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Title: Harbours for the spirit : escaping the mounting chaos beyond
Authors: Manduca, John (2019)
Keywords: Cities and towns -- Malta
Spirituality -- Malta
Mental health -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Manduca, J. (2019). Harbours for the spirit: escaping the mounting chaos beyond (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: This dissertation is concerned with a pressing topic that is at the forefront of the minds of many Maltese people. In recent years, Malta has seen a rapid increase in urbanization with ever-increasing portions of the growing population residing in urban areas. As a result, our cities are becoming larger, denser, and more chaotic. Together with this fact, a noticeable shift in paradigm has occurred; from that of quaint and humble island life, to a life in constant pursuit of ‘progress’ and ‘development’. Our lifestyles have therefore become more hectic and jam-packed, with the veneration towards money at an all-time high. As a result, we are left with urban environments which are arid, barren and soul-impoverishing. This leaves us vulnerable to the ailments of contemporary life in dense urban areas, as the spirit can no longer find havens within which to reside and replenish itself. Studies reiterate this fact, demonstrating that mental burden and duress are directly correlated to level of urbanization. Therefore, how can architecture help abate or even remedy these ailments? l This dissertation argues for creation of harbours for the spirit within these affected areas, as one possible avenue of solution. These spaces offer protection to the spirit from the harmful and lifesapping urban environments which we have created for ourselves, whilst also allowing for a mental detox to take place. Processes of psychological healing and a re-kindling of the spirit can take place through allowing people to momentarily escape the “mounting chaos beyond” and become transported to “a less troubled world of the mind”; a world removed from mundane reality. Harbours for the spirit are spaces which are defined by their ability to nourish people through a meaningful engagement of the senses. Through careful, sensitive and loving design, these spaces are able to stimulate the senses in a harmonious and healing manner, thus alleviating an over-stimulated psyche. Instances of respite enjoyed within these harbours act as momentary periods of quality in a world of so much quantity. This points to the effectiveness of such a solution: it only takes a few special moments to have a huge impact. Combatting spiritual deficiencies must have untold benefits for people. Quality of life is a measurement that usually dismisses the spiritual dimension as a contributing factor. However, this dimension is an essential aspect of the human condition and must be tended to in order for people to truly flourish and not just survive. We do not live by bread alone.
Description: M.ARCH.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacBen - 2019
Dissertations - FacBenAUD - 2019

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