Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Meaning - what exactly is that?

The more I think about adding "Meaning" to the Chapel in the Pines project, the more I have asked the question "what is meaning exactly?".  When something is meaningful to me, it is often something that reminds me of a pleasant experience in my past.  It is like a key that opens the door to a fading memory. I have a pair of crazy pants (set me back $2) which I purchased in Agua Caliente, the town at the base of Machu Picchu in Peru.  Although they are basically worthless to anyone else, every time I see or wear them, I am reminded of the awesome trip I had with my father, brother, and nephew.  There are also meaningful symbols, especially in the Christian faith.  The cross being the most obvious.  I must find those symbols that are most important to the Chapel's congregation and incorporate them in a sensitive manner appropriate to their importance.  The other type of meaning is the meaning that is yet to be created. The space created, both inside and out, must be places that encourage meaning to be created.  Friendships, baptisms, weddings, special celebrations are but a few of the events in members lives that all will carry meaning along with them.

Meaning in architecture is not just about finding what is meaningful from the past, or incorporating symbols into the present design but also creating spaces that will become meaningful in the future.

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