Geoffrey L. Gogan, Architect

"Well crafted, appropriate, budget conscious design"

Read at your own risk: Some may find what follows disagreeable
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A note on the economy:   We realize some are reluctant to move forward with a project.  It won't cost much to get plans started. The first meeting is free, and we offer a very good "Feasibility Study" including the design for very reasonable a flat fee.  The result will be a vision you can show to a lender or Realtor for a CMA.  You can take a break before we proceed with Construction Documents, but don't wait too long.   The cost of materials and labor has dropped significantly.   As the FED monetizes the US Debt, lowering the purchasing power of the dollar, we should all make the most of the "Build-out potential" of our property now, even if it means going into debt at these historic low fixed rates.  We should spend some dollars, enjoying one of the last opportunities to leverage - on assets that will appreciate faster than our dollars depreciate.  Take a few minutes and read about us,  and more about our approach to Architecture.

With respect to the title above, I'm sure others are asking the same questions.  So much abut our economy seems out of our control, but we - our kids, and grandkids will all end up paying for the Bailouts or losing wealth due to planned inflation and a lower purchasing value of the dollars we leave them.  Things won't be the same for many years.  Equity is way down, jobs are at risk, and loans are harder to get, retirements will be delayed.  Inflation is coming, lowering purchasing power, taxes have to go up, and who knows what's next.   Our families are spliting apart, younger ones unable to find work that offers a "Living Wage" and reasonably priced housing where they grew up.    

If we aren't careful as architects, in a very quiet contracting economy, we can become discouraged.  It's a good time to reflect on the bigger picture and consider why we do what we do, - to economize, and consider how we might contribute to the success of the species, and specifically, how all of this might nourish the content of our work.
This bubble of the early decade spoiled many.  We are now permanently in a new era of Frugality, houses that are cozier but adequate.    Many oversized and underutilized buildings will be shared by roommates or extended family or tenants.  Neighbors will have to rely on each other and work together, share resources.  Everyone may not have their own gym, pool, rec room, etc.  They may share facilities along the same lines as one sees in Assisted Living facilities.  More can be seen by searching the term co-housing.

For me one of the key concepts coming out of this economic confusion is "Honesty".    Too many investors allowed too many middle men between them and their investments.  They didn't understand and the Hedge Fund guys creating securities, made them too complicated to be understood.  They lost touch with the basics and the underlying reality that some guy has to make a living, and pay interest on that loan.

I have always looked for ways to express this type of content in buildings.  It might be as simple as encouraging the family interactions that help encourage healthy development of kids into thoughtful compassionate people - treating the house as a refuge with boundaries keeping certain forces out.   There are also more poetic and sculptural ways to express it referencing our place in the Natural Order.  We've all seen beautiful Arts & Crafts Detailing of natural woods as an example.   Of late, I find that much of this notion of "Unplugging" from the "Grid" and reconnecting directly to the Sun, Wind, Earth, Water... exposing the reliance we all have on Natural Systems, captures this desire to get rid of middle men.
We can see whether our food comes from a local source, read the ingredients, check on our water supply, resist fluoridation, and we all now collectively recycle.

My daughter will tell you that when we traveled to older countries - Canada, Europe, Jordan, I would often photograph the Men's Room.  They were so varied, but honest.  The older masonry buildings hundreds of years old, that predated central heating and plumbing required that the piping be surface mounted.  I think that's one thing I liked about them.  Even though they were designed for the practical need, they would put some heart and soul into the ceramic work of the urinals themselves.  I felt that the designers also responded to the notion of a break from life, the idea of relieving pressure, the ritual of washing up.  The bathroom really does remind us that what goes in, must come out and return to Nature.  The clean water flows in, dirty water out.  There was almost a personification of the system reminding us of the way these were invented and installed with difficulty to bring convenience to humans - re-routing streams out of love.

