Cheryl Akner Koler

Professor in theoretical and applied aesthetics at Konstfack

My interests pivot around how our everyday aesthetic experiences in the physical world drive the creative processes. I define aesthetics, as the willingness to play to ensure a sense of immediacy. James Dewey claims “if it is not immediate it is not aesthetic”. I refer to myself as a sculptor with strong roots in an industrial design educational context and the culinary arts. My research involves ways of reasoning that blends aesthetic abstractions of 3-D form and space that are deeply influenced by haptic perception in the making and performative process.

I completed my PhD in 2008 at the school of Architecture at Chalmers University in the field of theoretical and applied aesthetics. My thesis title Form & Formlessness: Questioning aesthetic abstractions through art projects, cross-disciplinary studies and product design education.

For the past decade, I have lead two co-creative artistic research projects in haptic perception that transpose aesthetic methods and models between sculptural/industrial design context at Konstfack, and the culinary arts and performative arts applied in the professional education of chefs and sommelier at Örebro University. These experiences have profoundly transformed my way of understanding the field of aesthetics by including the proximity sense of smell, taste, and movement in my research and teaching.

As a professor in theoretical and applied aesthetics at Konstfack I teach, lecture and supervise exam projects in both the bachelors and masters courses for industrial designers. My subjects range from theoretical and practical studies of a taxonomy of form & space, gestalt processes, formgiving procedures, and exploratory design projects in innovative aesthetic reasoning. I collaborate with researchers, industry, and designers in projects that involve services and product development that address.

The teaching traditions I have further developed in my first book on 3-D form and space build on the world of Rowena Reed Kostellow.