The Upstairs Artspace introduces a series of classes on the Philosophy of Architecture, taught by Deborah Fitzgerald, Ph.D., starting on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The course will run from 6 pm to 7:30 pm every Wednesday through March 4.

Philosophy of Architecture is a branch of Philosophy of Art that deals with the nature of the aesthetic value of architecture, starting with the fundamental question of what constitutes a beautiful building.

The discipline also deals with the relations between culture and architecture, and ethics and architecture. For example, The American Institute of Architecture has a code of ethics. What is the philosophical basis of such a code? What obligations, if any, do architects have to society? This entails questions about the ideal relationship between urban planning and architecture, and environmental issues and architecture. The course will be an investigation of some of these issues.

Dr. Fitzgerald taught the popular Philosophy of Art class at the Upstairs in 2013 and 2014. Fitzgerald interprets complex philosophical theories in a readily accessible, insightful format tailored to non-philosophers, often infusing her discussions with pop-culture references and humor. She has taught at Ohio State University, Rutgers University, Furman University and Wofford College.

For further information and to register, please contact Deborah Fitzgerald at gannon@windstream.net. The Upstairs, which was closed through January, reopens on Jan. 31 with a Saturday reception from 5 pm to 8 pm for its first show of 2015, The Nina Simone Project: Celebrating Black History Month and Tryon’s High Priestess of Soul. The gallery will be open with winter hours – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday – starting Wednesday, Feb. 4.

The Upstairs is located at 49 South Trade Street, in Tryon. For more information about all of the galleries exhibits and programs, call 828-859-2828 during gallery hours, or visit www.upstairsartspace.org.