Featured guest: Prof. Mads Nygaard Folkmann, scholar

Professor Mads Nygaard Folkmann is Professor of Design Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Imagination in Design (MIT Press, 2013) and co-editor of Design Culture: Objects and Approaches (Bloomsbury, 2019).

He has visited Wassard Elea several times, notably to attend the Wassard Elea Symposium (seminars organised by Professor Lars Aagard-Mogensen) on the subject of philosophical aesthetics. Most recently, however, he came to Wassard Elea in 2022for two purposes, firstly to complete work on his forthcoming book, Design Aesthetics: Theoretical Basics and Studies in Implication, forthcoming from MIT Press in 2023, and secondly to explore new ideas for a book on design and water.

Image: Prof. Mads Nygaard Folkmann. The Tomb of the Diver at the Archaeological Museum of Paestum.

He writes: “In the form of the sea, water is very present in Ascea…” and explains that during his stay he narrowed down the focus of his projectedbook to ‘design in relation to drinking water’. The idea, he states, is to look at accessibility, organization, and containment of drinking water in a contemporary perspective – as we live in a world where drinking water increasingly is a scarce resource – but also taking glimpses back to places such as ancient Rome or Paestum, where they organized drinking as well as bathing water.

Asked what he most appreciated or enjoyed about his stay in Ascea, he mentioned the fantastic light and the sea, but also the extent of ancient and contemporary culture in the South of Italy. The images of the Temple of Neptune and the Tomb of the Diver at the Archaeological Park of Paestum, (situated around 30 minutes from Ascea by train), suggest this deep connection with water going back to the most ancient human history. We wish Professor Mads Nygaard Folkmann great success with his new book on what is undoubtedly a very important subject.

Image: Prof. Mads Nygaard Folkmann. The Temple of Neptune at Paestum

Published by wassard Elea

We're Rene Mogensen and Leila Rasheed, a composer and children's author. Wassard Elea provides affordable, informal retreat spaces for artists, scholars and other creatives who want to work in the beautiful surroundings of the Cilento National Park, in the south of Italy.

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