A building isn't an object that looks good in a photo.  It is a complex of systems with a lot of stuff and information moving into and out of it.  Many of my college projects had this theme, resulting in strange buildings that were more like machines - good thing they were just for fun.  At the time - in the 70's we didn't have the technology, but now it wouldn't be impossible to see an LCD displaying graphs and usage of Solar Energy being received, fed back to the grid, various commodities, carbon footprint, how many tons of Sulfuric Acid and Co2 are being prevented.    Rather than sticking meters in the basement, lets put them on display, and design them, announce their moving wheels and numbers.

We sometimes expose the various systems in a building - maybe just the water pipes as they come down the wall to the Kitchen faucet, alluding to their connection to the source in Nature.  These systems have been traditionally hidden creating the illusion that we and our homes stand alone with space between them, yards and fences separating them.  A lot of this happens at the point of use where the water, electric, gas etc. arrives

Most of what we have been doing as architects - demanded by clients, could be considered stage set design, reinforcing the illusion that we are all independent and separate from each other with fake facades, man-made stone, and burying the connecting systems.   In the words of Shakespeare, "
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"   (from As You Like It 2/7).    My 6th Grade Teacher made us memorize this, and I'm glad she selected it.   We had to say it out loud.  He went on to outline the seven stages of human life.  I'm trying to hold off from entering #6.
We do this by adding more layers of detail, and camouflage, pretending that what is really just a play on stage is "Reality".  There was a cute movie addressing this notion of the world as a Stage Set, with Jim Carrey,
"The Truman Show".   The "Matrix" series also touched on this idea of our enviroment as an illusion, or a false concept.  Maybe the built environment we work on is really just a series of stage sets covering up the infrastructure or Matrix of reality.  We've learned we cannot just enertain ourselves with cute buildings and rooms covering up the systems.  We have to respect our interconnectedness and interreliance on the many Natural Systems we share.

Well we've all had enough of the illusions.  Too many, like Bernie Madoff have "made off" while we go on thinking everything is as it appears.  I love to watch older Westerns where men knew where everything came from.  They knew where and how food was grown, chickens, eggs, livestock were raised.   You saw the well with the hand pump, the out hosue, the food pantry all in an honest way.   They also had a way of settling disputes, and criminals knew their victims might be willing to defend themselves.   Life was uncomfortable though, bathing maybe weekly or monthly, working hard with their hands.. 

Now we have a different world.  A few folks seem motivated to find a way to centrally control what we all need.  They create a central bank from whom all banks must borrow, they create central church through whom we all must worship, and they create central utilities through whom we all obtain gas, oil, electric, same with water, sewer, phone, cable, etc.
Food is now produced by huge conglomerates and they continue to buy up the Family farms.  There is nothing wrong with communities cooperating to create centralized systems for common needs, but they should be non-profits or quasi-governmental as it is for roads. 

Our reliance on Centralized systems.  Throughout history, a few have become accumulators, hoarders, re-distributing to maintain control and profit for self.  We've allowed too many to become "middle men", trading, brokering, the basic commodities and materials we all need. Now they do it with so much leverage, it's like a gambling casino.   This has happened with physical, but also education, religion, and other aspects that used to be obtained locally. 

I come back to the notion that we all need to "Unplug" from the Grid.  You may ask why would an architect be concerned with human connection to Food, Exercise, Religion, Investments etc?  It's because all of these things pass through the walls of the house and relate to the activities that take place there. 

