Labrinth or maze


labyrinth, pula-croatia



The difference between a labyrinth and a maze, although the terms are often used interchangeably: a maze must have choices in the pathway – labyrinths have one pathway that leads inexorably from the entrance to the goal, albeit often by the most complex and winding of routes. However, the dividing line between what constitutes a maze or a labyrinth can sometimes become blurred, as mazes with single paths and labyrinths with more than one path can exist, although their intent is usually clear from their designs. The archetypal classical labyrinth design consists of a single pathway that loops back and forth to form seven circuits, bounded by eight walls, surrounding the central goal. Labyrinths were built and used by superstitious people who thought these twisting and winding paths would help them to overcome different difficulties. At several places these Pagan customs survived into the 20th  century. The labyrinth is sometimes part of the recent interest in spirituality, reflection and dialogue. Walking a labyrinth can assists you in the search for your core values: that what really counts for you. It can lead in surprising ways to entering new connections.



Adriaan Deurloo has made a design for a city walk through Amsterdam , where the city itself turns into a labyrinth: Following the schedule of the classical labyrinth this walk leads along 99 places that remember in joy or in sorrow important moments in the history of this city: Mokum, the place where from the start on people from different quarters of the compass have been moving to in order to live in peace and justice. The name Mokum is introduced by Eastern European Jews who saw in Amsterdam a promised city, a new Jerusalem. The labyrinth also encapsulates this meaning: the labyrinth is often depicted as a place of pilgrimage that symbolises the new Jerusalem.





A city can feel like a maze that is set up to confuse you. Citymarketeers should find was to change that perception from maze to labyrinth. By offering  surprises that stimulate reflection or at least accomodate a memorable point of intrest. Buildings or bridges that tell a (re)markable story. Amsterdam even has it’s own mysterious sculpturer. His latest work – His master’s skeelers – located at ‘het Madelievenpleintje’ in ‘de Jordaan’. Some of the graffiti does the same. It makes you stop and wonder, with small events like this a walk through the city is “never a dull moment”. It shows the spirit of it’s inhabitants. 


Like the picture of Istanbul spotted on the walls of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, what could be the connection?

Connection with professional surroundings

In organizations little events show the spirit of it’s employees, it can be temporary graffiti, mysterious creations or planned architectural elaborations. They can help passers-by to sense the spirit of the place and make your building a labyrinth that stimulates refelction and maybe initiates connections. Make a walk through your building and interpret the print of your environment. Does it reflect the spirit of your company?

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