Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sacred Places and Spaces - Some Thoughts and Distallations

Here are some thoughts and questions about the sacred gathered over the years. I'd like to share them with you in the spirit of this season of light, transformation and renewal. At the end of this post, I ask you to share a special place or space from your life in the spirit of giving.
The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, 1994
  1. Why is it that when architects show sacred spaces they very rarely are buildings and places, but rather of nature and the natural?
  2. Can the sacred be profane and the profane sacred?
  3. Can a place be sacred if it is forgotten and no one cares for it?
  4. To be sacred, does it mean to be empty or convey emptiness?  Or is it about the revelation of architectural form and space experienced within time, coupled with the power of festal rituals?
  5. How important is collaboration and participation in the creation of sacred places and spaces?  What is the imprint of the actions and acts of people in formation and care taking of the sacred over time?
  6. Truly sacred places seem to revolve around essential human activities like birth, festal ceremonies, pilgrimage and burial among others.  Are there other experiences both sacred and essential not included here?
  7. Can the body sense a sacred place or space?  Why is it that hair on the back of one's neck stands up sometimes in both seemingly sacred or profane places?  Is this bodily sensing an indication and recognition of something larger and ineffable, perhaps beyond naming and rational comprehension?
  8. Location, spontaneity, sequences of spaces, thresholds, connection to the natural, qualities of timelessness or being outside of normative time all seem to contribute from my perspective an unique undefinable energy.
  9. Spaces and places which promote essential and active participation through trans-formative rituals within them perhaps are more likely to lead to placing a distinction of special meaning or sacredness through personal, community and historical attachment.
  10. Can you have sacred places and spaces in the home, the workplace or place of learning?  Can there be spaces and places devoid of specific religious meaning yet still be sacred?
  11. Main entry to the church of the
    nativity in Bethlehem, 1994
  12. Could you name and share one natural place and one built place which are sacred to you and why?  Can you recall a feeling or emotion you experienced there you might share with the readers of designcultivation.blogspot?  Any images or drawings?  Please share!

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