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ASCF 14: Resonance of the Past, Spirit of the Future

June 5-9, 2024

"Architecture appears for the first time when the sunlight hits a wall. The sunlight did not know what it was before it hit a wall." Louis Kahn

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General Information

The Forum on Architecture, Spirituality, and Culture will host its 2024 annual international symposium in Istanbul, Turkey. With its blend of East and West, the city embodies the very themes we seek to explore: Resonance of the Past, Spirit of the Future: Exploring transcendent unity in a world of multiplicity. The symposium’s venue, surrounded by the architectural wonders of Istanbul, will serve as a living laboratory where theory and practice converge.

Our 14th Annual meeting will take place June 5-9, 2024, when we will gather at the Kalyon Hotel, where all symposium activities (save for exploration of Istanbul) will take place, including meals and lodging. Located in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, this hotel offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling tourist crowds. Unlike the more touristy parts of Sultanahmet, this hotel allows guests to experience the authentic charm of the area. The convenient proximity to the iconic Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque will allow us to embark on a spiritual journey through the heart of Istanbul, where the confluence of mystical thinking echoes across centuries. Small groups of 8 to 10 symposium participants will be guided by an expert, as they explore the tapestry of this ancient city’s history and culture.

Weatherwise, early June is pleasant in Istanbul. High temperatures are in the mid to upper 70sF (22-24C) that then fall to the lower 60s (15-17 C) during the night.

ACSF 14 will be structured around a main topic (“Resonance of the Past, Spirit of the Future”) but is also open to ideas, works, and proposals relevant to the Forum’s areas of interest. We will keep the number of attendees below 75 to maintain an intimate and dialogical atmosphere. As usual, ACSF strives to assemble a distinguished panel of keynote speakers whose work aligns with the theme of the symposium. This year, we are anticipating the participation of renowned Turkish architects and scholars who will articulate the central themes, bridging historical foundations with forward-looking ideas in exploring transcendence. The roster of speakers will be updated at a later date. Of course, as is in past symposia, the final evening will be dedicated to presenting the ACSF Outstanding Achievement Award followed by the recipient’s keynote address (something we won’t know until late March 2024).

Established in 2007, the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum provides an international forum for scholarship, education, practice, and advocacy regarding the cultural and spiritual significance of the built environment. ACSF believes that the design and experience of the built environment can assist the spiritual development of humanity in service of addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

Theme

Resonance of the Past, Spirit of the Future: Exploring transcendent unity in a world of multiplicity

In an era where digital technologies are reshaping the very essence of architecture, the fusion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage with spirituality offers a rich tapestry of exploration. The proposed symposium seeks to delve into the captivating nexus between architecture, culture, and spirituality, with an emphasis on the transformative role of digital technologies in both education and practice. Set against the majestic backdrop of Istanbul, a city straddling the crossroads of civilizations, this symposium aims to unravel the profound interplay of tradition and innovation. 

Within the larger Symposium Theme, we see four lines of inquiry or discussion:
  1. Understanding Tradition through Technology: The symposium will explore how architects are employing digital tools to reinterpret historic architecture, learning from the past to envision new futures. As I.M Pei eloquently stated, “Architecture is the very mirror of life. You only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place; they are the reflection of society”. Presentations will highlight projects that celebrate innovative practice or pedagogical strategies, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and the symbiotic relationship between technology and tradition.
  1. Cultural Confluence and Architectural Expression: Culture is a dynamic force that shapes architecture’s identity and creation. The symposium will focus on the convergence of diverse cultures, religions, and ethnicities, like the example of the ones witnessed in our location Istanbul. As Steven Hall observed, “Architecture is bound to the situation.” Attendees will delve into how cultural fusion inspires architectural form and function, with Constantinople’s legacy serving as an enduring testament to this phenomenon.
  1. Transcendent Unity and the Soul of Architecture: The spiritual dimension has always infused architecture with profound meaning. The symposium will illuminate the spiritual essence in architectural creation, drawing inspiration from different spiritual traditions like Sufism and Orthodox Christianity. Quoting Rumi, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you,” participants will discuss how architectural spaces can become conduits for spiritual experience independent of time.
  1. Phenomenological Ruins, Restoration, and Reuse: The symposium can analyze this theme with the neighboring Hagia Sophia being a potent symbol of sacred architecture’s adaptive reuse. Building on the concept that reuse is the most sustainable form of architecture even with the hurdles of adaptation and discovery, discussions will delve into the multifaceted history of building transformation, serving as a model for reimagining sacred spaces for contemporary needs.
 