Unplug from Centralized Food Production!   Nutrition and Exercise are both critical to our health, but constant challenges.    There is a trend now with food, for example, to replace these agri-corps on demand distribution systems, with a more fragmented locally sourced organic system. This is happening with many other areas including energy. It is very liberating to be able to unplug and go "Off the Grid".  We don't need those intermediaries, each marking up a commodity, we can re-establish a direct connection to the

What can we do about that? Its about personal discipline and freeing ourselves from dependence.  I'm not saying we should go crazy, living only off what we can grow in the front yard.  If you believe these infomercials, we should all be spending thousands a month to keep our Prostates, Brains, Hearts, Backs, Joints, you name it healthy.  These things may be great, but they are all addictive.  You have to stay on them or your body will really miss them.
I have a lot of faith in the result of millions of years of evolution - our body's ability to heal and absorb the nutrients it needs from normal natural food.  It may take longer, but I'm suspicious of vitamins that supply 50 times the benefit of eating 20 carrots.  If you start taking it, you better be prepared to stay on it because your body will quickly learn it no longer needs to absorb carrot molecules.  In fact it will probably be trying to get rid of some.  If you stop taking it, you might wait months for it to re-learn the need to absorb or manufacture what it needs.   The FDA is now trying to assert more control over smaller Family Farms, livestock etc., and making it illegal not to register all of them, and follow certain guidelines. 

Next time you have a chance, stop at the local Health Food or a Grocery with Organically grown vegetables.  The one here in Town has a Salad Bar.  It reminds you of what food should taste like, how nutritious it feels, how fresh it is.   Nothing can compare to a salad made form freshly picked leaves, cuccumbers, peppers...  

We've often had our own vegetable garden.  Much as been reported about the importance of these small efforts to the survival of folks in Cuba or post Soviet Russia.  There is plenty of information on intensive gardening, even using buckets on a terrace or roof.  There are hanging gardens.  It wouldn't be a bad idea to at least pick up some non-hybrid seeds.
So I'm planting another garden this spring.  A home should, if possible, include a small greenhouse, and land with sun for a garden.  I know I won't grow too much, but I will purchase from the local Farmer's Market.  The Garden is important not just as a survivalist strategy, but part of every day life, when you can bend down with humility,  touch the earth, discharge the stored up static charges.
Note for "Ideal House":  Every home should have small growing area / greenhouse, storage area, excellent juicer, in addition to traditional kitchen fit up.  Too many kitchens are over designed, too big and too expensive as furniture. They should learn from efficient restaurant kitchens.  We have done a few kitchens in the homes of professional chefs.
Due to the short reserves at Grocery Stores as they rely on constant shipments, we should all have a back up supply of easily prepared food and a water filter. 

Unplug from Centralized Exercise!   Here we go again - Why talk about exercise?  The same is true of exercise. It is a need that many don't fulfill.  It can affect the layout of a house.   I've joined a few Health Clubs over the years, bought equipment that had to have it's own little room, only to stop using them.  Too many times,  Its better not to binge because your metabolism will change.     These big exercise rooms get used for a while, but remain empty most of the time.  I'm thinking most, but not all, don't belong in houses.  They should be shared in small communities.   It's better to do something you can keep doing as part of a normal life.  Vigorous walking as if you're running late for a flight,  playing with the kids outside, shooting some baskets, riding a bike, some stretching on a Yoga Mat, maybe a Rebounder, Treadmill, and calisthenics using your own body weight is all that we need.   The walking has to get your heart rate up for at least 10-12 minutes, and result in a light sweat.  I throw in a sprint here and there to save time.
Note for "Ideal House": For me, getting on the floor is a turn off.  Most would not be able to set aside a room, but maybe there is type of bed where the top matress (mine is air) with covers would lift up exposing a platform with foam mat. One could do their leg lifts, and yoga on the platform while watching a DVD.  Or maybe the air matress simply deflates, leaving some padding, and then reflates quickly to a preset pressure when ready for bed.  I know guys that use their stairs to workout.  It should be easy to work up a sweat, shower, change and move on.

Unplug from centralized Utilities  Can we manifest these thoughts as architects?  Or do we continue building Mega mansions for the rich with all kinds of stuff they don't need? It's all about balance.  I'm not saying we will all be living in
Yurts, Igloos, or Tipis, or  RVs, a modern day way of living like Quai Chang Kane of "Kung Fu" with a bag of herbs and a bed-roll on his hip, or in survivalist camps, but some of us might find ourselves lowering our standard of living.  I have been simplifying- downsizing.  What a relief to live within ones means, eliminate debt, and then re-group, getting back to the important things.   Even in multi-family housing, we can restore the user's awareness of his connection to the source. We can eliminate their total reliance and dependence on middle men trying to control and profit from their access to essential commodities.

