Architecture and the modern mind.

I’ve been mulling an interesting discussion my husband and I had a few months ago.  He was discussing how art was an extension of the prevalent subconscious philosophy dominating a culture at the time.    The art of post WWII showed the failed ideals which underpinned Europe before.  What can we know?  What can we see?  What is truth?  Perception is reality.    I’ve been thinking about architecture a bit more in this ideal.  How we have placed efficiency and cost in the core of design.  The elements of design are lost to the budgetary needs and practical uses of the building.  Modern lines are beautiful when executed with excellence.  Often what is seen is the loss of materials which would bring about excellence.  We are left with mediocrity.
My state has proposed that all new schools have three designs at each level, elementary, junior high, and high, to choose among. (We are in the midst of trying to save historical facades in Charleston schools while making the buildings earthquake safe.)
The other day, I found my mind shifting to churches and worship after looking at Out of Ur’s post on a child’s journal of worship.  Then this amazing list appeared over on InternetMonk.  I found it equally applicable to educational practices as it is to worship practices.
  • We are technology rich and imagination poor.
  • We are good at stimulating certain surface emotions, bad at arousing deep thought and evoking wonder.
  • We believe in direct, practical communication, and have no clue about the art of subtle, indirect attraction that elicits curiosity.
  • We build auditoriums without windows and hide from the full spectrum of heaven’s light.
  • We are all prose and no poetry.
  • We are lyrics without music.
  • We are all legal brief and grocery list and no fairy tale.
  • We are draftsman’s drawings and there are no Giottos or Chagalls among us.
  • We are warehouse workers, with no more cathedrals towering over us, lifting our eyes to the heavens.
Something to ponder for a bit.

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Filed under Art, Educational Philosophy

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