Judson Architecture Department to Host Fifth Annual James Didier Symposium On Christ and Architecture | Judson University Christian College
Judson Architecture Department to Host Fifth Annual James Didier Symposium On Christ and Architecture


(ELGIN, IL – March 8, 2016) The Judson University Department of Architecture will host its fifth annual James Didier Symposium On Christ & Architecture from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, in the Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin).

Spring Symposium Speakers 2016This annual symposium unites architects and educators with students for special discussions around subjects of architecture, the built environment and a Christian worldview. James Didier, the symposium’s namesake, was Judson’s fourth president under whom the architecture program was founded.

The theme of this year’s symposium is the role of personal faith in the practice of architecture evidenced through the models of conventional practice and humanitarian efforts. The day’s speakers will include architect David Minnigan with Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) in Nashville, Tenn.; Judson Architecture Professor Keelan Kaiser; John Hudson of 100 Fold Studio in Lakeside, Montana; and Judson’s Interim Dean of the School of Art, Design and Architecture Dr. Jhennifer Amundson.

Minnigan will share his experiences of integrating faith and practice. Minnigan began at ESa in 1982 while he was still an architecture student at the University of Tennessee. Today as a planner and designer with the Nashville, Tenn.-based firm, he works on a variety of building types ranging from education and hospitality to performing arts and senior living and community and corporate facilities. Over the past 20 years, he has also been heavily involved with the design of numerous projects on the Belmont University (Nashville) campus. Additionally, he mentors young interns and works to improve quality processes for design and allocating time for community work. He started a coffee ministry at his church called “Common Grounds.”

Judson Architecture Professor Kaiser will discuss models of architectural engagement in humanitarian works. His presentation will include a look back at his sabbatical work in 2015 that included travels to Nairobi, Kenya, where he applied research in the built environment that touched on architecture, environmental studies, ecology, advanced building technology and theology.

Hudson, founder of 100 Fold Studio, a non-profit architecture firm for local and global ministries in Lakeside, Montana, will participate remotely.

Dean Amundson will close the symposium with a state of the School of Art, Design and Architecture address.

Founded in 1997, and accredited in 2004, Judson's Architecture program is widely acknowledged for its innovative approach to architectural education including a one-year preceptorship (internship) and its context of an evangelical Christian institution. Environmental stewardship is a design philosophy that guides the program and its approach to architecture education.

Light refreshments will follow the symposium in a closing reception at 5 p.m. in the Harm A. Weber Academic Center.

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