Zoë Latham


This research argues for a re-conceptualisation and extension of place within architectural praxis that is reflective of broader discussions of meaning and environmental experience. This study examines the alignment between place and ritual theory as a way to better understand phenomenon that inform a greater connectivity between embodied and meaningful experiences with the environment. This will be explored through the act of fly fishing. Fly-fishing is relevant as the focus of the study owing in part to the author’s own experience as a fly angler. The relationship between the act of fly fishing, being part of nature and being in the world is meaningful. By conceptualising fly fishing as a form of ritual and process of ritualization, this study looks at how ritual affords fly anglers a connective relationship with place. This ritualized connection extends beyond mere doing and evokes cultivation of a deeper sensibility of and towards place. Present here is recognition of the role the body and ritual plays in enabling the formation of this sensibility of place. This research is advanced through narratological methods of autoethnography, storytelling, cognitive mapping and film. This way of working builds on the power of narrative and image-making to expose individual meaning-making. Employing these methods forms a holistic representation of experience, and so overcome potential disconnects that can arise between meaning-making efforts and actual experience. This research recognises that we that are embodied beings, and our embodied experiences are central to our relationships with place. Through this study, the researcher aims to develop a greater understanding of what place means – notably in how we generate a connection to place through our bodies – and to draw upon this insight to expand architectural discourse with a better understanding of connective and meaningful phenomena.

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