SSQIE Make History in France

June 2015: Fox26 News reports on how 15 students from Houston, Texas make history by creating the first public labyrinth in Lyon, France atop the Fourviere.  

 

Click here for the news story.

Students Leave a Labyrinth Legacy in Lyon,France

Sacred Sites Quest: International Exchange-France

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SSQ IE Team

SSQ IE Team

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SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

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SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

Jay Stailey-Labyrinth Facilitator

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SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

SSQ:IE Orientation meeting 4.11.15

Community Partners

SSQ:International Exchange- Student Travelers

Amina Matin

Amina Matin

Jahlani Adams

Jahlani Adams

Anusheh Siddique aka Nishu

Anusheh Siddique aka Nishu

Santana Draper

Santana Draper

Eliza Pillsbury

Eliza Pillsbury

Matthew Mai

Matthew Mai

Marlayna Livingston aka Marley

Marlayna Livingston aka Marley

Kaden Lewis

Kaden Lewis

Isabel Manahl

Isabel Manahl

Harold Owens aka Bat Man

Harold Owens aka Bat Man

Sean Fontenot

Sean Fontenot

Lauren Fontenot

Lauren Fontenot

Adam Kermally

Adam Kermally

Franchesca Farris

Franchesca Farris

Julian Serebin

Julian Serebin

History of Sacred Sites

Chartres Labyrinth, France

Chartres Labyrinth, France

Undoubtedly the best known labyrinth of its type, the beautifully preserved pavement labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France, was constructed during the second decade of the 13th century. The labyrinth is 12.9 metres (42.3 ft.) in diameter and fills the width of the nave.

Amiens Labyrinth, France

Amiens Labyrinth, France

Amiens Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens) is the tallest Gothic church and largest cathedral in France.. The Amiens labyrinth was installed in 1288 by the architect Renaud de Cormont (who signed his work) and bears an inscription naming the architects of the cathedral. Unfortunately, unlike the medieval labyrinth at Chartres, this one did not survive the Revolution intact; the present version is an exact copy made in the 19th century. Its path stretches 240 meters in length.

St.Michel d'Aiguilhe Chapel, France

St.Michel d'Aiguilhe Chapel, France

Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe Chapel, France - Southern France is dotted with scenic mountaintop churches, but none are quite as breathtaking as the chapel of Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe. After climbing over 200 steps up a craggy volcanic rock, visitors find a wonderful 10th-century church and absolutely gorgeous views of the surrounding village. (Photo by Soleilhac Marie-Laure)

Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge is a sacred site located in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles (3 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt

Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt

Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt - Though built by the famous Pharaoh Ramesses II over 3,000 years ago, the Abu Simbel Temples and their stunning colossi are more famous than ever. The two temples of Ramses II and Nefertari were carved directly into the rock and their interiors feature gargantuan columns lined with hieroglyphics. (Photo by Jose M. Cuesta)

Borobudur, Indonesia

Borobudur, Indonesia

Borobudur, Indonesia - Emerging from the jungles of central Java, the 9th-century Borobudur temple complex is a marvel of Buddhist architecture and the most-visited sight in Indonesia. At 7 stories high and decorated with over 500 Buddhas, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and home to what is surely one of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere. (Photo by Oliver P. Martin)

Bet Giyorgis, Ethiopia

Bet Giyorgis, Ethiopia

Bet Giyorgis, Ethiopia - Bet Giyorgis ("Church of St. George") is a 12th-century church carved directly into the rock around Lalibela, Ethiopia. Bet Giyorgis, though, is just the most famous of 11 churches carved into the bedrock originally designed to emulate Jerusalem. Travelers can explore this most unique of holy sites via winding tunnels and passageways dozens of feet below surface level. (Photo by Alfonso N. Tappero)

Tiger's Nest, Bhutan

Tiger's Nest, Bhutan

Tiger's Nest, Bhutan - The Tiger's Nest complex in the small mountain state of Bhutan is perhaps the world's most famous hanging temple, and with good reason! After a tough three-hour hike, travelers arrive at this stunning monastery perched 3,000ft. above the floor of the Paro Valley. The interior shrines are no doubt amazing, but the view is one you'll never forget. (Photo by Thomas Willetts)

