Towards an environment of expression
Our ability to express our feelings creatively is what makes us most human, and the architect's primary goal in design must be an environment which stimulates our creative potential. This study is primarily concerned with expression and how the environments we live in affect and are in turn affected by what we feel and express creatively. I propose that the architect's greatest aspiration is to achieve a symbiosis of the human creative expression and the built environment.Initially, I conceived of this synergistic relationship as one of an architecture of emotion. I have come to understand that emotion is only part of the goal. There are also the intellectualizing aspects of creation which I consider in this study that transcend emotion. A more descriptive phrase is aesthetic stimulation -- one of the highest manifestations of mental performance.There are three major categories of exploration upon which I have concentrated. My intention is to design an environment through a studied interpretation of a form of creative expression, drama, and through an understanding of the behavior patterns of the community for whom the environment, a theater, is intended.Community expectations: A poster competition for 160 fourth and fifth grade students at New Palestine Elementary School asking them to express the most important aspects of their small town. This study gave me an understanding of the character of the people of the smalltown, and how their culture was reflected in their environment. The students identified symbols of the more significant features of their sensory milieu, from which I gained valuable insight into those elements which characterize the small town experience.Stage set design: Consists of a script from a play and a set design which explores how the emotional and intellectual states of the actors can be translated into the architectonic forms of the stage. That is, can the designer maximize the intended affect of the playwright through an environment that is sympathetic and expressive of those who use the environment? Can the illusionistic, microcosmic world of the stage give valuable insights into the broader spectrum of reality?Theoretical bases of the theater building: Diagrammatic analyses of theater design issues, volumetric descriptions of the existing building in which the community theater is to be located, and the design proposal of a small town theater and its possible cultural implications.