Buildings That Give Hope – and Buildings That Condemn Us
Buildings have a great influence over our self-conception. Very often, we don't have a stable sense of our value or society. On some days, things can feel tolerable, and we have faith in our fellow humans. But on other days, we sense our mood dropping. We wonder about the cruelty of people.
Crucially for our state of mind is the architecture that can help push us either in a positive or a negative direction. Buildings that speaks of forgiveness, gentleness and modesty can make the world feel benevolent. If we are stuck in streets that talk to us sharply about shame, about being a nobody, these messages can amplify the worst on our inner world.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
‘What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.’ - Seneca.
This dark remark gets to the heart of Stoicism, which says we get weepy and angry not on...
St Augustine was deeply interested in finding explanations for the evident tragic disorder of the world.
Augustine contemplated the idea that human nature is inherently damaged because, in the Garden of Eden, Eve sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Her guilt was passed down to all people. As a metaphor for why the world is in a mess, Augustine implies that we should not expect too much from the human race.
‘Kings and Philosophers shit, and so do ladies’. This is a blunt phrase of 16th-century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne.
He wanted to let us feel closer to and less intimidated by people whose life might seem very impressive. Montaigne attempted to free us from uncertainty and shyness from thinking too much of others and too little of ourselves.
Some of our most despondent moods are caused by failures of the imagination. Imagination here is the power to envision alternatives. When we're sad, we can't imagine fi...
As grown-ups, we have choices. We are not small children where we have to depend on our parents for everything.
We could work as a bus conductor or retrain as a psychotherapist. We could volunteer in an emergency shelter. We can throw ourselves into learning a new language or take a university degree. We can look up old and trusted friends or make new friends.
To increase our chances of fulfillment, we need to feed our imagination and provide them with endless examples of alternative narratives, so they are more able to come up with plan Bs. We should practice to picture better ways to be.
As part of creative classes, adolescents should be asked to produce narratives like: If I lost everything and had to start up again, I will... They should be asked to make a list of 20 things that currently make life meaningful, then have to cross them all off and find ten more.
Sigmund Freud discovered that there is a remarkable difference between what people will tell you when they are sitting up and looking at you in the eye, and what they will say to you when they ...
We perhaps don't realise that seeing another person's face can discourage us from speaking the truth. We may hold back and edit our presentation in the light of their reactions.
With Sigmund Freud's example in mind, we should find our own forms of horizontal conversation. After dinner, we might suggest that we all go and lie down somewhere and become newly conscious of voices and nuances when we don't have to look at others' expressions.