a hand injury put a sudden end to his musical career; for better or worse he then embarked on academic study. Mr. Sennett trained at the University of Chicago and at Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1969. He then moved to New York where, in the 1970s he founded, with Susan Sontag and Joseph Brodsky, The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. In the 1980s he served as an advisor to UNESCO and as president of the American Council on Work; he also taught occasionally at Harvard. In the mid 1990s Mr. Sennett began to divide his time between New York University and the London School of Economics. In addition to these academic homes, he maintains informal connections to MIT and to Trinity College, Cambridge University.

The Trondheim Academy of Fine Art is a Department of the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). It is organized as a flexible and experimental educational and research institution and is well known as the first art academy in the Nordic countries to offer education in media art. Today, the unique environment for art and technology in NTNU allows students, fellows, and academic staff to expand the depth and complexity of their studio practice and to experiment with new approaches across different disciplines and technologies.

KUNO – An Art Academy Without Walls - is a lively and ambitious Nordplus network comprising 17 Nordic-Baltic fine art academies, aiming to become an art university without walls. By cooperating on a wide range of project activities, the member institutions commit themselves to the continued development of higher fine art education in the region.

The NTNU wide task force “Art and Technology” (ARTEC) champions research and artistic excellence by exploring the potential of cross-disciplinary collaboration in the fields of arts, humanities and technology within the frame of the university and in collaboration with external partners. The main aim is to foster innovative research involved while simultaneously producing cutting edge artworks and creative practices.

Postal address:
Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
N-7491 Trondheim

Visiting address:
Innherredsveien 7 (Industribygget)

Contact form
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Tel. +47 73 59 79 00
Fax. +47 73 59 79 20