ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

help is not on the way

A curious feature of the human mind is an intuition about order and cleanliness. Dust and decay are immediately recognized and assigned a negative value. Clutter impacts our level of anxiety, but we can easily be fooled if the clutter is arranged into a grid or similar pattern--if only for a brief period of time. Cleanliness is achieved by removing things, and where appropriate, dousing with water. When taken to an extreme, cleanliness becomes frightening because it departs so far from nature. The ocean is clean, even when the chaos of its movement becomes a threat to safety.

We hear little talk about the sublime any more. Temporary experiences, shiny objects, and the last pop song seem to consume our attention. Architecture, in its best efforts, has become more subtle and discrete. The vastness of the cathedral is a relic of a more sacred and primitive past.

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