The Inaugural Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Symposium took place March 24 – 26, 2009 at the Mt. Angel Abbey Retreat House, St. Benedict (near Salem), Oregon. The meeting was a moving and successful event. More than 30 members convened in the Abbey’s hilltop setting of natural beauty and constructed sacred space – where the Benedictine fathers were our very gracious hosts.
This meeting offered the opportunity for the ACS community to share, discuss, and explore practices, pedagogies, and studies within the multifarious subject areas of architecture, culture and spirituality. Besides the stated events of the advance program — the presentation of papers on research and built work, the workshop, and facilitated discussions — it was perhaps the impromptu, shared events that really began to create the beginnings of a new community. These events included such things as a large whiteboard being used spontaneously to capture thinking on what the ACS might be now and could become. On the last night, informal discussion groups formed on an impromptu basis, including groups on teaching, on creating a framework to carry forward the ideas generated in the symposium, on the new work of Michael Benedikt, and on personal experiences with spiritual practice and place.
At the close of the symposium, the assembled group discussed the future of ACS, and about key areas to work on as an ACS community. One result of discussion was that yearly meetings in a sacred setting were deemed important to keep momentum strong.
There was a spirit to this symposium of sharing, friendliness, listening, and discussing without competition or holding back that created what the symposium organizers had hoped for: a joyful event of shared passion for this field of study.
In closing, we would like to thank everyone for their participation and energy. We are excited to see the beginnings of a shared area of inquiry that we expect to have a major impact on the future of design practices and education.
Images from our time together at Mt. Angel are now accesible from this website (“meeting photos” link on your left). For a full brochure of this Symposium, please click here. Other follow up material will be posted in the general ACS website over the next weeks.
The ACS Inaugural Symposium Organizing Committee
Tom Barrie, Julio Bermudez, Anat Geva, Rebecca Krinke, Phillip Tabb, Randall Teal.
The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality is an international scholarly environment established in 2007 to support architectural and interdisciplinary scholarship, research, practice, and education on the significance, experience and meaning of the built environment.
All symposium sessions took place in the Mt. Angel Monastery Retreat House, which includes a lecture hall, break spaces, a chapel, a quiet reading room, a roof deck and small meeting rooms. The monastery is accessible by van shuttle service from the Portland International Aiport (approximately 40 minutes). The cost per person, including 2 nights (single-occupancy) and 3 meals a day, was $275. (A limited number of double-occupancy rooms are available for $250).
There was NO symposium fees. Attendants only had to cover their room and board expenses.
The Mount Angel Abbey Schedule was as follows (weekdays):
Vigils: 5:20 a.m.
Lauds: 6:30 a.m.
The Holy Eucharist: 8:00 a.m.
Midday Prayer: 12 noon
Vespers: 5:15 p.m.
Compline: 7:30 p.m.
To download a copy of this year’s Symposium program, click here.
To download a copy of this year’s Symposium participants, click here.
To view an archive of this year’s papers and works, please click here.
Collected Abstracts of the First ACS Symposium (March 24-26, 2009)
Edited by Thomas Barrie and Julio Bermudez (Symposium Chairs)
Note: all submissions to the symposium underwent peer review by at least 3 readers. Archived 6/1/2009.
|On Teaching The Design of Poetically/Spiritually Charged Environments
|The Greek Asclepian Hospital and Its Archetypal Presences
|The Next Largest Thing: The Spatial Dimensions of Liturgy in Eliel Saarinen’s Final Built Work, Christ Church Lutheran.
|From the Life Spirit of Unbuilt Place to Spirit Enriching Built Space: Towards a Spirit Centric Urban Environment
|The Spiritual in Models of Thought and Models of Architecture: A Design-based Approach to Researching the Spiritual
|The Place of the Divinities
|Phenomenal and Spiritual Sustainability
|Habit, Habitation, and Spirituality
|Regarding Sacred Landscapes and the Everyday Corollary
|Truth, Beauty and Goodness Beyond the Obvious
|The Extraordinary in Architecture: Studying and Acknowledging the Reality of the Spiritual
|Evoking a Sense of the Sacred: Memory, Imagination and Meaning in Carl Nyren’s Vitlycke Museum
|Christopher Wren, Christian Cabala and the Tree of Life
|Sacred Symbolic Architecture – Time, Orientation and Meditation
|The Everyday Sacred of Serenbe Community
|Mazumdar, Sanjoy & Mazumdar, Shampa
|Ordinary spaces and extraordinary sacredness: The Hindu festival of lights
|The Sacred in Everyday Pedagogy: Efforts to infuse architectural design pedagogy with
|Creating a Sense of the Sacred:The Palliative Care Unit at the University Hospital in Göttingen, Germany.
|The Empty Cross of the Church of the Light: Between Buddhism and Christianity
|The Architecture of The In-Between. The Mediating Roles of Sacred Places
|Greening God’s House: Connections between Theology, Ecology, and Architecture
|Sacred and Real: Instrumental and Transcendent Writing About Architecture and the Built Environment
|Synagogue Redux or Continuum?
|Ground-penetrating Radar Imaging at the Gothic Abbey Church of Valmagne, France
|Essential Ingredients of a Church Design Process
|Architectural Beauty in Light of the Symbolic Form Myth
|The Different Truths of a Sacred Culture, and Their Implications for Architecture
The participants of the First ACS Symposium.
Tom Barrie — North Carolina State University
Julio Bermudez — University of Utah
Anat Geva — Texas A&M University
Rebecca Krinke — University of Minnesota
Phillip Tabb — Texas A&M University
Randall Teal – University of Idaho