Note for "Ideal House":  Electricity won't be taken for granted as limitless and magically available when you plug it in.  The user will be aware of the meter turning, electrons flowing through a distribution system, a coal plant spewing black smoke, creating acid rain - or maybe the user will see the wire leading to the battery pack, or fuel cell, which is always being recharged by a photovoltaic or wind generator.  We may also see developments soon with "Zero point" energy from the vacuum, or cold fusion.  A solar panel, or wind mill once considered an ugly asymmetrical wart, will now be seen as a beautiful servant.  Sewer plants once hidden away, will become friends that put out clean water, and we will all be mindful of how much gets flushed.  Or maybe it will be a plant right in the back yard like the old septic or cisterns.   Water won't just appear magically out of a faucet and disappear down the drain.  The system will be shown as an equal passing through rooms from its connection to the street and ultimately to a reservoir a hundred miles away, fed by a watershed...  Or maybe it will come from a storage tank where rain water is stored and filtered right on the same acre of land.

Unplug from centralized Economy!  Ok Geoff, why economy?   Well its only what most of us worry about 75% of our waking hours. Isn't it possible that our home would reflect that somehow?    There have been years of increasing disparity between real workers who add value and the top managers and owners who accumulate most of the profit.  For example while the bank teller salary hasn't grown over 10 years, the bank managers receive hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.    One reason for this has been the "Globalization" of Corporations allowing labor to be easily imported into the US avoiding certain national laws, taxes, or the exporting of labor to third world countries.  This equilibration between "First World" and "Third World" countries has to eventually happen - as we recall the image of life in the futuristic "Star Trek" series, where no one worried about their personal wealth, health care or retirement.   However agreements such as NAFTA have resulted more in the ability of the few corporate conglomerates to acquire minerals and companies in developing countries, adding to the "Centralization".  Oil companies get bigger, controlling the production, refining, distribution and retailing.  As countries need IMF loans, they are forced to privatize allowing these companies to come in and acquire, acquire, acquire.  What was once available to the population from non-profit, now becomes harder and more expensive to get. A great gulf has developed between the "haves" and the "have nots".  The disparity has to be adjusted. It will be adjusted.  If not voluntarily by those wealthy accumulators, or by decree by the president, it will be by revolution.  This "Decentralization" is  happening, but just starting and we, as architects should be reflecting it in our work.  The "Powers that Be", (PTB) will resist, proposing population control, gun control, farm control, livestock control, vitamin and herb control, education and so on, centralizing all of it along with religion.  They are the elitists, thinking or bred to believe they have a divine right or responsibility to govern the masses. 

As we watch Hedge Funds collapse we can it as a metaphor for other collapses.  Quick intense nutrition, quick weight loss, the quick profit using high leverage, quick fast weight training,  can be painful when it ends.  The best way to build bodily, economic and spiritual wealth of any type is slowly and methodically.  The guys who had tax free government bonds didn't lose anything.  Highly leveraged risk may work out if you have some kind of advantage, but ultimately it will hurt someone - maybe not you, but someone will lose if you win- as in any gambling casino

