Archetypal Symbology and The Design of Place

Design thinking deep metaphors

When I was working as a brand / design strategist at Procter & Gamble, on brand innovation, I’d partnered with a closely-aligned colleague there,
Iain Douglas.
Archetypal Symbology and The Design of Place

We talked about, and worked on, the layering of ideas — of stories, of myths and mind, of what lies beneath the superficially obvious, and what could be deeper, more powerful, the semblance of an idea on the surface that could be a mere flickering of deeper thinking, the depth of psychic place — where dreams, imagery and imagination intertwine like knots, cinched tight in the crucible of invention.
We looked for deep metaphor in the mind of the user, the P&G community member — someone who “buys” P&G products. We followed Zaltman’s premise — go deep, to where dreams and inspirations influence choice.

I think about everything metaphorically, poetically or one might proffer, symbolically.

And I think about place, made from space, symbolically.

When you walk into a place, what is really being said — what is the layering of the designed experience?
A map of mind?
A map of space?
A chart of the cosmos?

Archetypal Symbology and The Design of Place

Ancient mind thought about these things in this way — the idea of a place wasn’t just — “a place.”

There was more to it, a deeper, and higher cause to the concept. Dome — a construction of, an earthbound drafting of heaven. Wall and portals — the way of east, south, west, north — sun doors and gateways to new horizons, promises, potentials; the chimney, the spirit path.

To each idea of place, a higher line of thinking. The depth of these applications could be studied in my first leap, Dr. Eisler‘s “World Mantle and Heaven Tent.”
With that, I’d jumped to Architecture, Nature & Magic and Architectural Symbolism.

Look around.
If your hold on to the concept of environment and experience, sitting in your place, walking through a door, looking up to an atrium, a portal, and oculus, sitting at a fireplace, being in a domed room, in other times, these were exemplars of higher ideals.

Like the bolt that I’m holding, — a square with a hole in it.
To the ancient designer, symbol-maker, architectural planner, this would be “the circle of heaven, the square of earth.”

In anything, contemplate that idea — that where you are, the place that you are in, can have layers of import, power, symbolic intimation, cosmical symbolism of 1000s of years ago.

To understand anything, origins to that any thing,
can be a relevant exercise in study.



Happiness experience design, storytelling + brand