Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) – Living Stones

Living Stones:
An Architect Reflects On Building Shalom

with special guest:
Craig Handy

– Bachelor of Applied Math (UWaterloo)
– Master of Architecture (UToronto)
– Master of Theological Studies (Regent College)
– Practicing architect

and in conversation, eating, reflection, discussion, and prayer with the GCF community

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good news! Here’s this week’s introduction question in advance:

Craig writes: “Tell us about a place/space/building that comes to mind as somewhere tangible that announces ‘good news’. I suspect many places will likely have a strong connection to your personal story and I look forward to the descriptions we’ll hear. I hope with a little lead time you’ll be able to bring a photo or illustration so we can picture the places with word and image. Feel free to email me digital pictures as that is probably easiest. And if you are reading this but will not be at GCF, please send an image anyways – I’d love to see what places this evokes for you.”

Craig initially came to GCF as an undergrad co-op student in applied math from Waterloo, but I first got to know him as a name on the original GCF email list I inherited. A few years later he showed up at UofT as a grad student in Architecture. This happened to be the same time when Brian Walsh was writing his book, Beyond Homelessness (or find it at UofT), so there were many interesting conversations about overlapping themes and topics of interest. Shortly before he graduated, Craig spent an evening at GCF sharing some of what he had learned, and especially his passion for envisioning and creating buildings that would embody his faith in tangible ways. His senior project explored some innovative ideas in community-oriented models of housing, and what they might look like in a Toronto context.

Since then Craig has worked on social housing projects in London (England), briefly did luxury residences in London and Abu Dhabi, then studied theology at Regent College in BC, and is now working on condos in Toronto. Given his educational and career trajectory, it seemed only right that we should invite Craig back to GCF again to update us about his vocational vision – both how that has evolved over the past few years of study and practice, and where he hopes to see it going in the future. He aims to “expand a bit about my time at Regent, and talk mostly about how the theological themes I studied helped set up questions and answers! as I conceive the practice of architecture.”

These questions (and answers!) are richly multi-faceted: from theological foundations and architectural conceptions, through to the “bricks and mortar” of real buildings, and then around the cycle of reflection-creation-construction again. Broadly speaking, we’ll end up asking “how buildings and space might contribute to the kingdom, and can be good news.”

Those of you who have met him know that Craig is thoughtful, insightful, creative and engaging – and passionate about what he does – so I have no doubt that this week’s GCF will be a wonderful evening of exploring some of these themes together.

Please join us.



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