New Patterns of Communion

General Information

“Our task at this critical moment is to awaken the energies needed to create the new world and to evoke a universal communion of all parts of life." Thomas Berry

The Forum on Architecture, Spirituality, and Culture will host its 2023 annual international symposium in New York City and its environs--one of the epicenters of the global pandemic--to explore, speculate, and contemplate the present and future of a post-pandemic world.

Our 13th Annual meeting will take place May 31 – June 4, 2023, when we will gather at Thomas Berry Place, a Passionist Retreat Center attached to their monastery in Jamaica, Queens, New York. New York is one of the most ethnically, culturally, spiritually, gastronomically, architecturally, and environmentally diverse places on the face of the Earth. We will partake of its environs with explorations of sacred landmark sites in and around the city. Weatherwise, May/June is one of the best times to visit the New York City area. Early in June, afternoon high temperatures are very pleasant, averaging mostly in the low to mid-70sF (22-24C).  Early morning lows will fall to the mid to upper 50sF (13-15C) while a couple of cooler mornings can see lows down into the upper 40sF to near 50F (9-10C).

All symposium events (save for exploration of New York environs) will take place at Thomas Berry Place, including meals and lodging. While its setting is amid one of the world’s most vital cities, the Thomas Berry Place venue offers a private, contemplative, and beautiful setting conducive to sharing, considering, and speculating about the issues before us. Well served by public transportation, Thomas Berry Place is highly accessible, steps away from the Jamaica 179th Street stop on the city’s E and F subway lines. The venue is a short, 20-minute drive from either LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or JFK International Airport (JFK).

As in previous symposia, ACSF 13 will be structured around a main topic (“New Patterns of Communion”) but is also open for ideas, works, and proposals relevant to the Forum's areas of interest. We will keep the number of attendees to around 50 to maintain an intimate and dialogical atmosphere. The opening keynote address will be given by Suchi Reddy (whose award-winning design practice focus on cultural, educational, healthcare, retail, commercial, and residential projects) and Sharon Prince (CEO and founder of Grace Farms, a peaceful respite and porous platform for people to experience nature, encounter the arts, pursue justice, foster community, and explore faith). We are also looking forward to screening the ACSF/CTI Critical Conversations films followed by discussion for the third evening.  As is our custom, the final evening will be dedicated to presenting the ACSF Outstanding Achievement Award followed by the recipient’s keynote address.

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.