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We shape (things) shape us - What Does it Mean to Be Human?

Monday, 15 April 2019, 6:30 – 8:30pm

We shape (things) shape us - What Does it Mean to Be Human?

The Trinity Long Room Hub is delighted to present the latest talk in the series What does it Mean to be Human in the 21st century?, with cultural historian Dr. Lisa Godson who will explore the field of material culture and how our identity as humans is predicated on the artefacts we surround ourselves with.

It will explore the objects, spaces and systems that we use and inhabit, and will propose that being human in the 21st century involves understanding that we not only shape objects and environments but are in turn shaped by the material world to behave and act in certain ways. It will further explore how research into the design and use of seemingly ordinary or everyday objects can enlighten our understanding of the past, present and future and how the implied user of particular objects and technologies is designed into objects, leading to the disabling and even endangerment of others.

About Lisa Godson

Dr. Lisa Godson is a cultural historian who researches and writes about design, material culture and architecture. Her books include Making 1916: Visual and Material Culture of the Easter Rising (2015); Design Learning in an Age of Austerity (2015); The Secret Lives of Objects (2016); Modern Religious Architecture in Germany, Ireland and Beyond (2018); Uniform: Clothing and Discipline in the Modern Age (2019) and How the Crowd Felt: Public Events, Memory and Religion in the Irish Free State (forthcoming). She is a Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, a Trustee of the Design History Society and external examiner at the Royal College of Art, London. She often works with artists, including as research collaborator with Jesse Jones on the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2017. Her research into the work of Irish architects in Africa was the basis of the award-winning feature documentary Build Something Modern (Still Films, 2011). She is currently co-Director of the MA at NCAD ( in Design History and Material Culture at the National College of Art and Design and Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin.

About the series
'What does it Mean to be Human in the 21st Century?' is a new cross-disciplinary lecture series which will reflect on how we understand ourselves, the world, and our place within it.

The lecture series is organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute in partnership with The Dock, Accenture’s global research and incubation hub in Dublin.

This new series will bring some prominent international academic and industry voices to Trinity to discuss the human experience of today and its future in the face of accelerated change brought about by artificial intelligence and technology.

A broad ranging series of talks traversing the humanities, sciences, arts and social sciences, join us in 2019 for an unmissable snapshot of human progress; who we are, where we are, and where we’re going.

See full details here

Campus LocationEdmund Burke Theatre
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Edmund Burke Theatre
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Workshops and Training
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free (but registration is essential and will open in Feb 2019)
Contact Name: Trinity Long Room Hub

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