Contributions and Insights
Participants will enrich the symposium with their research and expertise. By bridging the realms of academia, architectural practice, and spirituality, participants will gain valuable insights into the intricate interplay of architectural heritage, culture, and digital innovation.

Location

Istanbul’s unique significance as a historical crossroads of civilizations makes it an ideal setting for this symposium. With its blend of East and West, the city embodies the very themes we seek to explore. The symposium’s venue, surrounded by the architectural wonders of Istanbul, will serve as a living laboratory where theory and practice converge
 

Our 14th Annual meeting will take place at the Kaylon Hotel that is located in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. This urban area offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling tourist crowds. The hotel is located in a flat area perfect for leisurely strolls, while the Marmara Sea’s presence right at its doorstep provides a calming backdrop. Unlike the more touristy parts of Sultanahmet, this hotel allows guests to experience the authentic charm of the area. The convenient proximity to the iconic Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque, just a 12-15 minute light walk away, ensures that we can explore these historic landmarks with ease during our stay.

The Kalyon Hotel has the best conference center in the area, and will easily accommodate our symposium activities. The spacious room has outstanding audiovisual support to ensure a seamless presentation experience. The conference center also offers breathtaking views of the Marmara Sea, flooding the space with natural light, creating an inspiring and invigorating atmosphere for ACSF14. 

Cost

The cost of the Symposium will be as follows:

  • Basic Room – City View (Can fit 2-3 People) @ $105/night x 5 nights (breakfast included): US$ 525
  • Symposium Fee: US$ 425

This symposium fee will cover the following:

  • All meals: from dinner on June 5th to dinner on June 9th, you will receive 3 buffet service hot meals a day; snacks, coffee & soft drinks during the breaks. Wine will be served at receptions and dinners.
  • Dinner Night Outside the Hotel.
  • Gratuities for Dining Staff.
  • Access to all symposium activities
  • The Sunday Sacred Sites Tours
 
Total cost per person (single occupancy): US$ 950

Total cost per person (couple): US$ 750

Accommodations

Regarding the hotel, please refer to “Location” above. This section has to do with having booking priority for the said accommodations. Those who have submitted an abstract will be notified of their acceptance by February 19th after which you will have two weeks to confirm your participation and one more week to register on-line prior to the rooms becoming available to the remaining ACSF membership and public at large.  All bookings and registration will be available online through ACSF.  Please do not contact the hotel directly.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Accessibility & Travel

Multiple international airlines fly to/from Istanbul, Turkey. Prices vary depending on your place of origin and how early you purchase your tickets. At this time (early October 204), roundtrip prices from the East Coast of the U.S./Canada to Istanbul for early June are around $1,300, and from the West Coast of the U.S./Canada are about $1,800. Flying from Europe ranges from $200 to 300 (e.g., London, Berlin). Flights from Mumbai are around $650. The Kaylon Hotel provides shuttle transportation to and from the Istanbul airport at an additional cost. Alternatively, participants have the option of utilizing taxi services or other apps like Uber for their convenience.

Weather

Weatherwise, early June is pleasant in Istanbul. High temperatures are in the mid to upper 70sF (22-24C) and then fall to the lower 60s (15-17 C) during night time.