Tiger Cave Temple, Thailand

Tiger Cave Temple, Thailand

Tiger Cave Temple, Thailand - Many travelers to Krabi, Thailand spend their time between the bar and the beach, but the area is home to one of the world's most breathtaking religious sites: the Tiger Cave Temple. Travelers must climb a jungle staircase lined with monkeys and hidden shrines before arriving at the glorious golden Buddha at the 2,000ft. peak. (Photo by Angelo Zinna)

Spanish Synagogue, Czech Republic

Spanish Synagogue, Czech Republic

Spanish Synagogue, Czech Republic - Widely regarded as Europe's most beautiful synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue in Prague is one of those places where you could literally spend hours admiring the Moorish-style geometric carvings and paintings covering literally every square inch of the interior. Don't forget to check out the statue of famous Czech author Franz Kafka near the entrance. (Photo by Alce)

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar - Rising 100 yards above the city of Rangoon, Myanmar's Shwedagon Pagoda is, according to many travelers, one of the world's great wonders. The pagoda is famed for holding the relics of four Buddhas and savvy visitors should visit at night to enjoy the chants of the faithful, the wafting incense, and the great golden stupas shining in the spotlights. (Photo by Gerard Decq)

Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece - Near the village of Meteora in central Greece, massive monolithic stones jut into the sky creating one of the most gorgeous panoramas in Europe. The best part? The hulking cliffs are dotted with historic monasteries, many of which can be visited and are still in use today. After visiting the monasteries, travelers can make the hike back to the bottom while savoring the heavenly views. (Photo by Vlaidmir Bazan)

Lotus Temple, India

Lotus Temple, India

Lotus Temple, India - The city of New Delhi isn't exactly known for peace and quiet, but the stunning Lotus Temple, home of the Baha'i faith, is a true oasis of tranquility. Built in 1980, the flower-shaped temple is surrounded by peaceful gardens and a large interior space is reserved for people of all faiths to come and meditate. (Photo by Sebastian D. Caicedo)

Hagia Sofia, Turkey

Hagia Sofia, Turkey

Hagia Sophia, Turkey - What can we say about the Hagia Sophia? It's one of the oldest and most architecturally influential places of worship in the world. While it's famous for its awe-inspiring domes and Byzantine mosaics, the fact that travelers from all cultures and religions flock to behold her glories is what truly makes the Hagia Sophia special. (Photo by Dripta Roy)

Batu Caves, Malaysia

Batu Caves, Malaysia

Batu Caves, Malaysia - Located just north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves are one of the most amazing sight in all of Asia. The complex consists of massive limestone caves filled with intricate shrines, a 140ft. tall statue of the Hindu deity Murugah, and lots and lots of mischievous macaque monkeys ready to snatch a snack from unsuspecting tourists. (Photo by Macgreg)

Basilica of San Vitale, Italy

Basilica of San Vitale, Italy

Basilica of San Vitale, Italy - The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy is one of the most important churches in early Christianity, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an amazing experience for lovers of art and architecture. The hypnotically colorful mosaics are some of only a few in the world that remain from the time of Emperor Justinian I. (Photo by Ignacio Izquierda)

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia - The mighty Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia is another site which is tough to describe in words. To visit Angkor Wat is to immerse yourself in countless 900-year old temples, massive stone faces, sprawling jungles, and groups of young, saffron-robed monks. If it's not on your bucket list, it should be. (Photo by Natashi Basso).

Cathedrals, temples, pyramids, labyrinths, prayer gardens all stand as testaments to the universal search for meaning and purpose.  They are ancient archetypes used by cultures from around the world that reveal much about the spirituality of those who first built and used them. Chartres labyrinths, Buddhist temples, Islamic mosques, Hindu ashrams, Native American sweat lodges, African dance circles—all represent a similar journey to gain insights into life’s deepest questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going?  What is our purpose? 

 

Humans have always been in pursuit of a quest to prove that there is more to this life than meets the eye, that there is what some would call a “sacred path” to our existence. 

 

What is a sacred space? At its most basic, it is a place which invites reflection on the mysteries of the universe, and encourages an attitude of spiritual awareness.   A sacred space is where questions are asked, conversations occur, rituals are perpetuated, dances are performed, songs are sung, and silence is heard—all in the attempt to find answers to our deepest questions of why we exist and our purpose in life. 

