Exploring history is analogous to design work.  You need to work at different levels.  Focus on detailed tasks, but also stay aware of the bigger picture, the social and cultural context, the technologies of the day.

Project Soane and Notre-Dame soaked up hours, days, months, years. Fantastic experiences, but we also need the view from 40 thousand feet. That’s where the massing families come in, and the collection files.  Stand back and look at 40 or 50 different religious buildings.  Group them in different ways.  Develop taxonomies like the relationships of fruit and vegetable from my 2012 studies. 


Temples and Churches are houses for Gods. Those gods are pinnacles of meaning. They sit on top of Hierarchies of value. They signal to us when we are straying from the path. I don’t believe in the god of my childhood. That is part of being modern. But when one God dies, another God is born in some dark corner of our brain chemistry. Because patterns of meaning require…

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