Thoughts on Symbolism in the Built World


Stone structures or wood structures are very honest…transparent…about their ordering/organizational system(s) – or they can be.  When a new trick is/was figured out…that is…the ability to configure/utilize space/solid/the system(s) in a new way, it revealed that the system(s) order/organization/pattern(s) are/is more complex/extensive/flexible/comprehensive than previously thought.  When this is realized a wonderful moment of discovery is experienced…a sense of awe/wonder/appreciation for the extensiveness/power/pervasiveness of order/(God????)

If one is in a stone or wood building, made of only stone and/or wood, and if a new configuration/use underlies a previously unrealized aspect of the ordering system, one automatically and correctly assumes that the system was more pervasive/comprehensive/deep than previously understood.   But if the wood/stone uses other things to achieve the effect which seems to defy the rules of the order, i.e., the existence of the order and of its well-functioning requires a more complex set of variables/propositions/proportional systems, this must be expressed so that the ordering system can be responsibly & thoroughly evaluated and correctly appreciated…thenceforth would exist the potential to be appropriately/efficiently employed.  If some of the variables are hidden its okay…sometimes…maybe…as a tease…as is appropriate, for instance, in theatrics.  But if variables are concealed to avoid confronting the increased complexity of the order signified, in effect the experiencer is misled.  If this deception is allowed, an order is reaffirmed, but is more symbolic and less a unity of symbolism and reality.  In such a case, the symbolic aspect shades toward the hue of iconography more than literalness.  It is a distortion.  The designer has just made it more difficult for the experiencer  to maturely understand the actual order of his/her world because there is disjunction between the order espoused and the order actually utilized.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s