 

The idea of a creating a sacred space is complex, encompassing a range of aspects: architecture, geography, core beliefs, cultural traditions, community stories, and not least of all the receptivity of one’s own spiritual awareness. When several of these elements come together, the result can range from breathtaking to life changing. 

 

 

We have set out to honor the traditions of our ancient ancestors by juxtaposing contemporary technology and designs with the historical archetype of the labyrinth to create a sacred space in a community in a foreign country similar to what we have accomplished here in communities across Houston, Texas.

What is SSQ: International Exchange?

The Sacred Sites Quest: International Exchange (SSQ.IE) engages, empowers and inspires youth through hands-on service projects locally and in foreign countries. SSQ.IE allows students from other countries to share their cultural awareness, social consciousness and creative abilities with the city of Houston and Houston youth to share their talents with foreign nations. The brainchild of master artist Reginald C. Adams, a long term partner with SSQ, the seeds for the international exchange were planted when Adams traveled to France in 2012 to execute a public art project with a children’s hospital in Lyon, France. Witnessing first-hand the richness that the unique, distinct culture of the country could potentially contribute to the Houston community, the idea for the international exchange was born.

 

More than just an outreach program, this collaborative is a multi-disciplinary approach to cultural and social awareness and educational enrichment that builds bridges between international communities to address issues of education, environment, urban revitalization, creative place-making and cultural tolerance. This year the program will primarily seek to work with the Texas French Alliance for the Arts and Schlumberger/SEED, in order to build upon and strengthen the pre-existing relationships between France and Houston. Each year, a different exchange country and new students will be featured as the program grows.

 

The first of its kind in the city of Houston, SSQ: International Exchange is an annual signature community outreach project designed to promote and enhance the educational, historical, artistic and cultural diversity of the city of Houston.

 

 

 

 

What Types of Events Surround the SSQ.IE?

 

“Peer to Peer” Public & Private Receptions

These private and public receptions allowed the local host community to meet and greet the international peers in intimate settings to exchange learning about culture, community and the arts. Featured hosts of these receptions included general consuls, chambers of commerce affiliated with the exchange country, local museum officials, schools/universities and various international arts organizations throughout the city.

 

“Traveling with STEAM” Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics

Through a Research in Service to Practice experience the SSQ.IE students learned about what connects Houston to Lyon, France collaboratively, geographically, culturally and thematically; integrate pre-existing STEM landscapes in Lyon, France (real authentic contexts); explore labyrinth locations past, present, and future; bring to life innovation through STEM and the Arts (STEAM) using project based learning, Sacred Geometry, 3d design; and integrate a vehicle to socially share the application of STEAM in the creation of the Labyrinth to support reflective thinking and inquiry through social media.  The students also had an opportunity to tour the Schlumberger facility in Clamart and learn about various careers in engineering, technology and design.

 

 

 

How Does the SSQ.IE Work?

June 7-17, 2015 a team of approximately 15 students from the Houston area will traveled to France with the objective of designing and producing a site-specific capstone and service project over a 9-day period. During this 9-day period, the youth participants engaged with their international counterparts through various community forums and design/development workshops.

 

Following the SSQ5 in Houston, a team of youth participants visited Paris, Amiens, Germainville, Chartres and Lyon, France during summer 2015 to engage in the co-creation of a public labyrinth.

 

The current location for the labyrinth in Lyon is directly adjacent to the Basilica De Notre Dame Fourviere.

 

Our gratitude is expressed to ECAM Lyon Graduate School of Engineering for hosting the labyrinth in such an amazing venue.

“Our Voice” Events at Local Universities

Local university students from ECAM Lyon Graduate School of Engineering met with the SSQIE students to discuss culture, design, technique, the labyrinth, etc.  This forum was mutually beneficial for the graduate students as well as the SSQIE students as they were able to get to know each other and discuss the importance of international collaborations and art exchanges.

 

“Community Building through the Arts”

SSQ.IE students worked alongside community members and students from Lyon to build a site specific capstone project in the form a labyrinth.  During the weeklong exchange the students and their peers collaborated on a design and the construction strategy for the labyrinth.  Working in teams and collaborating with counterparts from a different culture enabled the students to enhance their communication abilities and team working skills.

