Evocation of the Head and Brain in Old Vaulted Buildings

Evocation of the Head and Brain in Old Vaulted Buildings

C. Lewis Kausel 

Mount Ida College, Newton, MA, USA

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This article explores some analogies in form that may exist between the human shape – especially the head and upper torso, and also including the brain – and architectural elements found in old historic, vaulted buildings. The plausibility of these analogies is supported herein mainly with the aid of original drawings by the author and relies on the visual logic of elements in the language of design rather than the abstract methods of science. Thus, the conjectured interpretations illustrated in this article are meant as visions of an artist working at the boundaries between art and architectural design, rather than as incontrovertible principles of engineering science. Admittedly, the parallels that we claim are observable in vaulted spaces may not necessarily be obvious to all readers, and it is also clear to us that the analogy, however repetitive, does not have a universal expression in space and time. Still, within the domain of applicability to old historic buildings considered in this essay, the interpretations advanced herein are likely to interest readers with keen artistic sensitivity, and also shed some light into the creation of constructed artifacts and their assimilation by the cultural psyche.


fundamental aesthetic image, human brain morphology in design, nature’s shelter.


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