Ultimately individuals have to feel that it's worth while to get up and be creative, dig up some dirt, refine out the metals, plastics, invent products, promote them, sell them, and hire production equipment or be one of the many "workers" who make them.  Too many don't have that - feeling more like unappreciated slaves who need a second job just to get by.
Note for "Ideal House":  Everyone should have a first love or hobby and space is needed for it.  Maybe in the Gaage, Basement, Attic, but somewhere.  Everyone should have a cottage industry, a craft, a home office where they can work on the need for income.  Homes should be as inexpensive to maintain, heat, cool, insure, and they should be as small as possible to avoid taxes.  Homes may also need built in secret safes.  We have been asked to do that.   The process of waking up might also be something to be enhanced.  I think of "Rocky" getting up at 4:00 AM to run in Philadelphia. 
Unplug from centralized Religion:  When very few take control of the many, whether it is economically, politically, or religiously, the many become exploited, and can lose hope, start to contract.  For that reason, the "Powers that Be" (PTB), have encouraged religious hope in a supernatural savior or messiah, who will eventually set things right.  That hope can keep them going.  

Throughout history,  Emperors, World leaders have partnered with the religious for that reason - to keep individuals from sinking into despair.  They also might allow certain daily or weekly pleasures in life. They may also enable addiction to cigarettes, drugs, pornography, fast food, other vices, setting up that daily Pavlovian cycle.  There have been a few examples where this hope was removed - Soviet Union, Marxist societies.   But they also lost the hope of fulfilling a  dream, becoming well to do, as everything was owned by the State.

We have had a few excellent films spark much needed conversation and challenge paradigms.  One helped show the absurdity of certain extreme religions (Thanks Bill Maher for "Religulous").  There are many who see what is happening as part of the "Last Days" before a great "singularity" miraculously rescues the worthy.  Maybe it will be a supernatural rapture, maybe just intervention, maybe a strong dictator like emperor who will restore some oversight and regulation.   Most of the major religions have a theme along the lines of the Catastrophic consequences of sin, and the supernatural savior to come.  So maybe we can just sit and wait for him - especially where, at first glance, problems seem overwhelming and it doesn't seem there's much we can do ourselves.  I think as time goes on, this very large group of religions, 2012 ers, will dwindle and Humanity will come to its senses and get organized and serious about tackling these issues. This trend is starting with the Green Movement, Alternative renewable pollution free energy, Earth friendly Sustainable design. 

Most of these traditional religious beliefs, which are based on sacred texts, are due to the passages being read as  literal historical facts, rather than myths that were meant to be allegorical.  This isn't unintended.  Certain powerful elite through the ages wanted or needed to control the masses.  They gathered stories and myths originally told or written to help individuals through a process of self enlightenment, and rewrote them as factual.  As the stories were re-written and then tweaked over the centuries, the purpose was to place between the common man and "God" certain special "Priests", "Mullahs", "Rabbis" etc.    Once these stories were codified and adjusted to structure the masses under the hierarchy of priests in association with their emperors, presidents, on the political side, the bankers followed suit, setting up central banks everywhere as clearing houses so they would get a cut of every loan interest payment.

The problem is that so many of the problems, conflicts, hatred is based on the part of our brain that wants to think we are the only ones that know what's really going on.  "Only our religion is true", and "God wants us to help make everyone else convert or die a horrible death".  So all of us, while concerned about being architect, builders, suppliers, can't help but realize that much of what troubles us can be blamed on extreme greed of some kind, be it religious, or economic.  There are things we can do to express and challenge those paradigms. 

I also appreciate Michael Moore's "Sicko" and others.  Deepak Chopra,
Wayne Dyer, and others come to mind - all trying to help individuals unlearn the dogma of the past and turn inward to the potential within.  Maybe Michael Moore will do a movie on this historic economic crisis and get to the root if it, selfishness.   These writers, speakers, and film makers,  might still refer to the same stories, but remind us that they were originally meant to help illustrate a path to enlightenment of the individual, and were not meant to be applied to large groups by men setting themselves up as intermediaries.  How can house design respond?
Note for "Ideal House": Each should switch from Cable to Satelite Dish.  I've always loved antennas.  The idea that something invisible passes through the air, is caught, redirected, amplified, converted to sound waves in the air, and understood.  Lets uncover the connections, and design some cool antennas.  The idea is to express the occupants direct connection to the source.

