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ACSF NEWS  |  MARCH 10, 2021
Dear ACSF members,

I don’t know about you, but I sense optimism in the air. The pandemic seems to be under some control, and spring is in the air (well, here in the northern hemisphere). While things will remain challenging for a while longer, there is certainly room for optimism. This in no way diminishes the terrible pain and losses suffered by so many around the world. However, it lightens up life, something we all certainly need right now.
As normal, this newsletter includes a list of articles, design work, books, videos, conferences, and more. This content is curated by Mike Crosbie and myself and includes suggestions by members like you. We will start with ACSF Announcements before we move into general matters.
Members News
Three ACSF members have received important recognitions that need acknowledgements. Thomas Barrie was elevated to the College of Fellow of the AIA (FAIA). Brad Grant and Julio Bermudez received the ACSA distinguished Professor Award. Ozayr Saloojee was named the incoming JAE Associate Editor of Design. Congratulations!!!
The deadline for submitting applications for LJRF GRANTS is approaching fast: April 1st. This program, named after ACSF member and remarkable scholar Lindsay Jones, encourages applicants and proposals from a range of built environment disciplines (e.g., architecture, landscape architecture, sacred arts, urbanism, interior design, environmental psychology, material culture, phenomenology, etc.). Project proposals should identify one of four scholarly research, practice, service, or teaching. Successful applications might propose projects in a range of venues and media including, but not limited to, scholarly writing, film or other broadcast media, built works or projects, community engagement programs, or educational innovation. For the full information, go to:

General Articles
How the Pandemic Has Deepened Religious Faith
A survey finds Americans are most likely to say the pandemic has deepened their religious faith, while those in other countries are less certain. 

The Robots Are Coming for Phil in Accounting
Workers with college degrees and specialized training once felt relatively safe from automation. They aren’t.
On-Line Forum for Buddhists
Millennial and Gen-Z Buddhists create an on-line forum to explore identity.

How George Harrison's lifelong quest for spiritual enlightenment shaped his music and life
His boyhood sense of religious skepticism would translate into a life spent searching for enlightenment
Seven Ways to Think About Christian Mysticism
Exactly how does the realm of mysticism relate to Christian belief?

Does God Have Her Own Logic?
How do we make sense of the illogical conundrums of spiritual belief.
I Talked to the Cassandra of the Internet Age  
The internet rewired our brains. He predicted it would.
Finally, the Fencing Comes Down
St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House has its fencing removed nine months after it became the backdrop for a Bible photo-op. 
The Race to Fix Virtual Meetings
Sick of boring grids of heads? A new crop of start-ups aims to bring some serendipity and spark to remote meetings.
Death Has Many Names
For speakers of the Yoruba language, the finality of life is a constant presence. What can we learn from them? 
Can Spiritual Directors Help?
The relationship between non-denominational spiritual companions and seekers is an intimate one, and must maintain appropriate boundaries. 

Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Joshua
On a street in Baghdad, the tomb of the Reverend Prophet Joshua beckons believers.
What, if Anything, Can Psychics Tell Us About All of This?  
Demand for their services has illuminated another kind of health crisis.
When Could the United States Reach Herd Immunity? It’s Complicated.
With the vaccine rollout underway and coronavirus cases declining after a dark winter surge, it may seem as though the end of the pandemic is in sight. In reality, how soon could we get there?

