There are points in our lives when one experiences a profound feeling of belonging and connection to the world. This might be found standing on a beach and staring out to sea; or reaching the top of a mountain and staring in awe at the view. In these moments the power and integrity of the world leaves one feeling invigorated and uplifted, one becomes buoyant with the sudden sensation of being connected to nature.
This feeling, the quality of nature, can also be influenced by architecture. As an immersive environment, architecture has the power to affect how we perceive our place in the world and the feeling of standing in awe in a cathedral will be recognised by many as a similar uplifting experience.
The connection to nature can easily be imagined. It is an immediate gripping sensation in which one can sense the inherent rightness and beauty of the world. Feeling it, a sense of the awesomeness of the world stills my mind and I feel uplifted, alive.
My Masters project explored this concept of the sublime and the link between architecture and one's image of nature. For my PhD I plan to discuss this as a possible language for an ecological architecture where emotive architectural presence could be seen as a compliment to a building's sustainable credentials. The experience of the sublime will be considered as will the concept of the image of the environment.