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The Design Future of the Sacred Grove
Amanda Reed, 30 Jul 10

Worldchanging contributor Geoff Manaugh of BLDG|BLOG has a great article up about the contemporary and future design possibilities of "sacred groves" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) Study Centre website.

Ships botanically assembling themselves in the forest, from "Growing a Hidden Architecture" by Christian Kerrigan (via BLDG|BLOG)

The article, titled "The Design Future of the Sacred Grove," was inspired by a 2009 paper by Patrick Bowe called "The Sacred Groves of Ancient Greece," which was published in the journal Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes. In his own article, Manaugh brings design proposals by Christian Kerrigan, Sascha Pohflepp, and BOARD to bear on Bowe's discussion of the “ritual zones” of the forest; he takes Bowe's exploration of Ancient Greece and speculates about:

what sorts of uniquely specific groves or small forests of our own time might someday, perhaps millennia from now, be seen, rightly or wrongly, as “sacred” in some way or another. The “sacred grove,” seen in this light, would really be a kind of specialized forestry service, and thus something interpretatively present in a variety of surprising sites. After all, it is distinctly possible that a landscape now retroactively seen as sacred might not have been anything of the sort; perhaps it was simply being grown for timber; perhaps it was the subject of a property dispute; perhaps it was over-run with insects for a decade or two and thus left untouched. It should always be assumed, in other words, that ancient sites we jump to call “sacred” might actually have been utterly mundane.

To that end, Manaugh put together

a short, very subjective, and by no means anywhere near exhaustive list of a few speculative landscape design proposals and real-life forestry sites that strike me as particularly worthy of consideration in the context of the ancient Greek sacred grove. If, in some future catalog of lost landscapes, one of the following sites was to be listed alongside the sacred groves of a forgotten civilization, how might that transform our understanding of their intended spatial role?

Consider this list nothing more than a brief conversation-starter.

Join the conversation: See the full article and all the fantastic projects and images Manaugh compiled by following this link.

Image from "Growth Assembly" by Sascha Pohflepp (via CCA)

Image by the Bureau of Architecture, Research, and Design (BOARD) (via CCA)

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