Natali Sheldon



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Faculty Sponsor

Suining Ding


Visual Communication and Design


The purpose of this project is to create a space where individuals can intentionally seek an encounter with God, as well as worship, pray, and reflect upon themselves. Often it is hard to find an ideal place where one can relax, focus and meditate upon specific aspects of life. This space is meant for those who seek to encounter a spiritual experience or merely a meditation experience that allows personal growth. Not only must the design address the issues at hand, but it also must address a specific set of requirements. First and foremost, the design had to evoke an atmospheric intervention to create the most ideal environment for the issues that it is pursuing to address. Research had to be conducted to investigate how to address the intended goals for the experiential nature of the space. The primary function had to allow for an atmospheric experience that aided the purpose of the building. Specific standards such as ADA codes, occupancy levels and circulation had to be addressed in the project. To obtain the necessary information for this design, a questionnaire was developed and given to a handful of people. These people were of all different backgrounds, however they all shared the connection of religion. A series of questions were asked about how each individual seeks to encounter God, as well as how the space influences that experience. Additionally, information in regards to incorporating nature was obtained by visiting sites that possessed unique elements of nature. Observations of the conditions, lighting, colors, sounds, textures and effects on the senses were recorded to discover how to best create a peaceful and meditative atmosphere. According to the results, people experience more of a closeness with spirituality when everything is still, quiet and peaceful. This atmosphere that is created within the space helps reduce distractions so that the person can block out the world and focus on God, and it prepares the mind and relaxes the body so that a successful encounter with God will likely occur. Solitude is a key part in creating an ideal space for these people to connect or encounter God. Therefore, specific areas in both the garden and the building were added to accommodate one’s desire to be in solitude. Gathering spaces were also added for those that desire to share their experiences with others. Nature, such as water features, ivy, daylight and potted plants were incorporated into the design to assist in creating a quiet peaceful environment. The overall goal of this design is to provide a safe peaceful space that allows individuals to grow, connect, worship, reflect, meditate and pray. In order to achieve this goal, the space was creatively designed to allow separate spaces for those who wish to be in solitude, as well as common spaces that everyone can enjoy. Additionally, elements of nature and intentional sensory design were incorporated into the space. Therefore, a peaceful and serene atmosphere was created to evoke a spiritual connection or experience.

The Meditation Center