“Mindfulness and Space” Paper Presented at ACSF

It was my honor to present my paper “Missing Links in Designing Space for Mindfulness in Secular & Communal Settings” at the Architecture, Culture, Spirituality Forum (ACSF) Symposium this month. My paper cries for the urgent and deeper involvement of architecture in supporting mindfulness. It identifies missing links on the path between mindfulness and space and presents a seed concept model for it. Its extended abstract is here.

Paper session at the ACSF symposium on Balacne, Contemplation, and Mindfulness.

I found this symposium exceptionally unique and open-minded. Members share the interest in culture and spirituality. They come from wide variety of backgrounds and eager to offer creative input each other. I was lucky to be in a session moderated by Nesrine Mansour. My fellow panelists were Sarika Bajoria who presented on Contemplative Design and John Ferri who discussed a community master plan studio by students in African-American neighborhood. Their works are inspiring and will help me navigate the ideas on mindfulness and space.

Yoko Kawai presenting a paper on mindfulness and space at the ACSF Symposium.

The symposium took place at Thomas Berry Place in Jamaica, NY, which was so appropriate since he considered that humans are bio-cultural beings, a part of the “Earth Community.” This was also the first time for me to stay at a monastery. I felt humble to sleep in a comfortable yet almost bare bedroom. It made me think, among the spatial elements that makes us mindful, what are really necessary and what are are luxury or optional.