Sunday, February 27, 2011


Passageways mark our transitions from one place to another.
In architecture they are arches, doorways, entrances, opening, foyers, gates, lobbies, or porches. They bring awareness that we are making a transition.

We may each be going through our own transitions; embarking on a new job, beginning a marriage, or ending one, going off to college, becoming a parent, moving into a new house or to a new city. Our lives are made up of many transitions all pieced together.

There are so many conflicting feelings that are attached to these passageways: fear, anxiety, possibly excitement, and hopefulness. We often feel a combination of emotions as we are passing through to what is unfamiliar, and that may bring confusing discomfort and veiled uneasiness.

Aware of our own apprehension, we strive to make our passageways inviting, unique, and memorable.

They should be to scale. When passages are massive and overwhelming, they do not take into account the human scale. In essence they fail to acknowledge the human spirit. That can make us feel too small and powerless. Instead, a doorway needs to invite us through feeling safe, and able to walk through with confidence and certainty.

Passageways should be inviting and interesting. While we have our conventional doors and standard opening sizes, why not redefine those? Still marking our transition, a door can be surprising in size or unexpected in shape. This invites our attention and coaxes us to pass through.

And lastly, passageways should pay homage to the transition. When we try to ignore the reality of our transition, we awkwardly stumble with its abruptness. Our awareness of the change that is upon us, recognizing its significance, and understanding our trepidation helps us to welcome the passage.

Whatever passage you might be approaching, make it memorable.

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