Our guest speaker this week is Dr. Ovidiu Bulzan, who was a key leader of the the Baptist church in Romania during communism where most expressions of Christian faith were strictly forbidden. As an Architect, Dr. Bulzan played a large role in the design of many churches that were built in Romania and other countries behind the iron curtain after communism fell.
- A favorite quote of architects comes from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who once said "We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us". The context was in a debate on whether to change the shape of the British House of Commons after it was destroyed by a German bomb. The old one was configured for the parties to sit on opposite sides of a long room that was too small for all the members of the house to attend meetings comfortably. Some people proposed adopting the semi-circular design of the US Congress, with desks for each member. Churchill defends the wisdom of the old design here (read just the first five paragraphs) .
- Roger Scruton is an English philosopher known for his writings on beauty. In a recent article, he writes about how the beauty older cities like Venice were shaped by communities working together to ornament their common spaces. In this selection of that article, he observes how employing beauty in buildings fell out of favor in the 1900s and the effect that has had particularly on America.
Use This Link to take a short survey and to ask a couple questions of Dr. Bulzan. Your answers must be turned in MONDAY NIGHT.