Architecture is integral to the imagination-body dynamic. From cradle to grave, buildings shelter and shape our thoughts and actions. The rift between mind and physical wellbeing cannot be healed in sterile boxes that stifle creative musings and numb our senses. It takes architectural forms and spaces of creative vision to mend the body-mind spilt. Throughout history architects have employed specific design archetypes to promote the memory and physical experience of vitality, peace and connectedness. A dome with an opening at its apex frames a shaft of sunlight, establishing a glowing axis mundi, encouraging the stillness of being at the hub of becoming. Soaring steeple shapes can direct attention from entanglement toward expansive possibilities. Cave-like spaces can draw dispersed energies toward re-integration. This presentation explores ways that these and other design archetypes are being employed to create contemporary healing settings.
ANTHONY LAWLOR, M.ARCH., has practiced architecture for more than twenty-five years. He is author of The Temple in the House: Finding the Sacred in Everyday Architecture and A Home for the Soul: A Guide To Dwelling With Spirit And Imagination. His recent film, The Living Temple, presents a video journey through world sacred places. Lawlor earned his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His work has been featured on OPRAH, National Public Radio, and numerous other media.