“Visions from the Path” Exhibition of the Student’s Work

An exclusive exhibition of photography, video, designs, and artwork developed throughout the scope of the SSQ.IE will be featured in Vine Street Gallery in Houston, September 2015.  Gallery talks will allow audiences of patrons, sponsors, community members, business leaders, students, family and friends an up close and personal experience with the students to learn more about their experience, context and cultural development.

 

“Capturing the Quest” Video Streaming & Documentary Film

Daily photographic and video footage was captured so that thousands of culture seekers from Houston, throughout the U.S. and from international shores were be able to witness the moment-by-moment progress of the capstone project. Viewers receeived an inside perspective from the participants point of view as they met the challenges of the SSQ.IE.  Video footage and photography captured from the SSQ.IE will be edited and formatted for a 30, 5 and 1 minute documentary.  Also featured on the website are digital archives of the student’s work-in-progress on the project.

 

“Community Commemoration Ceremonies” for Groundbreaking & Unveiling

At the completion of the capstone project members of ECAM Lyon Graduate School of Social work, students, community members, key program sponsors, and community VIPs were invited to an official dedication honoring the completion of the work. 

 

“Youth Building Bridges” Youth Exchange

Resources permitting, a group of youth from the host country will visit Houston to assist with the development of a similar capstone project. Throughout their time in Houston, this small team of youth will enjoy tours of sacred spaces, cultural destinations, past SSQ capstone projects and experiencing Houston’s culture.

 

SSQ: International Exchange-France

Daily Itinerary

 

The itinerary for the SSQ:IE was carefully developed to offer the students and chaperons an opportunity to visit historical landmarks and sacred spaces throughout Paris, Amiens, Chartres and Lyon, France.  Each day was planned with the intent to offer a rich and in depth experience for our travel group. 

 

The student travelers who explored France through SSQ:IE are destined to become global citizens. Their extraordinary journey was accomplished with a dedicated team of chaperons, which consisted of educators, parents, project managers and artists.  

 

SSQ: International Exchange-France

Labyrinth Design/Build Workplan

 

We are honored to leave a legacy in Lyon, France in collaboration ECAM Lyon Graduate School of Engineering and the local community.  This program is being generously sponsored by Schlumberger and the Texan French Alliance for the Arts (TFAA).

 

The labyrinth has a long history in France. The best known labyrinth of its type, the 11 circuit labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France, was constructed over 800 years ago.   There is also a very historic labyrinth in Amiens which we were able see while in France.  We walked and studied these labyrinths firsthand.   This journey enabled 15 Houston youth to celebrate the legacy of the labyrinth and create their own labyrinth in conjunction with students and community members in Lyon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description:

The completed labyrinth is a 5 Circuit Classical Labyrinth titled, Synergie, with an approximate diameter of approximately 10 meters.  We constructed the labyrinth using tumbled pavers that were recessed in the grass turf.  It took approximately 20 hours to construct the labyrinth over a duration of 3 days of work.  

 

 

 

For questions regarding the SSQ:IE please contact Reginald C. Adams at reginaldadams.com or call 832-208-1549. Visit www.reginaldadams.com to learn more about the SSQ:International Exchange.

 

The project is sponsored in part by Schlumberger, the Texan French Alliance for the Arts, ECAM Lyon Graduate School of Engineering and the Labyrinth Society.

 

SSQ:IE  Project Team

Reginald C. Adams- Project Manager

Richard Stowe-Schlumberger/SEED Coordinator

Jay Stailey- Labyrinth Facilitator

Lori Farris- Parent Chaperone/Logistics Specialist

Natalie Mills-Parent Chaperone/Logistics Assistant

Charles Crumb- Visual Artist

Rhonda Radford-Adams- Parent Chaperone/Artist

Folade Speaks- Educational Liaison

Chrystal Hadnott- Development Liaison

 

Documentary Film Team

Dan Malveaux-Filmmaker

Michelle Richardson- Film Assistant

Sonia Azad-Media Liaison

 

Thank you for your Support!

© 2013-2020 Reginald C. Adams LLC

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