October 20, 2014

How (Actual) Doorways help us Embrace Transitions.

Peggy Markel

Doorways are transitions.

They are a good exercise for groundlessness and not getting too comfortable.

Going from here to there through a threshold is refreshing.

Opening or closing a door is a reminder that nothing is permanent. Not the opening or the closing. Like the seasons and going from daylight to darkness, change is constant.

We can take refuge through a doorway or we can feel trapped by one.

The Roman god Janus was the god of doors and doorways, and also the god of beginnings, endings, transitions, gates, gateways and time. Doors still symbolize all of these elements today.

Doorways in Renaissance Florence can signify our smallness in regards to the greatness of the divine.

Indian doorways are decorated with various talismans to keep unseen evil spirits from coming in. Perhaps it can also cleanse us of bringing our own negativity in through the door.

As architects program spaces and consider the circulation between functional spaces, it is vital for them to holistically consider the meaning of passage between these spaces. The individual spaces are fairly easy to make sense of, but the challenge is to tie everything together. Architecture can help map out the individual events of life and make sense of everything as a unified whole.

Children, who are not programmed to think of spaces as separate functions, will always choose the path that is more interesting. Ever wonder why a child will choose to trample through the leaves rather than walk on the sidewalk? It is innate human nature to seek the more interesting path.

In times of transition, let’s be like children and choose the more interesting path. It will be more fun and not confine us to doom, but rather an opportunity to live in the open question. Am I coming or going?

Here are some examples of what “door power” is all about.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Peggy Markel

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Peggy Markel  |  Contribution: 9,690