Architecture & Spirituality

Shouldn’t Architecture Touch You?
A 15-year-old who aspires to be an architect questions why designers aren’t more attuned to creating environments that embody human feeling. 
“Architecture Can Heal": MASS Design Group's Katie Swenson on Building Equity Together
More inclusive, equitable futures are grounded in how we design for justice and the human condition. Katie Swenson is a Senior Principal of international non-profit MASS Design Group, and she has spent her career building social equity and advocating environmental sustainability. At the heart of her work is a thread of collective optimism, a knack for bringing people together to create healthier communities that promote human dignity and joy.
‘The place you grow the most…’
In this interview taken from a new book, architect Moshe Safdie reflects on the power and promise of unbuilt architecture.
What Is Hagia Sophia? Learn How This Sacred Space Has Evolved Over Its Long History
The lofty minarets of the Hagia Sophia stand over the skyline of Istanbul, Turkey. The magnificent stone basilica has been a fixture of the ancient city for 1,500 years—with frequent additions and renovations.
Japanese Buddhist Monks Plan to Build First Temple in Space; Here's Why The Move is Slammed
Japanese Buddhist monks have already teamed up with Terra Space to build this first-ever space temple


2020 Art of Building Photography Winners
Spiritual spaces and surreal images dominate the winners of the Art of Building photography competition. 
Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000
A fast-growing market for digital art, ephemera and media is marrying the world’s taste for collectibles with cutting-edge technology.

Pig Painting May Be World’s Oldest Cave Art Yet, Archaeologists Say   
The depiction of the animal on an Indonesian island is at least 45,500 years old, the researchers say.

The Psycho-Geography of the Cretto di Burri
In 1968, the small town of Gibellina in Sicily was flattened by the colossal Belice earthquake that killed hundreds and left 100,000 homeless. Planners were unable to rebuild Gibellina at its original site, so the new city—Gibellina Nuova—was constructed 11 kilometers (7 miles) away instead. In anticipation of the design and construction of Gibellina Nuova, and in the wake of the Belice earthquake tragedy, the mayor of Gibellina called on several artists to submit proposals for projects to decorate the new city. One of the artists was the prolific “polymaterialist” Italian painter and sculptor Alberto Burri (1915-1995).
Landscape as Art
Winners of the 2021 Landscape Art competitions unveiled. 

Way and Further. Poems by Klaske Havik (RigthAngle, 2021)
A wondrous celebration of the material imagination at the core of the deepest emotions arising in the built environment, this collection builds worlds in words. With stone, sand, snow, and salt as founding materials, her poems unveil lived, remembered, and imagined places. 
The Architecture of Point William. A Laboratory for Living (ORO editions 2021)  
This book shares Shim-Sutcliffe’s work at Point William that intertwines landscape and architecture with ancient rock and water reshaping and reimagining a site on the Canadian Shield for over two decades. Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe received the 2020 ACSF Outstanding Achievement Award.
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
A new book outlines the religious roots of the American free enterprise system.
But What About ‘Sabbath Economics’?
A new book explores an economic system based on Sabbath principles.
Klara and the Sun
Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel tells a story about love between a machine and the girl she belongs to.
Proceedings of the 4th International Congress on Ambiances are freely available online (“Ambiances, Alloaesthesia: Senses, Inventions, Worlds”)
The Ambiance Network announces that the proceedings of the Congress are available on HAL open science platform. You can download them (as well as the proceedings of the previous editions of the congresses) at this link: 
Contextual Theology. Skills and Practices of Liberating Faith
Edited By Sigurd Bergmann andMika Vähäkangas
Varying geographical, cultural, and confessional contexts make their imprint on Christian faith and the ways in which the faith is expressed theologically. This happens through stories, images, discourses, and rituals. The twelve authors of this book enrich our understanding of contextual approaches by analyzing contextuality and constructing new ways of doing theology in contemporary situations. The emphasis of this book is on paths towards liberation, and to expand the ongoing discussion on the methodology of theology into new areas. 
Religion, Sustainability, and Place: Moral Geographics of the Anthropocene.
Eds Steven E. Silver and Edward H Davis. Palgrave Macmillan.
This book investigates how religious traditions and belief systems are contributing to academic discourse, public policy, and larger public debates over how to create, promote and achieve environmentally and socially sustainable communities.
‘Architectural Actions on the Religious Heritage after Vatican II’ (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2021)
The book includes a selection of the papers and communications presented to the VI International Conference on Contemporary Religious Architecture, held in Porto (2019).
At the moment, only the paper version is available. The pdf and epub versions (with color illustrations) will be available mid-year.

