Codification of Ritual in Design

By A. Katherine Bambrick Ambroziak.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: May 26, 2016 $US5.00

Ritual theory offers insight into architectural conceptions of spatial composition, aesthetics, human association, and memory. Its topical study reveals methods of critical thinking that focus on process and action that relate behavior and sensory perception to cultural influences and environmental conditions. Ritual actions are value laden and are dependent on culture and place to convey their authenticity. As participatory spatial constructs designed and performed to illicit specific responses, they present a form of behavioral communication and shape communal and familial identity. Taken from its oftentimes assumed religious or primal context, when ritual performance or gesture occurs within ordinary experience, contemporary theory under the heading of phenomenology becomes more readily accessible. By raising awareness and opportunities to observe and engage, participants gain a greater physiological understanding of their context and are more likely to retain subconscious memory of these sensory experiences. This research looks at various interdisciplinary theories and cultural perspectives on ritual and relates them to designed experiential practices (praxes) meant to call attention to behavioral aspects of ritual and the body’s role in the generation of memory. The paper concludes with case study examples of application in community, academic, and professional design contexts.

Keywords: Ritual, Critical Analysis, Praxis, Design Application

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 10, Issue 3, December, 2016, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: May 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.409MB)).

A. Katherine Bambrick Ambroziak

Assistant Professor, College of Architecture and Design, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA