Design, Symbol, Rite, Iconography
KEEPING THE MEMORY of the capsule
alive for 1000 years is a redoubtable challenge. One approach
is to keep the capsule on display - as reliquaries, statues,
paintings and tapestries have been in churches since time
immemorial. But for this, the capsule must, in addition to
high esthetic interest, be endowed with or acquire a significance
that transcends the meaning of a simple time capsule containing
some items which in themselves may neither command nor deserve
the veneration paid to reliquaries and other such religious
objects. Another approach is to bury it into the ground outside
under some marker, or inside under a slab also properly identified
directly and in records. No matter where it is placed, however,
its location is of course critical to its safety from plunderers,
looters and vandals.
We have addressed these problems
in several ways.
We propose a capsule that, in its design, structure and proportions,
is an embodiment of traditional knowledge such as that found
in sacred geometry. We thereby endow it with a high esthetic
appeal and capture the essence of some fundamental ideas which
have given birth to, or sustained throughout the ages, some
of the most profound speculations in philosophy, science and
religion. The container then becomes content, notwithstanding
its payload, metamorphosing into The Millennium Sphere:
"Sound, matter and light are united in it to celebrate
a single energy willed into harmony."
We have chosen placements and markers within the cathedral
architecture that add symbolic meaning to The Millennium
We propose to endow The Millennium Sphere with a
periodic ritual or liturgy that resonates with some of the
themes held in high regardby the religious, civic and cultural
community of the cathedral and the wider community of city,
nation and world at large.
We propose to circulate a large number of icons of The
Millennium Sphere at regular intervals dictated by the
on images to view larger version]
Nave interior view
go to the "Ad Quadratum Construction and Study of Regular
The realization of our project
is therefore the result of the interplay, within the framework
of the location previously mentioned, of three fundamental
PHYSICAL ELEMENT - The Millennium Sphere,
containing in its core the capsule of selected material for
transmittal, 1000 years hence, to whomever will be there to
receive it - but uplifted through design into a material harmony:
a hymn in metal.
SYMBOLIC ELEMENT - A symbolic representation within
the architectural setting to unambiguously point to the presence
of The Millennium Sphere and integrate it within
the place and its tradition.
RITUALISTIC ELEMENT - A rite that binds, through language
and gesture, the collective memory of The Millennium Sphere
to the powerful truths alive in the human heart. For "beyond
everything else, [it is] the urgency of language - active
power, forever animating, initiating, and creating" that
will sustain the millennial rite and its memory.
We now turn to consideration
of each of these elements. Because the liturgy is the bond
that unites The Millennium Sphere to the living community
of which it will be part, it is best to start by looking first
at the rite to be associated with the sphere.
Millennium Sphere views