Why does all this occur to me in the context of this financial mess?  Its because many of these Hedge Fund managers, Big bank securitization experts were acting with no moral or ethical concerns.  They were guided only by the potential short term profit.  They knew about the toxic potential and the probability that these instruments would crash in value.  This is known because they bought insurance policies called Credit Default Swaps from AIG.  Once they did that, - and maybe did it a few dozen times more - like someone making claims for health care expenses to 30 insurance companies, not just one - they proceeded to short the companies and help created the disasters.  So we all need some reason to be good boys and girls, and too often, if they think there is no God, and its every man for him or herself, there is no need for morality.  The answer to this now ties into the Green Movement.  Even if there are some who believe that there is no "God", - no need to fear the fires of Hell, does that mean we become "Hedonistic"?  Whether there is a God and a "Moral Imperative" or not, humans may have evolved a moral component as part of a realization that they could succeed as a species best if they acknowledged the necessity of cooperating as a team, working together, specializing in skills, relying on each other, thinking about the guy down stream before polluting it upstream.  By reconnecting the apparently separate individuals in their apparently separate houses to each other and to the source of everything they need to survive, such as water, air, food, originating and returning to the natural source, we can refresh and rejuvenate this moral component.
Note for "Ideal House":  If people do start weaning themselves of the feeling that they have to go to Church, Synagogue, Mosque, and start to find the common denominator, mediate and pray at home, shouldn't the house respond? Everyone needs a quite private closet or small room where they can center, focus, read, pray etc.

The other benefit to this line of thinking is that we get rid of those few who have placed themselves in positions of authority and through whom we are supposed to communicate with the "Source".  Similarly, we should get rid of the central banks, allow more lending to take place locally, close to the original asset, and let the market place dictate interest rates, money supply etc.  How does that affect us as architects? 
Note for "Ideal House":  Well one way is to use local indigenous or manufactured materials, that don't have to be trucked over long distances.  To cut down energy bills with simple decisions about insulation, heating, shower  heads.  To restore the ability and connection of occupants to the sun, wind, water, earth - directly, not through a central distribution system.  Making home growing and storing of food easier, building reliable easily cleaned juicers into the kitchen, providing for home schooling and continuing ed via the internet. 

If one does slowly push aside their former reliance on others as intermediaries for a supernatural savior or messiah, or the natural, minerals, oil, energy, water etc that he or she created, and we reconnect directly, or remind ourselves through representations of the portions that we cannot directly experience, we can free ourselves.    We can acknowledge our own compassion for others, and our potential to become conscious of higher purposes and the ways we are connected to each other and to creation.  It may well be that there is a "Quantum" connection that will be discovered, explaining why "Intercessory Prayer" can work, and how some seem almost miraculously creative.
Note for "Ideal House":  There will be more need to take in homeless family members, other guests for extended periods.  small Suites, Bedrooms with Baths and Kitchenettes, separate entries, although many of these "Mother - Daughter"s would require Zoning Approval as they might affect parking, etc.  Basements and attics should have egress windows.

With respect to the Religious Dogma, and the purpose men had for it - setting them selves up in positions of power over the masses, scaring them with the possibility of eternal suffering in Hell, some have started to expose it for what it is.   Joseph Campbell (Interviewed by Bill Moyers Journal and still available on DVD) wrote a great deal trying to expose this. 
More research is coming out regarding various beliefs prevailing at the time of Jesus Christ's life.  It appears now that major events thought to be unique in his life's were already being told relative to the lives of similar personages from hundreds and thousands of years earlier.     I've been reading others, including DM Murdock Aka Achayra.   
"Acharya S, who is highly respected as a multi-lingual researcher who goes back to the source for her writings.  She has just completed another book, but has many of her thoughts and articles available for free on her website:

With Easter approaching, the following is a relevant small snip where she shows that Jesus Christ with his
many miracles may have been a mythological figure written into the Bible - created by the Roman Emperor to unify the many areas of the Empire, and propagated later by the organized church - Holy Roman Empire, to control the masses.
Speaking of the Sun god, Horus, an Egyptian - who lived thousands of years earlier,  Acharya reminds us that: 
  a.. Horus was born on "December 25th" (winter solstice) in a manger.
  b.. He was of royal descent, and his mother was the "virgin Isis-Mery."
  c.. Horus's birth was announced by a star in the East and attended by three "wise men."
  d.. At age 12, he was a child teacher in the Temple, and at 30, he was baptized.
  e.. Horus was baptized by "Anup the Baptizer," who was decapitated.
  f.. The Egyptian god had 12 companions, helpers or disciples.
  g.. Horus performed miracles, exorcised demons and raised Osiris from the dead.
  h.. The god walked on water.
  i.. Horus was "crucified" between two "thieves."
  j.. He (or Osiris) was buried for three days in a tomb and resurrected.
  k.. Horus/Osiris was also the "Way, the Truth, the Life," "Messiah," the "Son of Man," the "Good Shepherd," the "Lamb of God," the "Word made flesh," the "Word of Truth," etc.
  l.. Horus's personal epithet was "Iusa," the "ever-becoming son" of the Father. He was called "Holy Child," as well as "the Anointed One," while Osiris was the KRST.
  m.. Horus battled with the "evil one," Set/Seth.
  n.. Horus was to reign for one thousand years.
While it is at first shocking that the story was based on other similar Sun Gods from
thousands of years earlier, one should not throw out all of the valuable truths taught through such myths.  In other words, the original stories were written for good reasons to help teach important lessons.  They may have ripped off the earlier Egyptian Religious leaders, but those stories, "Pagan" in origin, were man's best effort to rationalize life after death - that something continues, requiring a theology, using Nature and Astrology.  These actually were meant as guide posts to a process of self discovery revealing various degrees of consciousness any of us can achieve if we can overcome or regulate our sensual Material surroundings, and rule our animal nature, appetites etc.
Note for "Ideal House":  The Geometry may now respond to Astro-theological diagrams, rather than the illusion of a 3d Cartesian Coordinate System - up /down, front / back, left / right, the house should probably reflect the sphere of the earth, - in / our, relative angles relative to north, the Divine Proportion, Gravity, Electromagnetism, invisible fields, Agricultural seasons, the solstaces, where certain alignments would happen only for an hour or two a year (Reference the genius in the cathedrals of the Middle Ages)  - At risk of offence, - all we have to do is what the Catholic Architecture did - follow the Pagan origins.  But seriously, can or should a home reflect the truth?  That truth is that life is a process of overcoming the obvious material appetites, and turnin inward, becoming conscious of your body, mind, thoughts, the process of consciousness, per Deepak Chopra's notion of the various levels to be achieved?  The chakras of the body, vibration, spirals, scolls and serpentine patterns of energy flowing?

In Summary:  Architecture doesn't try to be all things, and express this type of thing, but it can and should express the times we are in.  We will look back at these decades as times when humans broke free of hundreds or thousands of years of false absolutism with respect to religion, but also with respect to money, the creation of the earth, how we came to be in existence, and that very notion of recognizing the truth about how reliant we are on each other, not on the fact that a messiah is coming to lift us up into the clouds while he assassinates everyone else - this interconnectedness of individual humans (and their homes) with each other and natural systems  will be expressed, not hidden anymore between the walls and under the ground.

By using the word "Expressed" I'm not talking about symbols, but a functional real appropriate manifestation of how these systems in our body are connected and reliant on Natural systems shared by all.   

When you think about it, all we can do as Humans is move muscles and think.  Everything we see around us is the result of digging up dirt, refining it, fashioning the material, or harvesting trees, food etc.  How does this help us? We need humility, yet to remember that we are the masters - the parents of mother earth.  She relys on us in her old age to be kind and comfort her.

More coming.