roden crater tunnel by klaus obermeyer

ASU-Roden Crater Project

Building an academic and intellectual enterprise around a global art destination

The goal of the ASU-Roden Crater Project is to bring university planners and scholars together to work with the artist to design a blueprint for the long-term stewardship and sustainability of Roden Crater and elevate ASU’s academic enterprise through a unique suite of transdisciplinary programming: from art and design to astronomy, sustainability, health, archaeology, geology and beyond. Building an academic and intellectual enterprise around this global art destination and activating it as a learning lab for diverse students and scholars for generations to come.


    Our work

    We are piloting field labs, design studios and internships for undergraduate and graduate students that are inspired by the transdisciplinary nature of Roden Crater and examine the concept of place. Course subjects to date have included indigenous design and sky science, sustainable architecture, art and sensory acuity, the medium of light, volcanic arts and sciences, range management, and radio astronomy.

    In partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ASU invited world-renowned artist, Leo Villareal, to be the first artist in the artist residency program. Villareal created a light installation using double-sided LED screens. The art work was installed at the entrance of the ASU Art Museum in late 2020 and is currently on view.

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    Who’s involved

    Affiliated faculty

    Field scholars

    • Richard Begay, Architect, SPS+ Architects
    • Michael Govan, President, Skystone Foundation
    • Edwin Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
    • Henry Fowler, Dean of Graduate Studies, Navajo Technical University
    • Justin Owen, Executive Director, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

    ASU Roden Crater academic planning team

    Principal investigator

    Project leads

    Roden Crater team

    Turrell Art Foundation

    • James Turrell, Lead Artist
    • Kyung-Lim Turrell, Director of Board

    Skystone Foundation

    • Michael Govan, President