The Critical Conversations Project is a series of thematic roundtable discussions conducted by the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum in partnership with the Center of Theological Inquiry. The goal is to broaden considerations of leading-edge issues of the built environment through incorporating spiritual perspectives. A multidisciplinary group of experts from architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, public interest design, material culture, theology, religious studies, psychology, anthropology, history, and environmental health will be convened in two live webinars, and four sessions conducted at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ as a continuation of their Religion and the Built Environment theme year. Panelists will be tasked to address how the cultural, ethical, environmental, or transcendent aspects of the built environment may address contemporary challenges of globalization, urbanization, economic disparity, climate change, migratory pressures, political and religious radicalization, and disruptive technologies.

The Princeton sessions will be filmed and feature length and short videos produced. Digital proceedings of the findings of the conversations will also be created. All will be widely disseminated through a diversity of scholarly, professional, educational, and popular media.

First Conversations

Webinars | May 6 and 27, 2021

The Princeton Sessions

Conversation 1: Cultural Consciousness

How may built environments sustain and regenerate diverse cultural heritages as well as advance identity, sense of belonging, and human development?

Panelists

Sigurd Bergmann, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Prem Chandavakar
Managing Partner, CnT Architects, Bangalore, India

Ted Jojola, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Director of the Indigenous Design + Planning Institute, School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico

Julia Robinson, Ph.D., FAIA
Professor of Architecture, University of Minnesota

Brent Rodriguez-Plate, Ph.D.
Associate Professor by Special Appointment, Hamilton College

Sue Ann Taylor, Ph.D.
Public Anthropologist in Residence, Department of Anthropology, American University, Washington, DC

Conversation 2: Justice & Participation

How may built environments support equity and inclusion and encourage participatory and democratic decision-making processes?

Panelists

Thomas Beaudoin, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion, Fordham University

Bryan Bell
Associate Professor, School of Architecture, North Carolina State University, Director of Design Corps

Karla Britton, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History, Dine College

Thomas Fisher
Professor and Director of the Minnesota Design Center, University of Minnesota.

Caitlin Watson AIA
Associate: Kliment Halsband Architects

Conversation 3: Environmental Adaptation & Ecotechnology

How may sustainable built and natural ecosystems be in spiritual and material harmony with nature, the cosmos, and the resources of the earth?

Panelists

Rachel Armstrong
Professor of Experimental Architecture, Newcastle University, UK

Tim Beatley, Ph.D.
Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia

Roberto Chiotti FRAIC
Founding Partner, Larkin Architect Ltd, Toronto, Canada

Paul Lukez FAIA LEED AP
Principal & Founder of Paul Lukez Architecture/PLASES

Brigitte Shim FRAIC, OC, RCA, Hon. FAIA, OAA
Founding partner of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects,

John Spengler, Ph.D.
Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard University

Conversation 4: Transcendent Human Habitats

How may holistic approaches and designs foster human well-being and spiritual growth and help evoke transcendent experiences?

Panelists

Nader Ardalan
President, Ardalan Associates

Kevin Ladd, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Psychology of Religion Lab, Department of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

Juhani Pallasmaa
Emeritus Professor and Dean, School of Architecture, Helsinki University of Technology

Alberto Perez Gomez, Ph.D.
Saidye Rosner-Bronfman Chair in Architectural History and Theory Emeritus,School of Architecture, McGill University

Suchi Reddy
Principal: Reddymade Architecture and Design, New York, NY

Project Directors

Thomas Barrie, FAIA, DPACSA
Professor, School of Architecture, NC State University
Chair, Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum

Julio Bermudez, Ph.D., DPACSA
Professor and Director of the Cultural Studies and Sacred Space Graduate Concentration, School of Architecture and Planning, The Catholic University of America, President, Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum

Project Partner

William Storrar, Ph.D.
Director, Center of Theological Inquiry

Webinars | May 2021

May 6, 2021
Cultural Consciousness and Transcendent Human Environments.
How may built environments sustain and regenerate diverse cultural heritages as well as advance identity, sense of belonging, and human development?

Watch it here. 

Moderator: Julio Bermudez, Ph.D., DPACSA

Panelists:

• Sigurd Bergmann, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Religious Studies, Trondheim, Uppsala, Lund, Munich

• S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate, Ph.D.
Associate Professor by Special Appointment, Hamilton College

• Nader Ardalan
President, Ardalan Associates

• Kevin Ladd, Ph.D.
• Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Psychology of Religion Lab, Department of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

• Alberto Perez Gomez, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, School of Architecture, McGill University

• Suchi Reddy, AIA
Principal: Reddymade, NYC

May 27, 2021
Justice & Participation and Environmental Adaptation and Ecotechnology
How may built environments support equity and inclusion and encourage participatory and democratic decision-making processes?

Watch it here.

Moderator: Thomas Barrie, FAIA DPACSA

Panelists:

• Thomas Beaudoin, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion, Fordham University

• Bryan Bell
• Associate Professor of Architecture, North Carolina State University, Director of Design Corps

• Karla Britton, Ph.D.
• Professor of Art History, Dine College

• Roberto Chiotti, FRAIC
Founding Partner, Larkin Architect Limited

• Thomas Fisher, DPACSA
Professor and Director of the Minnesota Design Center, University of Minnesota.