Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Sacred In-Between: The Mediating Roles of Architecture

Thomas Barrie AIA is a Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate design studios and history-theory seminars. Professor Barrie served as Director of the School of Architecture from 2002 – 2007 and is the recipient of a number of teaching awards including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Creative Achievement Award and the ACSA/American Institute of Architecture Students New Teaching Award. Two parallel interests comprise Professor Barrie’s teaching, scholarship and publication – both of which occupy the common ground of syncretic approaches to meaningful placemaking in the built environment.
Professor Barrie holds a Master of Philosophy Degree in Architectural History-Theory from the University of Manchester, England, and a Master of Architectural Design from Virginia Tech. Before joining NC State he was Professor of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan where he founded The Detroit Studio. He has also taught at the University of Manchester (UK), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.
He focuses on alternative histories of architecture and, in particular, the interrelationship of a culture’s architecture and its cultural/religious beliefs and communal rituals. Professor Barrie is a scholar of sacred architecture and the author of The Architecture of the In-between: The Mediating Roles of Architecture (Routledge, London, 2010), and Spiritual Path, Sacred Place: Myth Ritual and Meaning in Architecture (Shambhala Publications, 1996).
His new book ¨The Sacred In-Between: The Mediating Roles of Architecture¨ shows that the sacred place was, and still is, an intermediate zone created in the belief that it has the ability to co-join the religious aspirants to their gods. An essential means of understanding this sacred architecture is through the recognition of its role as an ‘in-between’ place. Establishing the contexts, approaches and understandings of architecture through the lens of the mediating roles often performed by sacred architecture, this book offers the reader an extraordinary insight into the forces behind these extraordinary buildings.
The book draws on a unique range of cases, reflecting on these inspiring places, their continuing ontological significance and the lessons they can offer today.

Thomas Barrie. Picture from NC State University web site

Introduction 2. The Middle Ground of Interpretation: Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and the Sensory Experience of Architecture 3. Practices of Connection: Applications of Transcendentalist and Buddhist Philosophies 4. Meditating Elements: Symbolism, Religion and the In-between 5. Symbolic Engagements: The Media of Architecture 6. Earth and Sky: Place and Primordial Architecture 7. The Sacred Path and Place: Spatial Sequences and Symbolic Narratives 8. Ordering the World: The Symbolism of Proportion and Geometry 9. Perfected Worlds: Cosmograms and Connections 10. Conclusion 11. Closing Thoughts: Personal Experiences of Place

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