Predicting future pasts : or reenchantment for the disenchanted

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Champ, Dewane T.
Schaller, Arthur W.
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Thesis (B. Arch.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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When humans first walked the face of our planet their thoughts were of an "intuitive" nature. As they wandered the landscape, following the migrations of the animals upon which they depended for survival, they perceived the earth to be inhabited by a living spirit. "Civilization", as defined by modern archeologists, commenced when humanity began setting stone against stone for the purpose of erecting permanent structures. We call this practice Architecture. Written language was developed at about the same time and in these early "intuitive" writings, we find descriptions of the creation, meaning and purpose of life. This intuitive philosophy was based on people's relationship "with", not to, their environment, and they celebrated the landscape as a giver of life, mothering all. These concepts can be found in early architectural pieces as well. Places like Giza, Stonehenge and Black Mesa all embody a special power or spirit which evoke feelings of awe and enchantment within anyone who ventures there. I believe this is due to the fact that the designs of these places are based on certain universal truths.With the rise of Greek civilization, people stopped believing and started proving. Rational thought replaced intuitive thought with the result being that humanity eventually lost its intimate relationship with the environment. Fearing, and at times even hating the landscape, humanity no longer considered itself dependent upon mother Earth but rather began to see itself as master over her. The proliferation of the sciences brought with it an enormous evolution of technology, yet technological advancement is dependent upon resource potential (which is now swiftly dwindling).I believe history as well as existence is made up of cycles. The scientific world is now arriving at conclusions developed through rationalization which intuitive minds knew long ago.The purpose of this thesis is to develop design strategies which coexist in harmony with the environment and its resources while at the same time embodying those universal, intuitive truths which give certain environments their eternal, timeless and enchanting qualities.