Critical Conversations Project

The Critical Conversations Project is a series of thematic roundtable discussions conducted by the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum in partnership with the Center of Theological Inquiry. The goal is to broaden considerations of leading-edge issues of the built environment through incorporating spiritual perspectives. A multidisciplinary group of experts from architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, public interest design, material culture, theology, religious studies, psychology, anthropology, history, and environmental health will be convened in two live webinars, and four sessions conducted at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ as a continuation of their Religion and the Built Environment theme year. Panelists will be tasked to address how the cultural, ethical, environmental, or transcendent aspects of the built environment may address contemporary challenges of globalization, urbanization, economic disparity, climate change, migratory pressures, political and religious radicalization, and disruptive technologies.

The Princeton sessions will be filmed and feature length and short videos produced. Digital proceedings of the findings of the conversations will also be created. All will be widely disseminated through a diversity of scholarly, professional, educational, and popular media.

First Conversations

(see the links at the bottom of this page)

Webinars | May 6 and 27, 2021

The Princeton Sessions

Conversation 1: Justice & Participation | December 9 – 11

How may built environments support equity and inclusion and encourage participatory and democratic decision-making processes?

Moderator: Thomas Barrie FAIA DPACSA

Thomas Beaudoin, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion, Fordham University.

Bryan Bell
Associate Professor of Architecture, North Carolina State University.
Director of Design Corps.

Karla Britton, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History, Dine College.

Thomas Fisher DPACSA
Professor and Director of the Minnesota Design Center, University of Minnesota.

Caitlin Watson AIA
Associate, Kliment Halsband Architects, New York.

Conversation 2: Environmental Adaptation & Ecotechnology | February 10 – 12

How may sustainable built and natural ecosystems be in spiritual and material harmony with nature, the cosmos, and the resources of the earth?

Moderator: Thomas Barrie FAIA DPACSA

Rachel Armstrong
Professor, Department of Architecture: Research, KU Leuven, Belgium

Tim Beatley, Ph.D.
Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia.

Roberto Chiotti FRAIC
Founding Partner, Larkin Architect Ltd, Toronto, Canada.

Margaret Jankowsky ASLA
Director of Urban Design, Trahan Architects, New York.

Brigitte Shim FRAIC, OC, RCA, Hon. FAIA, OAA
Founding partner of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, Toronto, Canada.

Linda Powers Tomasso, MSFS, ALM
Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health.

Conversation 3: Transcendent Human Habitats | April 21 – 23

How may holistic approaches and designs foster human well-being and spiritual growth and help evoke transcendent experiences?

Moderator: Julio Bermudez DPACSA

Nader Ardalan
President, Ardalan Associates.

Rumiko Handa Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean of Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Kevin Ladd, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Psychology of Religion Lab.
Department of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend.

Suchi Reddy
Principal, Reddymade Architecture and Design, New York, NY.

Trey Trahan FAIA
Founder and CEO, Trahan Architects, New Orleans and New York.

Project Directors

Thomas Barrie, FAIA, DPACSA
Professor of Architecture, NC State University
Chair, Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum

Julio Bermudez, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Cultural Studies and Sacred Space Graduate Concentration, School of Architecture and Planning, The Catholic University of America
President, Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum

Primary Project Collaborator
William Storrar, Ph.D.
Director, Center of Theological Inquiry

Film Production
Telequest Inc., Princeton, New Jersey
Project Director: Dan Preston

Webinars | May 2021

May 6, 2021
Cultural Consciousness and Transcendent Human Environments.

How may built environments sustain and regenerate diverse cultural heritages as well as advance identity, sense of belonging, and human development?

Watch it here. 

Moderator: Julio Bermudez, Ph.D., DPACSA

Panelists:

• Sigurd Bergmann, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Religious Studies, Trondheim, Uppsala, Lund, Munich

• S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate, Ph.D.
Associate Professor by Special Appointment, Hamilton College

• Nader Ardalan
President, Ardalan Associates

• Kevin Ladd, Ph.D.
• Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Psychology of Religion Lab, Department of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

• Alberto Perez Gomez, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, School of Architecture, McGill University

• Suchi Reddy, AIA
Principal: Reddymade, NYC

May 27, 2021
Justice & Participation and Environmental Adaptation and Ecotechnology
How may built environments support equity and inclusion and encourage participatory and democratic decision-making processes?

Watch it here.

Moderator: Thomas Barrie, FAIA DPACSA

Panelists:

• Thomas Beaudoin, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion, Fordham University

• Bryan Bell
• Associate Professor of Architecture, North Carolina State University, Director of Design Corps

• Karla Britton, Ph.D.
• Professor of Art History, Dine College

• Roberto Chiotti, FRAIC
Founding Partner, Larkin Architect Limited

• Thomas Fisher, DPACSA
Professor and Director of the Minnesota Design Center, University of Minnesota.