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Mythopoetic Environment The 15 Cross-cultural Archetypes Interactive Design Theatre Design

  Peter Oldfield

 Peter Matussek

Dr. Sarah Kenderdine

P E T E R   O L D F I E L D 
Peter Oldfield

Through his early experience in the English theatre Peter Oldfield received training in stage management. This was the field in which he first developed a personal skill for quickly creating order and harmony in three-dimensional composition. There followed many years in France where, as an art dealer, he mounted provincial exhibits for a Paris gallery.

While studying in Japan over a two year period, he was given occupancy of a small urban house. By using craft furnishings and folk motifs, and by installing a traditional garden, he rendered it a model of the authentic Japanese home.

On arrival in North America he became a consultant to several global travel organizations, and these associations continued for thirty years. It allowed him frequent worldwide travel, leading Americans in cultural-interest and adventure travel to the principal and most interesting sites of world culture. See Exploring World Folkways.

During those travels, Peter formed a substantial collection of fine and curious folk-art from all parts of the world. He went on to establish the Alaron Center in Sausalito, California, where, in the evenings and on weekends, over a five-year period, in a colorful and highly textured meeting hall – conferences, lectures, classes, seminars, concerts and dances were held for the ‘conscious living movement’ of the region. The center‘s dramatic and beautiful interior drew thousands and filled a significant role in the community, by presenting many prominent speakers and wide-ranging programs. For several years he was also a partner in a visionary art gallery and a graphics publishing company in San Francisco. A design for an interactive multimedia educational program for CyberLab of San Francisco effectively defined a seven-sphere systemic global knowledge-base. Continuing as a consultant to that group, he contributed a series of essays to the UNESCO World Heritage Web Site. The seven-sphere program later became a Global Learning Curriculum, from which the present project has developed, and was wholly adopted as a core curriculum by an alternative school in Santa Monica, California.

The broad base of Peter's training in cultural history thus evolved from a continual in situ exploration of the art and folkstyle of traditional peoples worldwide. His abiding interest in mythic archetypes and symbolic imagery led him to see the common threads in the traditions of many cultures. Peter eventually designed his Santa Monica home and office as a mythopoetic environment that became, in 2000, the subject of an ‘Awesome Interiors’ segment for the Home and Garden Channel (HGTV).

More recently he has been an architectural color consultant in Los Angeles, completing more than 60 projects over a seven-year period. These included many public-access sites, large multi-floor condominium exteriors, school classrooms and many family homes.

Until recently he has been an Artist in Residence at the Open Island Centre on the Tungabhadra River near Hampi in Karnataka, South India, where he spent part of each year and built a habitable rock-shelter and landscaped the surrounding wild terrain. He has since moved to Hawai'i.

Peter's interest in composing mythopoetic environments around traditional stories and folkways have now found their fullest expression in his design for The World Memory Theatre.

E X P L O R I N G    W O R L D    F O L K W A Y S

Gathering impressions and ideas for a global mythopoetic public-access exploratorium to demonstrate cross-cultural story linkages and the archetypal themes associated with them spanned many years of trips as a group-leader for cultural-interest and adventure travelers, as I returned again and again to the sites of all the world’s great civilizations.

These journeys also took me to remote regions of natural beauty and to many archaic cultures on six continents and over all the oceans; from Easter Island to the Celebes, from Tasmania to Iceland, from the Tarim Basin to Antarctica, from the Solomon Islands to the Faroes, from the Zambezi to the Danube, from Papua New Guinea to Greenland and from the Andaman Islands to the Galapagos.

My travels included frequent visits to cathedrals, mosques, churches, temples, shrines and power-places of indigenous peoples, along with many museums, palaces, castles, fortresses, important historical ruins, remote villages, nomadic camps and curious cultural settings of many sorts.

During these years I made trips by passenger riverboat on the Upper Congo and I also sailed a chartered yacht along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. I led groups to tented camps in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and went hydroplaning on Lake Baikal in Siberia. There were balloon trips across France and canoeing on the Brazilian Amazon. There were photo-safaris in the Serengeti of East Africa; days and nights on the Orient Express from London to Venice. I also drove across the Taklimakan Desert, from Kashgar in Chinese Turkestan, through the Khunjerab Pass to Gilgit in the Karakorum Himalayas, descending to Peshawar and on to Kabul through the Khyber Pass. I also sailed on the Upper Nile at Khartoum in the Sudan and boated on the Upper Niger at Tombouctou in Mali. I made several crossings of Australia by train; and I drove the old road through the Himalayas from Lhasa, Tibet, to Kathmandu, Nepal. I led a group on a motor-vessel in mid-summer around the North Cape and into the Arctic Circle. There were also many idyllic stays on the houseboats of Kashmir.

My exploratory journeys included significant visits to remote destinations in Asia such as the Buddhist caves of Dunhuang on the Silk Road in Xinjiang, China; the monasteries of Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas; the Hunza Valley in Pakistan; the mosques of Samarkand in Uzbekistan and the bazaars of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.


Wolfgang Knoerr
E V A N S   L A N S I N G   S M I T H

Wolfgang Knoerr

Evans Lansing Smith, Ph.D., is Core Faculty member and Co-Chair of the Mythological Studies Program at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has degrees from Williams College, Antioch International, and The Claremont Graduate School, and is the author of eight books and numerous articles on comparative literature and mythology.

He has taught at colleges in Switzerland, