Rise of the Popups: Makeshift Worship Placemaking in a Temporary World (ACS9)

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Shauna Lee Lange of The Art Evangelist  recently presented a research paper, “Rise of the Popups: Makeshift Worship Placemaking in a Temporary World” for the 9th Annual International Symposium of Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum in Deer Isle, Maine (ACS9).

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The event was held at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts near Stonington, Maine.  Over the course of four days, academic papers on architecture, art, and religion were thoughtfully shared with approximately 50 conference attendees, many who are leaders in academic schools of thought within the three disciplines.  Ms. Lange’s paper focuses on the question of how worship space is changing for remote and disenfranchised populations, and how makeshift industry of art and craft contribute to the architecture of pop-up structures.

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The rise of makeshift worship places also causes us to ask new questions about what is sacred, what is meaningful, what is holy, and what constitutes the “space” within worship and faith activities.  Indeed, our defining language is faulty in accurately describing terms such as “worship” and “faith.”  Inspired art and artistry may come to be seen as more pivotal conduits for expression and communication than ever before.

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Ms. Lange forecasts future makeshift creative placemaking for interfaith communities will be increasingly centered on the spiritual and not the spatial, evidenced by a series of current slideshow images of such spaces around the world.  Her paper suggests that if this trend continues, the very foundation of sacred architecture and its tenants may be immensely challenged.

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In addition to scholarly papers, ACS9 hosted a variety of on-site workshops in practice and craft.  An exploration in group consensus line drawing, depth creation, unconscious meaning, and portal exploration was conducted by architect Bill Tripp of Portland, Oregon as a master drawing and sketching facilitator.

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Another workshop was held by a Portland State University professor of architecture, Clive Knights, in monotype printmaking in exploring a range of tones, facility of art production, and industry in meaning.  Participant works were subsequently exhibited.

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Shauna Lee Lange is founder of The Art Evangelist, a full-service art advisory specializing in liturgical arts, sacred spaces, and interfaith creative placemaking. She is also founder of Creative Art Consultants International, a global network of art professionals.

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