Practice, Craft, Materials, and Making

General Information

“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake." Richard Sennett

The Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum hosted its 9th annual International Symposium May 14-18, 2017 at the world-renowned Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine.

Haystack, Designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1961, received the prestigious American Institute of Architects’ Twenty-five Year Award. Haystack has a spectacular coastal Maine setting that removes one from the day to day, while creating collaborative community.

In this call for proposals, we were interested in ideas from multiple perspectives and diverse communities to illuminate, inspire, entertain, consider, and experiment with ideas around the spiritual dimensions of practice, craft, materials, and making of architecture (as well as its broader implications for the built environment). To that end, we invited proposals for organized Sessions, Project presentations, traditional Papers, and Workshops. (To encourage experimentation and a diversity of presentations, people were invited to submit up to two different proposal types (i.e., Paper and Project, or Workshop and Paper).

Proposals from individuals new to ACS, and from those who have attended in the past but not presented, were especially welcomed and encouraged. There was four keynote speakers: Poet Annie Finch, Potter Daniel Johnston, Comparative Religion Scholar Lindsay Jones, and Architect Bradford C. Grant.

As in the past, the symposium was structured to focus on various aspects of the theme, and careful attention given to secure an atmosphere conducive to personal connections and in-depth dialogue. There was ample free time for connecting with oneself, other people, and Haystack's magnificent surroundings. Optional meditation was offered each morning.

The Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum is a US-based non-profit organization with over 400 members from 48 countries around the world, and whose mission is to provide an international forum for scholarship, research, education, practice, design, and advocacy regarding the cultural and spiritual significance of the built environment.