Silent retreats’ rising popularity poses a challenge: How to handle the quiet
It has been exactly one week since the completion of third year final reviews, and suddenly the above article has somehow managed to change my position regarding our most recent project.
We were assigned to design a retreat for the medical community of Des Moines in the rural glory of Madison County, Iowa. While searching for a starting point, my partner and I decided that a series of informal conversations with members of the community would be our best bet. Through these conversations, we found that several members would not use such a opportunity. Perhaps they were realists, or work driven, or even unacquainted with the advantages that a retreat project typology could offer. However, we found that making the first move for a project that would ultimately be rendered meaningless by those intended to utilize the space was by far one of the most challenging problem settings for attempted solution we had taken on yet. Each step throughout the process had me wondering if we could, through design, reverse the almost non-existant value placed on solitude and retreat, specific to Des Moines. At first, I wasn't so sure.
Boorstein's writing makes me understand that such a reversal of opinion, regarding retreat, may actually be possible. Such a shift is already apparent elsewhere.
- jazz enthusiast