How Looking At ‘Contemplative’ Architecture Could Be A Form Of Meditation

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A new study out of the Catholic University of America (CUA) suggests that architecture has a measurable effect on the mental states of onlookers.

Yes, architects have long been attempting to point out this fact. Philip Johnson in particular stated that “all architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” But now some respected members of the scientific community are in on the game too.

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CUA professor Julio Bermudez and a team of researchers from the University of Utah compiled “fMRI Study of Architecturally-Induced Contemplative States,” a study that sought to explore whether or not a building designed for contemplation — be it a museum, a church or a library — can stimulate brain activity similar to that of meditation. In essence, Bermudez and his team sought to investigate whether or not external phenomena like architecture could induce a meditative state similar to that achieved by “internally-induced (self-directed) methods.”

To do so, researchers brought together a rather specific group of 12 white, right-handed, male architects with no previous experience meditating, and asked them to review images of buildings while undergoing an fMRI scan. —> Read More Here


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