Count Down by Shanna H. Swan with Stacey Colino (Scribner, 2021).  
How Our Modern World Is Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, Threatening Sperm Counts, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race

Humans wouldn't be able to control a super intelligent AI, according to a new study
 may not be theoretically possible to predict the actions of artificial intelligence, according to research produced by a group from the Max-Planck Institute for Humans and Machines.

Ghostly Video Reveals What It’s Like to be on Mars.
This now-viral video was tweeted out by the Wonder of Science Twitter account, capturing the attention of planetary lovers as it was retweeted over 40,000 times. It even got the attention of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. 
Seven Hundred Leagues Beneath Titan’s Methane Seas  
Mars, Shmars; this voyager is looking forward to a submarine ride under the icebergs on Saturn’s strange moon.
A Bitter Archaeological Feud Over an Ancient Vision of the Cosmos
The Nebra sky disk, which has been called the oldest known depiction of astronomical phenomena, is a “very emotional object.”

Neanderthals died out after Earth's magnetic poles flipped, causing a climate crisis 42,000 years ago, a study says
It's probably no coincidence that Neanderthals died out following a major shift of Earth's magnetic poles, a new study suggests.
The first helicopter on Mars phones home after Perseverance rover landing
The Ingenuity helicopter has reported in from the Red Planet.
The White Dots in This Image Are Not Stars or Galaxies. They're Black Holes
The image in this article may look like a fairly normal picture of the night sky, but what you're looking at is a lot more special than just glittering stars. Each of those white dots is an active supermassive black hole.

Bishop Edward King Chapel by Niall McLaughlin Architects
This elliptical chapel near Oxford by London studio Niall McLaughlin Architects contains a group of arching timber columns behind its textured stone façade.

Chapel of Tears / Atelier Poem
Chapel of Tears by Atelier Poem won the international architecture competition “Le festival des Cabanes” in France. The chapel stands in solitude within the natural landscape and explores the basic hut archetype in a spiritual and sensitive way. The Chapel of tears is situated in Saint- Ferréol, a mountain village near lake Annecy, which is a UNESCO world heritage site of the French Alps.

Dramatic discovery links Stonehenge to its original site – in Wales
Find backs theory that bluestones first stood at Waun Mawn before being dragged 140 miles to Wiltshire
Sustainable buildings inspired by nature
Architects and designers have looked to nature for centuries — from Stonehenge to Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium. Known as biomimicry, the practice integrates sustainable natural solutions into our built environment.

6 Schools That Defined Their Own Architectural Styles
 Architectural education has always been fundamentally influenced by whichever styles are popular at a given time, but that relationship flows in the opposite direction as well. 
Videos, Films, Radio, Recorded Lectures
Bishop Edward King Chapel
This short film about Bishop Edward King Chapel at Cuddedson, Oxfordshire (See “DESIGN” above in this newsletter) was founded by one of the director/architect’s partners ancestors, Samuel Wilberforce, son of William Wilberforce, who campaigned to abolish slavery in the UK.  Another of the partners was the longest-serving Archbishop of Canterbury.

"...This is a beautiful, almost haunting film. It deserves a prize in its own right. I was enchanted. Truly. You might like to know that I described the feeling of being inside the Chapel as being ‘bathed in numinous buttermilk...'"
Rev Martyn Percy - Professor and Dean of Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford

Competition: A Home for the Terminally Ill
A design challenge to create an environment for those in need of spiritual as well as medical comfort. 
What is Your Vision of a Sleeping Pod?
This design challenge, for a yoga enclave in Portugal, seeks visions for a place of rest on a precipice. 
Mosque Design Competition
Design for a local charity seeking a landmark, timeless building in Western England.

her place: Design competition
What is your vision for a girls’ empowerment center in Nepal? 


