Architecture, Culture & Spirituality (01/01/2017)

2A Magazine #12, Ahmad Zohadi, Editorial

Architecture, Culture & Spirituality

Some important questions form the basic premise of the essays presented in this issue: What philosophy is requisite if we are to live up to the full comprehension of phenomenal existence and to be on a level worthy of it? To what point must we enlarge our thought and imagination so that creative expressions in art and architecture shall be in a proportion to fully encompass the mystery and dimensions of phenomenal reality?

What is spirituality and what role does it play in this quest for deeper understanding of human existence, life’s purpose and artistic expression?

The perspectives and responses offered in these articles encompass both rational, measurable approaches to these questions and less measurable, intuitive answers. Together the rational and the intuitive seem to form complementary aspects of a more holistic approach to these age old questions, which are of vital relevance at this historic moment, particularly in the region that has recently experienced such rapid and somewhat less reflective growth.

Another pivotal and related issue central to these essays is the perennial debate about how much of human actions are by virtue of fate, which is providential based and thus beyond man’s control and to what extent is it by personal will and existential circumstance and accident? Perhaps fate and will are also complementary and need not be viewed as mutually exclusive.

As the Managing Editor of 2A Magazine, I asked myself: Was it fate that brought the Forum of Architecture, Culture and Spirituality together? Was it fate that brought Nader Ardalan, Tom Barrie and I to meet and find resonance so that this issue of Architecture, Culture and Spirituality would be realized with they as Guest Editors? Or was it a combination of both destiny and rational decision-making that caused this fortuitous coming together?

Some other comments to complete this Editorial:

The cover design was inspired by images that catch the three themes of this issue: Architecture is represented by F.L.Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; Culture by the ancient legend of the warrior hero Rustam; and Georgia O’Keefe’s ethereal “Blue” painting is the quintessence of the Spiritual in abstract art.

This issue is organized in two parts: the first is devoted to academic essays presented at the Architecture, Culture and the Spiritual Symposium held in America, while the second part includes more regional essays and articles that are somewhat related and supportive of the ACS Symposium theme.

Finally, I believe the spiritual approach to life and design can add a much needed humanity and ethics to our 21st century architecture and urban designs, something that has been very much lost for the few centuries. We plan to continue exploring this theme by convening a near future conference and by publication of essays and projects that are motivated by such inspirations. 2A Magazine is proud to be part of this movement to bring greater spiritual consciousness to architecture and art.