Posted in news on September 9, 2015 4:49 pm EDT

ACS 7 Summertime Symposium Graces New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch

Ghost Ranch Conference Center in the heart of Pueblo country in New Mexico hosted this year's 7th Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality (ACS) Symposium.

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.











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By Elizabeth Devereaux

From June 18-21, 2015, field trips and keynote speakers focused on the culture and spirit of the Pueblo peoples. Visits to nearby Dar Al Islam Mosque and the Taos Pueblo gave a varied sense of the sacred architecture, beliefs, and practices of both indigenous and other religions. Keynote speakers Norman Crowe, emeritus professor at University of Notre Dame and lecturer at University of New Mexico, as well as Rina Swentzell, Pueblo scholar and spiritual leader, focused respectively on “Science, Spirituality and Nature: A View from New Mexico,” and “Being in Place: Architecture and Spirituality in the Pueblo World.”

Explore how experiences of nature and of otherwise ordinary things in our everyday existence have been elevated to the realm of the spiritual.

Expanding to the international realm, keynote Argentinian architect Eliana Bórmida and landscape architect Eduardo Vera revealed an integrative approach to architecture, spirituality, and food in the designs of Argentinian wineries. (“Connecting Man, Culture and Nature: Wine Landscape and Architecture In Mendoza, Argentina”). At one vintner’s request, Bórmida designed a chapel in gratitude for the success of the winery. Set in a sagebrush desert below the 20,000-foot-high Andes Mountains, the visitor’s center, winemaking exposition, and chapel offer the chance of a “pilgrimage” between the buildings, taking in the vast scenery with a place and time to offer gratitude in the chapel.

The symposium also offers a chance for many participants to present their papers. This year papers were to “explore how experiences of nature and of otherwise ordinary things in our everyday existence have been elevated to the realm of the spiritual … and to speculate on what designers can do to facilitate the connection between the quotidian and the sacred in the built environment of today.”

ACS organizer and associate professor at the Catholic University of America, Julio Bermudez, also presented his new book, “Transcending Architecture,” at the symposium, and various ACS members contributed to its contents.




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