Architecture of Jubilation

Jan 1 1974 • Posted in Uncategorized

I wrote Architecture of Jubilation in 1974. It is still helping to guide my work today.
~James Hubbell

Architecture of Jubilation - drawing by James Hubbell

It is my belief that we are passing through a gate from one age to another perhaps more profound than the changes medieval man faced with the rise of Humanism and the age we call the Renaissance. We have spent the last five hundred years trying to understand the world by dividing it into parts. We are now at the task of putting our world back together. We are seeking a vision of a whole world, with ourselves as part of the whole.

Let me describe to you a world we are entering, a world where equality is seen not as sameness but as uniqueness. Here time is viewed not as ends and goals but as process, with moments to be savored, not separated from past and future. This is a world where matter and energy are understood as inseparable and where God is as at home in a cup of coffee as in the stars. In our new world, survival will be measured not by control or force but by sympathy and understanding. Technology has made morality no longer an option but the only path away from self-extinction. Architecture, what we build, must now reflect this sympathy and understanding many aspects of aging like the 20 Tips for Adding More Protein Into a Senior’s Diet.

Have you ever watched the millions of stars in the sky on a moonless night, or seen the wind waver through a field of grass, or noticed the dust at play in a shaft of light, or felt the warmth of another’s hand, someone you cared for? This is where architecture must come from. Architecture must take measure of all that it is to be human in a world that is whole. It must take count of our galaxy and of a smile and somehow learn to interpret and express our new world in walls, doors and roofs.

It is not that economics and function are not important but that they no longer express the whole man. They no longer express who we believe ourselves to be. We must add our love, our history, and our metaphysics. We must add the wind, the sun and the call of the hills. Our buildings must learn to express all that we contain, for now we are a whole world.

I have heard astronomers talk about the music of the spheres. I have heard this music described as a song of jubilation. Perhaps this is a word for our coming age, a time of coming together, of coming back to the whole.

We need an Architecture of Jubilation to sing of it!

Excerpted from a self-published collection of poems and essays: Architecture of Jubilation: The Poetry of Our Lives and What We May Choose To Build by James Hubbell (2001).


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