This morning I had a mild epiphany in regards to my thesis. Over the weeks of December I was thinking about the core concepts of the thesis: stratified overgrowth as a condition/process which allows for "rituals/rites of passage" to happen and whereby transcending our level of experience through this narrative of "ritual". And it can only happen in a "landscape of ruin." I wrote in my thesis proposal that I am not designing a rite of passage, rather that I am designing for a rite of passage.
Back in December during our thesis proposal review, I was challenged with the question of what rituals/rites of passage do I want people to engage with in this landscape. Was it to be for passing from one status to the next (child to adult, single to married)?
From that perspective, I was uncomfortable with the notion that I was designing for, let's say, a marriage ritual. And this thinking cannot conform (easily) to transcending one's level of experience. I do not wish to force things to fit. I feel that Goethe's three levels of experience is absolutely essential in knowing this possible landscape, not just experiencing it. Therefore, perhaps I should be more aggressive, but not forceful, of the idea that I am designing a ritual in that I want people to transcend their way of knowing the world through this landscape. Existing rituals do not exist for this purpose, unless one is to consider going to a mountaintop and not eating for three days straight as they await an epiphany. It is unrealistic for the layman to engage in such a determination of will, as the precedent for embarking with the mountaintop ritual is usually done by a person with an already high level of (Goethean) experience. Therefore, I must design for spaces of incremental significance and then spaces that test the occupant so they may continue on to greater challenges.