Program

To view a draft of this year’s program, please click here.

Timeline

NOTE: Proposals for participation are no longer accepted (the deadline was January 15, 2024). Accepted works (projects, papers, and workshops) are now being finalized for e-publication and presentation. We expect that the selected works will elicit a vibrant interdisciplinary dialogue among teachers, artists, scholars, designers, theoreticians, and practitioners. Topics of particular interest will include: the interplay of tradition and technology, as architects harness digital means to reinterpret historic architecture; the confluence of cultures and their influence on architectural identity, especially as seen in the melting pot of Istanbul; the profound spiritual undertones in architectural design, inspired by traditions like Sufism and Orthodox Christianity; and finally, the nuances of architectural restoration and reuse emphasizing sustainable transformation and reimagining of sacred spaces. Join us in this exploration and contribute to shaping the architectural discourse for the future bridging tradition and innovation. For more on the theme, see “Resonance of the Past, Spirit of the Future: Exploring transcendent unity in a world of multiplicity.”

 
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2024 (ended)

Blind Peer Review Process: January 16 – February 12, 2024 (completed)

Feedback to authors (acceptance/rejection): February 19, 2024 (completed)

Deadline to confirm author participation: March 4, 2024 (ended)

Room Reservation deadline for Authors (payment due): March 25, 2024 — Full information will be delivered along with February 19 feedback. (after this date, rooms will be open to non-author attendees)

Submission of revised proposal for online publication: April 22, 2024

Final symposium scheduling + e-publication available: May 24, 2024

ACSF14 Symposium starts: June 5, 2024, in Istanbul, Turkey

Registration

Please use the following forms to register for the 2024 ACSF 14 in Istanbul. Once you have filled out the forms, use the link on the confirmation page to pay the required fee and costs.
The symposium will begin Wednesday evening (June 5th) and end on Sunday evening (June 9th) with drinks and dinner. Rooms are available Tuesday night for those who want to arrive early. The symposium fee of $423 covers access to ALL conference functions including workshops (Thur & Fri), four lunches, five dinners including dinner outside the hotel, breakout session snacks and drinks, five social hour drinks and wine for dinner, Old City Sacred Sites Tour on Sunday with lunch, and ACSF fee ($25).

Before you start (and in order to avoid errors difficult to correct later on):

  1. become familiar with the hotel available through the symposium
  2. decide whether you will share your room with another attendee (and if so, with whom)
  3. decide how many nights you plan to stay

For information about the hotel visit:

https://www.kalyonistanbul.com/

If you have dietary needs/choices, please fill out the appropriate form accordingly.
Refunds policy for cancellations:

  • 30 days prior to start of the event = 50%
  • No refunds for cancellation for less than 30 days before the start of the event.
  • We are not responsible for travel expenses (i.e. Flight tickets, luggage, etc.). We would suggest you purchase travel insurance that would cover any unforeseeable events or unexpected change of plans.

The registration process starts with your review and acceptance of the ACSF Symposium Code of conduct.

Any questions? Please email the organizing team acsf14Istanbul@gmail.com

ACSF Symposium Code of Conduct & Ethics of Fellowship

We welcome all participants in a spirit of curiosity, respect, and compassion. Our symposia are safe and supportive places where diverse views and personal boundaries are mutually respected. Read the ACSF Symposia Code of Conduct and Ethics of Fellowship for further information.

On the next page, you will choose and purchase your number of days attending the Symposium, plus accommodations and lodging.

Organizing Committee

Nesrine Mansour (Co-chair) —South Dakota State University 
email: nesrine.mansour@sdstate.edu
 
Trent Smith (Co-chair) —Modern Out West, PLLC
email: trent@modernoutwest.com
 
Hakan Ashaboglu (Committee Member) — Modern Out West
email: hakan@modernoutwest.com
 
Julio Bermudez (Webmaster)— The Catholic University of America
email: bermudez@cua.edu