Scholar and educator Alberto Pérez-Gómez has won this year’s Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum (ACSF). The purpose of the award is to recognize, celebrate, and raise public awareness of exceptional work that significantly advances the mission of the ACSF in architecture, landscape architecture, art, design, urbanism, planning, and related fields. Phenomenologist Pérez-Gómez was chosen for his “…extraordinary emotional, spiritual, and perceptual sensibility and sharp intellect,” according to the ACSF Board of Directors.
Considered one of today’s most important architectural theoreticians, historians, and critics, his carefully articulated writing and teaching have influenced countless academics, professionals, and students of architecture and other disciplines. Starting with his paradigm-shifting Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science (1983), Pérez-Gómez’s work articulates hard-to-grasp ideas, values, and experiences in the cause of the immeasurable and the ethical in architecture, addressing difficult topics such as love, the erotic, and justice. His books Built upon Love (2006) and Attunement: Architectural Meaning after the Crisis of Modern Science (2016) are insightful manifestos that call for an architecture that can enhance our human values and capacities. Architecture, Pérez-Gómez believes, operates as a communicative setting for societies–its beauty and meaning lie in its connection to human health and self-understanding.
Pérez-Gómez directed the History and Theory of Architecture program at McGill University School of Architecture, where he was the Saidye Rosner Bronfman Professor of History and Theory of Architecture until his retirement in January of 2021. A commemorative web page has been published by the school at https://www.mcgill.ca/architecture/events/introduction. He has taught and lectured all over the world. His work is spiritually charged and he was one of the key figures who lent support to the founding of ACSF in 2007. He was the keynote speaker at the ACSF Symposium in Toronto in 2014 and wrote the foreword to the ACSF book Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality (Routledge, 2015). He continues his close connection with ACSF and will participate in the Critical Conversations Project planned for 2021-22 with ACSF and Princeton University’s Center of Theological Inquiry. To mark the award, Pérez-Gómez delivered an ACSF virtual lecture via Zoom on June 26th.