As a believer of Winston Churchill’s saying, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” Professor Ro is a strong advocate of design and research that improves the interconnectivity between architecture, culture, spirituality, ecology, and human experience. At the Catholic University of America, for instance, he was awarded the Magi Endowment for the Liturgical Arts to advance his research on the phenomenological experience of sacred architecture through evidence-based design. Professor Ro’s promising research trajectory can be seen in a growing record of written scholarly work which has been presented at a number of peer-reviewed conferences and symposia. His scholarship and theoretical design work has been published in venues such as the Journal of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School, Arquitecturas del Sur (Chile), Society of Architectural Historians, Carbon-Neutral Architectural Design, Architectural Research Centers Consortium, Márgenes Arquitectura (Spain), International Ambiances Network (France), Enquiry: A Journal of Architectural Research, Environmental Design Research Association, and Architecture Culture Spirituality Forum among others.
BROWSE RESEARCH BY TOPIC
Phenomenology, Perception, Experience, Behavior
Classical Theories of Architecture, Historic Preservation
History, Theory, Criticism
Sacred Space + Cultural Studies
Sustainable Design + Environmental Systems
Measurement, Methodology, Evaluation
CURRENT RESEARCH / PROJECTS IN PROGRESS
Ro, Brandon. Gendered Sacred Space: Hermeneutical Messages from Christianity. Book manuscript presenting manifestations and interpretations of gendered sacred space in the Christian tradition over the past 1,700 years.
Ro, Brandon. One Eternal Round: Temple, Cosmos, History. Book manuscript exploring theological intersections between sacred architecture, the Zodiacal constellations, and episodes of sacred history found within Mormonism and the broader Judeo-Christian milieu.
Ro, Brandon. Holiness to the Lord: The Sacred Architecture of Latter-day Saint Temples. Book manuscript that compares the architectural morphology of Latter-day Saint temples against other religious traditions synchronically and then charts their evolution diachronically over time to produce a critical history of temple architecture.
Ro, Brandon. “Extraordinary Encounters with Catholic Sacred Architecture,” Journal article to be submitted to the Journal of Sacred Architecture investigating survey results of transformative human encounters in Catholic sacred architecture.
Ro, Brandon. “Blending the Subjective and Objective Realms of Sacred Architecture: Creating a Comparative Framework for Evaluating Ritual Contexts,” article identifying methods to assist architects and researchers in evaluating the experiential potency of sacred spaces through the use of hermeneutics, surveys, graphical analysis, and statistics.
Ro, Brandon. “Space + Experience in the Temple: Theatrical Modes of Presenting the Endowment Ritual,” article examining the evolution of architectural and theatrical methods used to present the Latter-day Saint temple endowment ritual over a span of 180 years.
Ro, Brandon. “(Re)interpreting Jerusalem’s Sacred Ceremonial Center: A Look at the Temple’s Symbolic Ideology from a Morphological Perspective,” article utilizing comparative methods from historians of religion to (re)interpret the Jerusalem Temple as a ceremonial center and identify the unique interrelationships between architecture (form), religion (ideals), ritual (function), culture (tradition), and environment (geography).
Ro, Brandon. “Turning Towards the Lord: Latter-day Saint Temple Astroarchitectural Orientation.” Journal article utilizing research methods from archaeoastronomy to map the physical orientation of a building and its architectural features. Over 150 temples case studies are examined in this manner to produce a more precise mapping of orientation preference and its theological interpretation.
Ro, Brandon. “Towards an Architecture of Continuity or Discontinuity: Integrating the Identity of the Temple into a Global Context.” Paper outlining the religio-political implications of architectural design and site selection of Latter-day Saint temples throughout a global context.
For a full list of scholarly publications and research related activities, see Professor Ro’s full Curriculum Vitae at the link below: