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Published: Yale Paprika

In this interview, Miriam Dreiblatt speaks with founder of Studio ST Architects Esther Sperber on the challenges of designing religious spaces that promote serenity and connection while maintaining a high level of security. Sperber aims to design sacred spaces that foster a sense of community and belonging while being mindful of prayers and their individual spiritual needs. Sperber further discusses the impact of the concern and need for increased safety measures in synagogue architecture. These measures culturally informed and therefore take different forms, ranging from gates and police cars surrounding the site to hidden cameras and security guards at the synagogue’s entrance. Ultimately, Sperber questions whether artificial intelligence and advanced surveillance hardware can create the same sense of comfort and safety as security guards do. This question points to the broader implications of the strength of human interaction, intuition, and trust.

Read the full interview on Yale Paprika

The Oslo Synagogue, Photo by Miriam Dreiblatt
The Great Synagogue of Copenhagen, Photo by Miriam Dreiblatt