In this presentation, we will explore the intersection of architecture and spirituality through the eyes of contemporary neuroscience and phenomenology. Can the perennial questions/searches for transcendence be responded/found in and through architecture? Can the most physical expressions of humanity (i.e., buildings) be portals to a metaphysical realm? Wouldn’t this be the ultimate function of architecture?
For millennia, all civilizations have answered to these and related questions in the affirmative by erecting the most spectacular and beautiful—and usually sacred—buildings around the globe. The arrival of non-invasive, high quality medical devices (e.g., fMRI, portable EEGs, biosensors, etc.) and sophisticated interdisciplinary scientific methodologies allow us, for first time in history, to consider these timeless questions empirically. Can you measure the immeasurable? This lecture will offer the latest thoughts and science on the architectural transcendent.
Julio Bermudez, Ph.D. — Professor, The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning
Professor Julio Bermudez has been teaching architectural design and theory for over 30 years and currently directs the Sacred Space and Cultural Studies graduate concentration at CUA. His interests focus in the relationship between architecture, culture, and spirituality through the lens of phenomenology and neuroscience. He has widely lectured, led symposia, taught, and published in these areas. Current projects include a neuroscientific study of sacred vs. secular architecture (funded by the Templeton Religion Trust) and the forthcoming book “Spirituality in Architectural Education.” He has published two other books: "Transcending Architecture. Contemporary Views on Sacred Space” and "Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality.”
Dr. Bermudez is co-founder of the Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum, a 650-plus member organization representing 61 countries, and has served as its president since 2015.
Organized by: Washington Architectural Foundation
This program is part of Architecture Everywhere, a monthly series exploring how architecture comes to life in unexpected ways through other arts and humanities disciplines. Join us each month as we focus on a new theme or topic. Guest speakers present a visual talk, followed by creative exchange with the audience.
- Explore, through a philosophical stance, the intersection between architecture and spirituality
- Identify how architecture is impacted by contemporary neuroscience and phenomenology
- Examine questions that led to sacred buildings around the globe
- Describe ways to measure the immeasurable as it pertains to architectural transcendence