The Global Phenomenon of Multifaith Worship Spaces
In the summer of 2019, Eric Salitsky researched the global phenomenon of multifaith worship spaces by traveling to various cities throughout the U.S. and Europe to study and photograph this unique architectural typology. He visited more than 50 sites in New York, Boston, London, Manchester, Zurich, and Berlin to document the various ways that designers and facility administrators address the inherent challenges of accommodating the prayer needs of various religions in a single space.

International Journal of Environmental Studies
Iranian Architecture and Urbanism 
Continuity and Development of Traditional Systems
A Monograph 2021  

 Iran's traditional architecture, seen in its cities and towns, especially the desert towns, is an efficient harnessing of nature for human habitation. The spaces created by the synergy of resources uplift the body, mind, and spirit. The buildings enclose those spaces and introduce the outside to the inside with careful gradations.  For sustainable future habitats there is a need to view the traditional forms, not as museum material but as having real worth for optimum use of natural resources.  The intention of this monograph is to present studies which confirm this and which provide insights for creative adaptation of the tradition in the urban settings of the 21st century. For further details on how to contribute to the journal, please visit the following link: . The last date for submission of papers is extended to 30th April 2021. 


EFSRE VI conference: Religion, Materialism, and Ecology

Sixth international conference by the European Forum for the Study of Religion & the Environment, with the Lincoln Theological Institute.
The conference aims to explore new developments on how materialist issues impinge upon religious traditions and the extent to which religions are already materialist and so have a creative contribution to make to debates about ecological materialisms. 
7th International Conference on Contemporary Religious Architecture: "Looking to the East" — October 21 and 23, 2021 — To be held online. 
Human beings have always prayed looking to the East, the place where light comes from. The rising sun has given name to very ancient civilizations, which if in a not too distant time were named as exotic, today they make up the new vital center of the planet, both by population and by global influence. A vast region that would span from India to Taiwan, from Mongolia to Indonesia. We may know the recent architecture of countries like Korea, China or Japan, but there are many others of which we hardly know. In addition, 2021 marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines and the beginning of the evangelization of Asia. The enormous construction and urban development activity that has taken place in this part of the world in recent decades forces us to turn our gaze to the Far East. What Christian architecture has been made there in the last hundred years?
about the event. The call for papers is open until April 1, 2021.

Region: the 18th Annual International AHRA conference
November 11 2021 - November 13 2021

Call for Papers (abstracts deadline: May 1, 2021)
LU-Arc, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, UK
The purpose of the 2021 AHRA conference conference will be to question what the ‘region’ and ‘regional’ mean for architectural cultures past and present, and to speculate on what different forms and formulations they might take in future. Among other sub-themes and topics, we aim to explore the region as a real geographical site of evolving socio-economic activity, as a mythical locus of enduring value, as a gatekeeper of indigenous crafts and vernacular techniques, as a site of architectural and artistic imagination, as a repository of contested and mobile identities, and more. 
A Small Symposium on “Architecture and Religion”
(as part of the 11th Annual International Conference on Architecture)
 5-8 July 2021, Athens, Greece
Sponsored by the Athens Journal of Architecture
Religion is one element which, since the birth of mankind, has contributed significantly to doing and thinking architecture. It is one of the factors not external to man that have most influenced the image and purpose of architecture. Religion has manifested itself in architecture through its various forms – be they spatial, typological, construction-related, symbolic, functional, etc. And whilst this manifestation has made itself felt most directly in sacred architecture, secular architecture also shows signs of that influence.
25 Years of Infinite Jest: The (After)Lives and Influences of the Work of David Foster Wallace — 28th to 30th October 2021 — Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Contact person: dr. Allard den Dulk 
This interdisciplinary conference, while centered on the work of American novelist David Foster Wallace (1962-2008), specifically wants to explore the impact of Wallace’s work in and beyond (American) literature. See: 
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 15th May 2021 

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