Friday, May 21, 2010
This Master's Degree thesis, written by a student in Notre Dame's architectural program for my colleague and MOJ-friend Phil Bess, is fascinating. Check it out. Here's the opening:
Human beings are social creatures, and are unique among animals in possessing both reason and a conscious inclination towards the sacred. These qualities are marked in history by the development of civilization - the coming together of human beings in cities in an attempt to live together peaceably, productively, and in harmony with one another in sacred order. This proclivity towards communal living takes physical and spatial form in the built environments that human beings make. Here we use both productive and practical reason to create human habitat, which we further invest with meaning by creating architecture and urbanism as both an offering to the sacred and as a place for daily mundane life. Over time, this perennial and quintessential human project is handed on from generation to generation, and becomes the built form of that cultural narrative that tells us who we are, where we come from, and where we ought to be.