A few years ago I proposed that our members try to answer a seemingly plain question – what do we, architects, do? They responded with a variety of services associated with our profession. But what I was looking for is the core – what do we do that nobody else does? What do we bring to society that others cannot?
I received this article from its author Professor Michael P. Boardway, R.A., who deliberates an interesting aspect of our work – the people’s reaction to our art.
by Michael P. Boardway, R.A. * Professor * Architect *
For many years I have been taught in the Profession of Architecture that extensive attention must be put on the appearance of the Building as well as how it functions inside. Does it have an appropriate Architectural Style to match the function? What about its scale and proportion? Little or no emphasis what focused on the experience or reaction of the occupants. For example, would the individuals that use the space enjoy the space and respond with an appropriate attitude based on its function?
Whether it was a morgue or a theme park, it seemed that if the individuals that were using the space did not have the appropriate feelings for that space was considered out of character architecture. By just looking at the differences in experience and energy levels between the functions of a morgue and a theme park, should be our first hint as to how a building needs to be designed for proper and appropriate energy and vibrational levels.
It has been found over time that the human body responds to all the senses when experiencing a space. It is said that we only have five basic senses which are: Sight, Smell, Touch, Hear, and Taste. These five senses are defined as having total consciousness; however, I believe that we have many more. In addition to having the physical senses, we also perceive through our Mind, Spirit and Soul.
I pose the following questions to the readers as a way to bring in more awareness and expand our reality: Is using the five basic senses defined as total consciousness? Do we perceive beyond the five basic senses? For example, have you ever experienced, with your sense of Sight, a child playing ball with his father and related it to your past experience as you take on that same feeling? Additionally, have you ever experienced, with your sense of Smell, fresh bread just coming out of the oven and suddenly remember your mother baking fresh bread in the kitchen when you were a child.
The above are examples of experiencing thoughts through the sense of memory. Perhaps even going beyond and retrieving memories of a past life or another existence (past, future, parallel, etc.) These sometimes could be called soul memory, or perhaps are ingrained in our DNA.
Let us imagine that a living existence; a human could be directed to experience a certain feeling or thought when entering a building or structure of some sort. Then let us say, the source of this directed experience could be from the materials, light types, sounds, smells, etc. inside this building or space. The experience has to be appropriate for the function or space, and if it is out of context, then it will not work. For example, you would not want a relaxed resort type of feeling in an office environment. The office should be more of a productive and exciting learning environment, stress-free of course.
Perhaps at this point, it would be beneficial to look at what Architecture is. One definition of Architecture is the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings, the style in which a building is designed or constructed, especially concerning a specific period, place, or culture. For example, Victorian Architecture. Other definitions state that Architecture is the complex or carefully designed structure of something: the conceptual structure and logical organization of a computer or computer-based system: a client/server architecture. It is essential to be aware that if the space does not function properly, it will not be successful.
The word “Architecture” has also been adopted to describe other designed systems, especially in information technology. Notice that all the definitions above are defining the building and or structure and the end product; however, never mentioning anything about the occupants and their experience.
In looking at how the shape of a building creates a certain type of vibration that could be experienced by the occupants of the space the Parthenon is an excellent example of unique design. This building is rectangular and made of white marble with eight columns supporting a pediment at the front, and a long line of columns visible at the side. The Parthenon in Athens, Greece, is considered a supreme example among Greek Architectural sites. The theory at that time was to build temples to accommodate the statues they worshiped.
In using the Parthenon as described above, is it possible for the shape of a structure to dictate the level and type of energy that it generates? Furthermore, the ancient Temples, Pyramids, Obelisks, Sacred Geometry are all unique shapes that can generate their specific vibrational frequency. Perhaps the combination of the shape of the structure and the materials would produce the appropriate vibration and experience required for that space.
In days past, it appears that Architects had a keen understanding of the value of each person’s experience of a building’s exterior and interior and the effects it had on them, which includes all of their senses. In today’s world, how many Architects go back and check the experience of the occupants who are inhabiting the spaces designed for them? As a licensed Architect with over 40 years of experience, the answer to that question is very few. I believe that this should be a requirement for every Architect so that the next time they design a building, they can take that experience and apply it to their next project.
To further elaborate this point of understanding the appropriate experiences attached to the various building types, let’s examine a couple of examples.
- Office Building
Cutting Edge Ideas
Smooth Surface – Fast Pace
- Health Spa
Colors and materials to invoke adrenalin
Heavy Mass Design
Come to relax
Forget about challenges of the day
As we become more aware and conscious within ourselves and our living, work, entertainment spaces, etc., we start tapping into the senses beyond the basic five. In returning to the subject of the five senses (Sight, Smell, Touch, Hear, Taste) as I discussed above, let us look deeper into this subject. Do we only have five senses? I believe that we have many more, which have lain dormant. As we become more aware and conscious within ourselves and our living, work, entertainment spaces, etc., we start tapping into the senses beyond the basic five. Vibrational or Energy medicine using science understands that all matter vibrates to a precise frequency and by using a specific vibration that resonants to the proper environment can create an appropriate attitude and experience for the individual.
Furthermore, in looking at the whole picture when someone experiences a space, they bring in their energy and that energy is absorbed by the building materials. How does the materials filter, transpose, transform any negative energy
into positive. How does that affect the space and people in that space?
Additionally, the energy signature of a person is also sensed by others in that same space. For example, if a person arrives in their work environment after having experienced something traumatic, they bring in the emotions associated with the event. Consequently, this may affect the moods of others in that same surroundings. However, the energy of a space can be shifted to elevate to a more positive vibration, thus, allowing the occupants to continue productively as well as helping the person who had the traumatic experience.
Just as certain materials can drain the energy of people such as concrete, some materials can positively amplify the energy of people. So taking a holistic view with the application of appropriate materials to create the desired effect, such as light, sound, smells, and crystals*, we can see how the environment and energy can be changed to benefit all the occupants and visitors. Please see the table below for specific descriptions of elements that benefit the energy of particular building types.
*As you might know, there are all types of crystals (see below), and the energy that they emit. Also note that with crystals they will amplify the predominant feeling of energy in that space, which is the reason why it is so important that we stay alert of the type of energy we are emitting.