Prof. Michalle Gal

is a professor of philosophy at the the Unit of History and Philosophy of Art and Design and the Interdisciplinary Design Graduate Program, Shenkar College. Gal is the author of Visual Metaphors and Aesthetics: A Formalist Theory of Metaphor (2022) Aestheticism: Deep Formalism and the Emergence of Modernist Aesthetics (2015) , and the co-author of the forthcoming Introduction to Design Theory. (2023) She is the editor of the special issues Art and Gesture (2014, Paragrana, De Gruyter), Visual Hybrids (2023, Poetics Today) and Design and its Relations (2023, Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics), and the author of numerous of essays. Gal’s current project is entitled “Visualism”: a new externalist, broad version of Formalism in aesthetics, which endorses the evolving “visual turn” in philosophy. It emphasizes the visual sphere as the correct context for addressing human nature, praxis, and theories of reality, challenges the dominant conceptualist-cognitivist school in philosophy and aesthetics, cognitive studies, and linguistics, and introduces to aesthetics a visualist line of research on design, art, ontology and the mind.

Prof. Ben Highmore

is Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Media, Arts, and Humanities at the University of Sussex. His most recent book is Lifestyle revolution: How taste changed class in late twentieth century Britain (2023). Previous books include The art of brutalism: Rescuing hope from catastrophe in 1950s Britain (2017) and Cultural feelings: Mood, mediation, and cultural politics (2017). He is currently finishing a book on the recent history of playgrounds for Reaktion.

Prof. Yuriko Saito

is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the Rhode Island School of Design, USA, and Editor of Contemporary Aesthetics. Her works on everyday aesthetics, Japanese aesthetics, and environmental aesthetics appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and encyclopaedias, and she lectured widely on these issues. She published three monographs: Everyday Aesthetics (Oxford, 2008), Aesthetics of the Familiar: Everyday Life and World-Making (Oxford, 2017, awarded the outstanding monograph prize from the American Society for Aesthetics) and Aesthetics of Care: Practice in Everyday Life (Bloomsbury, 2022).