Friday, March 30, 2012

"The builders of Borobudur understood perfectly how stone can shape thought"

I just heard this on the radio. I am not able to listen to this show all the time, but I catch it whenever I can. I feel it captures the essence of design, architecture, culture and psychology when they intersect in an object or a building.

The experience of climbing the terraces of Borobudur is a powerful one. As you emerge from the enclosed corridors of the lower terraces, into the clear open spaces above, surrounded only by a circle of volcanoes, you are very conscious of having entered a different world. Even the most hardened tourist has the sense that this is not a site visit, but a pilgrim's progress. The builders of Borobudur understood perfectly how stone can shape thought.


Stone, all physical matter, can shape thought. It can constrain it, can exalt it. Perhaps it cannot change thought, but it can afford a journey of change or stagnation. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Place yourself in an environment where you can grow your ideas...

I  just came across this video. The author, Steven Johnson, highlights the role of the environment (mainly the social environment and the Internet) in generating ideas and innovation. Schools and work places should be the kind of environment where  the exchange of "hunches", as he describes it, happens.