Sense of Past ... Sense of Place
Boland, Katherine Ellen
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Architecture today does not respond to memory, the essence of character. As a result, a disengagement exists between people and place. In a world of constant movement a sense of place is not only uncommon but in some instances unknown; we are continuously in a state of motion. We commonly forget why we are here, who settled the land we now inhabit. We forget that life is more than technology bombarding us at every instant; it is more than work and more than financial success. We forget that life can be more. Architecture is also in this state of constant motion, financial success is placed ahead of experience, and as a result places become indifferent, unmemorable, and apathetic. Memory must not be put to the wayside; it is the bond that connects us to our culture. It enables our will to dream. Architecture can be the means of remembering. By cueing memory through emotion and sensory detail, one is able to pause and recall past events. The dilapidation of one's environment can also cue memory. The act of showing the passage of time makes the past come alive. By responding to these aspects architecture becomes an indication of memory. As a result we will be connected to the land on which we live and have a reason to call that place home. We will have a heightened sense of place. Alienation and placelessness will be no more. The inevitable result of engaging memory in architecture will produce memorable spaces that inspire us, leaving us with a sense of belonging. The intention of this thesis is to illustrate that architecture is capable of unlocking memory, both collective and personal, through materials, form, and experience. This will evoke personal insights and ultimately provide memorable architecture that enhances a sense of place. As a result, we will be brought back to the days of childhood, to imagination, to a life full of meaningful events that imprint memories on the soul.