8th Architecture, Culture and Spirituality: Utopia, Architecture & Spirituality

Country: USA

City: New Harmony

Abstr. due: 18.01.2016

Dates: 23.06.16 — 26.06.16

Area Of Sciences: Technical sciences; Architecture;

Organizing comittee e-mail: acs8utopia@gmail.com

Organizers: The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality


The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality is hosting its 2016 International Symposium in the town of New Harmony, Indiana, whose origins can be traced to the religious and secular utopianism of Georg Rapp and Robert Owen. The central theme of ACS8 is utopia as an idea and ideal, real and imagined, in all of its ramifications for architecture and the built environment, culture, politics, and spirituality. We seek to reflect on utopias past, to explore utopia in the presence of reality, and to speculate on how designers can take up utopian ideas and action in the future.   The Eighth Annual Meeting of the Forum takes place June 23-26, 2016 at Macleod Barn Abbey in the historic town of New Harmony, Indiana (population 915). Amid the thirty historic buildings left behind by the two communities are a number of cutting edge sites of modern architecture and landscape commissioned by Jane Blaffer Owen. New Harmony is located on the Wabash River in Southwest, Indiana, about two hours from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (156 miles from New Harmoy)). Surrounded by cornfields, the agrarian environment makes the ideal setting to explore the conference theme in a place that juxtaposes high civic aspirations with the realities of a mediated natural world. New Harmony is a work-in-progress for Utopian ideas.   As in the past, the symposium will be structured around several subtopics focusing on various aspects of the general theme, and paper proposals will be carefully evaluated to ensure an atmosphere conducive to personal connections and in-depth dialogue. Optional meditation will be offered each morning and there will be some free time for connecting to oneself, other people, and the surroundings. A Pre-conference Worskhop: Sitting: does it belong in Utopia? by Galen Cranz (UC Berkeley) and Chelsea Rushton (University of Calgary) will offer participants preparation for attentive engagement. Opening night, Ben Nicholson (Art Institute of Chicago) and Michelangelo Sabatino (Illinois Institute of Technology) will give a preview of their forthcoming book on modern architecture, landscape, and preservation in twentieth-century New Harmony. Another evening will be filled by a keynote address by Donald Pitzer (University of Southern Indiana)“New Harmony's Utopian Foundation,” followed by a reading by Nancy Mangum McCaslin editor of Jane Blaffer Owen’s Like a River, Not a Lake: A Memoir. Ben Nicholson will lecture on labyrinths (complementing a candlelight visit to New Harmony Labyrinth). Together we will tour New Harmony including historic architecture, gardens, and landscapes, and contemporary sites including Philip Johnson’s Roofless Church, Richard Meier’s Atheneum, and Zion & Breen’s Paul Tillich Park.   The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality is an international scholarly group established in 2007 to advance the development and dissemination of architectural and interdisciplinary scholarship, research, practice, and education on the significance, experience, and meaning of the built environment.

Conference Web-Site: http://www.acsforum.org/symposium2016/