New Patterns of Communion

Symposium Theme

The world during the worldwide pandemic suffered not only medically but also spiritually. We isolated ourselves from each other, missed family members and friends, forewent serendipitous opportunities to form new bonds with strangers. Some sought refuge from the city while others discovered previously crowded urban environments unladen. We became islands in seas of caution, self-preservation, and restraint. But no one is an island.   

Emerging from this historic, global event, we know we have been changed. The places we live, the places where we work, the settings of communion with others have undergone change as well. We perceive and use natural and built environments in new ways, and our experiences with our brothers and sisters around the planet prompt questions about the role of architecture, art, design, our environment. We are drawn to the city for the ACSF 13 symposium, to one of the world’s greatest metropolises: New York. Here, we invite you to explore, speculate, and contemplate the present and future in a post-pandemic world.

How do places heal us spiritually? How do they bring us together and help forge connections? How does architecture free us from isolation, how does it provide refuge for spiritual renewal? The pandemic introduced the need to formulate new ways of social interaction with our fellow human beings. Meals were shared in new settings; spiritual relationships underwent transformation. What are the architectural and environmental implications of these new patterns of communion with others? What have we gained or lost through these new patterns, and will they last?