Listening to Our Eyes: Seeing as Meditation

Posted on Feb 4, 2013

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Bradford Grant (Professor and Director of the School of Architecture and Design and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences at Howard University) presented “Listening to Our Eyes: Seeing as Meditation.” This webinar offered an exploration of meditative exercises using seeing and drawing and the use of physical and visual environments as a means for understanding and contemplation.

Bradford C. GrantBradford C. Grant is a registered architect with extensive experience in urban and community design, universal design, contemplative practices in design education and social, cultural and ethical factors in architecture. His community design work, research on the role of African American architects and his teaching on “Drawing as Meditation” has earned him the Universal Design Education Award, the Virginia Downtown Development Association Award, AIA Education Honor Award, the AIA Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement and the Contemplative Practice fellowship.

Grant is past president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) liaison to the board of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), member of the Fetzer Institute’s Advisory Council on the Design Professions, board member of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and Chairperson of the Humanities Council of the District of Columbia. He is involved in research and practice of physical accessibility and health disparities in architecture and community design. He has taught in interdisciplinary settings including Ethnic Studies, Landscape Architecture, Engineering and Architecture Departments. He completed his graduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley, CA and undergraduate first professional degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.


  1. This has been such an inspiring presentation to listen to with me eyes as well as ears. I have been working on ways to bring my life-long practice of drawing into closer relation with my teaching and learning, with some success. I am also an arts-based researcher, using, in my case, mainly drawing as a data collection and analysis tool. In writing a paper about my research practice, I began using the term somatography to describe the ways in which I foreground bodily attunement and creative attention in order to better understand cultural phenomena and participants’ expressions of identity. It has only recently occurred to me that much of what I struggled so much to describe by way of how and why I ‘attune’ and ‘attend’ shares much territory with mindfulness practice. Your talk lends so much insight and legitimacy to this current line of flight that my academic work is taking. Thank you so much, Bradford! Warmly, Kelly

  2. I liked the expessed ideas very much. The actual format was a little underwhelming

  3. I’m an art teacher and this is exactly what I teach my students in drawing.


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