Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blog Post 7: Architecture of Happiness

The idea of an "architecture of happiness" suggests a design that effects the mood of those around or inside it, making people happy or calm. In terms of our class, architecture of happiness would have a high "delight" score.  However, happy spaces and places can be different for everyone, it all depends on what makes you as an individual feel happy.  Architecture of happiness can be achieved through design rules, like the great eastern and western design rule book we explored in class.

My idea of a happy space and a happy place in campus was the Meditation room in the EUC and the Elizabeth Herring Garden outside of the school of music.

I chose the Meditation Room because it makes me feel calm. This should be the sole purpose and function of the design of a room dedicated to relaxing, meditation, and prayer. The Meditation Room achieves this calming effect by minimalist design. The Meditation Room celebrates surface and materiality, which is in the design rulebook. The frosted glass dividers creates a calming effect, diffusing light while giving people privacy while they meditate. The carpet not only gives students a softer place to lay down but absorbs sounds, keeping the room quiet. This is contrasted by a large circle of wood floor in the center of the room, which shows importance, drawing you into the room and invites to meditate in the center of the room, giving someone plenty of space. It is also important for the meditation room to emphasize spirituality, another rule of design. Spirituality is most often thought to develop in someone through quiet time by oneself, and there are plenty of areas devoted to this in the room. The sand feature in the room is reminiscent of Japanese sand gardens and the spiritual rituals that are connected to them. 

I chose the Elizabeth Herring Garden because there is always something blooming there, and the sound of the fountain reminds me of spring, which makes me happy. The most obvious rule I see followed in the garden is the layering of groves and stacks. We see groves of trees and shrubs along the pathway, as seen in the second picture. There are several walls of stacked stone, most importantly around the fountain, which I must point out is a circle. The fountain serves as a place for people to gather and celebrate the season and nature around them. 

I included the poem below that can be found on a rock in the pathway of the garden. It describes the joy one feels in a garden, being close to nature and being "nearer God's heart"...
"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."

1 comment:

  1. Nice job with this but I feel you could have described rules of architecture you think creates happiness and then you can include other elements you noticed that added to this sense of happiness. You need to work on your image composition. Good job including the poem on your page since it may be difficult for some to read from the image.