Larry’s Party Fun! Raising
Representatives from: Prairie Garden, Creative Retirement, Manitoba Recreational Trails Association, Cloutier Drive Residents Association, Winnipeg Trails Association, Group'Action Saint Norbert, St. Norbert Foundation, and Manitoba Labyrinth Network helped launch the Larry’s Party Fun! Raising Campaign.
With Creative Retirement at Grosvenor School
At Riverview Health Centre
Projects Faculty of Architecture,
A few of us had the rare privilege of observing the first year students in the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba while they presented their labyrinth projects. We were impressed by how well the projects reflected the labyrinth philosophy considering the students only had two and half weeks to complete their projects. The two dimensional labyrinth models that we saw reflected a careful consideration for the creation of a meditative space which took into consideration the affects of light, sound, color and touch in offering opportunities for self discovery, reflection, tranquility and stress relief in their labyrinth environments.
Some students focused on the labyrinth myth of Theseus and the Minotaur as inspiration for their labyrinths. One labyrinth had pathways that mimicked Ariadne's thread. Often labyrinths remind us of energy connections rising above the earth. This labyrinth evoked a visual reminder of an energy sphere reaching into the depths of the earth. This labyrinth offered an opportunity to enter the labyrinth pathway or to avoid the pathway and walk underneath Ariadne's thread.
The students concentrated on nurturing the public aspects of the spaces while creating complimentary meditative spaces within the labyrinths. One of the projects used multi-coloured panels to lead you to a pure white centre. The thoughtful progression of semi-open space to translucent walls and then to an enclosed centre gradually allows the participant to gradually move away from the outside world into the reflective space.
Many of the labyrinths featured water as a soothing feature or as a reflection of self. Most of the labyrinths tried to incorporate natural materials. Even names such as: Serendipity, Urban Oasis, Solar Convergence, Unravelling, and Fortress of Solitude captured our imagination. But the most important aspect of the presentations were the questions: What would persuade someone to enter your labyrinth? What pulls people toward the destination? How does the labyrinth reveal itself? And the most important question of all: What is a labyrinth? This got us thinking! Did our definition need revision? What makes a labyrinth different than a spiral?
Had we missed a key element? The change of direction? So we shanged our description of a labyrinth be that it is a walking pattern with one pathway that changes direction as it leads you to the centre. The same pathway spirals you back outward to share what you have learned with the world.
Thank you first year architecture students for taking us deeper into the labyrinth, allowing us to see it in a myriad of different ways. What a gift you have given us!