Ritual in architecture and the New England Holocaust Memorial (Massachusetts)
Asofsky, David Dorosh
Master of Architecture
Space is created not only by fixing forms but also by performing certain activities. The latter sort of space becomes most evident during ritual performances--the dances, games, and even battles through which cultures order the world and assert their beliefs. The spaces created by such rituals are temporary, existing only at the time and place of the performances. The power of such spaces, however, and their effect on the participants, have allowed some ritual spaces to survive far longer then any of the fixed, supposedly permanent constructions that have housed them. There is an architecture in ritual activities, made evident by the combined use of choreography and costume. Choreography outlines the movements of a ritual, and costumes provide vehicles through which the bodies of participants create ritual space. Considering the integration of these two elements is essential when designing architecture tied to ritual.