The mechanics of sacredness

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Alphonse, Mervyn A.
Collard, Scott N.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.L.A.)
Department of Landscape Architecture
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This creative project was initiated primarily by two concerns. First, an interest into just what constituted sacredness or the sacred experience, and second, the current state of almost helplessness that man seems to exhibit when called upon to creatively address the myriad of life-threatening problems that contemporary society has spawned. The various connections betweer these two concerns constituted the foundation of this creative project, out of which emerged various hypotheses concerning the important roles that the built (and natural) environment play in the communication of the sacred experience. That this experience, communicated to individuals via the environment, can be extremely helpful in mending the almost ubiquitous mental and 'spiritual' fragmentation of our species, there is much to support. And increased holism within invariably manifests itself without. Thus it is proposed that careful and informed manipulation (ie., design) of the environment can be essential in eventually elevating the consciousness of man, much in the manner that this was achieved by ancient cultures such as the Greeks and the Egyptians, to name a few. In addition, this design intent will hopefully oblige designers to view the process of their craft in a new light - one that hopefully elevates it to a new and more enlightened level.