Research Line 4

Environmental Aesthetics: Cultural Heritage, Technology, and Sustainable Development

What would the possibilities be for the continuous development and evolution of our environment following the implementation of creativity, techniques, and learning processes for problem-solving and improvement through design? Intriguing problems drive creativity and the development of methods to overcome the limits of ideas and thinking, which involve searching for greater understanding, knowledge, and, above all, a better human capacity to communicate and relate within our environments. What references in the history of design support social and technological development? At the end of the 20th century, the technological transformations were determinants of the consequences of global industrial action affecting the new direction toward a green economy.


A critical examination of the various theoretical and methodological approaches to aesthetics is undertaken in this context, intended to deepen architecture, art, and research design issues. Furthermore, an examination of artistic creation that considers its integration into current affairs is also conducted. Art and design are perceived as social phenomena embodying meaning and materiality within creative solutions; therefore, the investigation method studies the creative production involved in cognitive processes based on successive technological revolutions. The central theme is the aesthetics-technology binomial and involves a critical analysis of technology, artificial intelligence, and (non)human performance. This technical analysis reflects the cultural, political, economic, and consequent creative unpredictability arising from the new paradigm established at the end of the 20th century. Under these conditions, artworks, architecture, design, and innovative ideas acquire a new status of reality. The focus is on aesthetic analysis and implementing art, architecture, and design. The architectural space is analyzed in terms of social environments. To this end, media presence will be addressed based on the algorithmic rule, which is directing society toward a significant change concerning the space and time of concrete visual experiences. Therefore, architecture and design continue to be challenging activities that can transform culture, society, and nature. They are some of the many human actions shaping the world and forcing us to overcome earthly concerns related to the new human condition—the Anthropocene. Many factors influence this complex environmental transformation, but it is understood that architecture and design play significant roles both in causing and solving it. Among several designs or architectural projects related to new technologies, some proposals will be developed in this research line that focuses on transforming individual values and cultural patterns in society to promote sustainable development globally.

Cities and natural places on the World Heritage List assume responsibility for protecting World Heritage for present and future generations. To this end, the principles of sustainable development are necessarily part of the conservation process, relying mainly on communication tools and strategies in their forms to raise awareness and knowledge of World Heritage objectives. Each World Heritage property communicates the values of each culture and its identity. The benefits brought by the recognition as a World Heritage extend from social, educational, cultural, and political advances to the valuation of the assets in the areas declared World Heritages.

To this end, focusing on the sustainable goals, one must primarily consider the interactions in urban centers through digital technology. However, urban interventions through digital technology need to have a social meaning in their applications in visual settings, conditioning the aesthetic aspects as new concepts and, mainly, the functionality to serve everyone through a technicization of the organizational and implementation processes. In this sense, the image configuration has its practical, empirical significance in the daily life of society, specifically in the visual project, due to its importance in solutions for communicative and signaling systems in large cities. We know that the visual project is essential to social representation today for communication with focused objectives, interrelations, and expected results. To synthesize, the understanding of the condition of the cultural worldliness is indispensable to any reflection on the destiny of world cultures in the face of globalization and the flow of industrialized cultural goods, with attention to the development of new forms and functions as the specificity of innovation in the configuration of the contemporary image in large metropolises.