The THIRD Architecture. Culture and Spirituality Symposium took place June 29-July 1 (2011) at Serenbe, a 1,000 acre community located under 25 minutes drive from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Serenbe is an unique place that strives to support authentic living, working, learning and playing in celebration of life’s beauty and sanctity, through its nourishment of connections between people, nature and the arts. Its design provides an explicit structure, spatial order, and context for community, ceremonial events, and a strong sense of belonging. John Graham, one of its residents, puts it this way:
“Serenbe is marked by an extraordinary sense of community. What has contributed to this remains something of a mystery: The founder’s vision, the inculcation to the sacred, and the commitment to the principles of sacred geometry in physical design, have resulted in a strong sense of place that attracts residents sharing a commitment to the land, the environment, and to each other. The formula may not be simple, but the results are obvious to all.”
In short, Serenbe offered symposium attendees a beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring place: exactly the type of environment necessary to consider, share, and speculate about ACS issues.
The Symposium included five sessions covering a variety of topics relevant to architecture and spirituality issues. A closing session discussed what has been presented and considered future directions that ACS may take. As part of the symposium, we had special presentations and activities on Wednesday and Thursday nights. As usual in our meetings, optional meditation was offered each morning and there was some free time for connecting to oneself, other people and the surroundings. NO symposium fees were charged. Attendants only had to cover their room and board expenses. As in the past, the number of attendees was purpusedly kept small (around 30) to secure an atmosphere fostering intimate connection as well as honest and in-depth dialogue.
The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality is an international scholarly environment established in 2007 to support architectural and interdisciplinary scholarship, research, practice, and education on the significance, experience and meaning of the built environment.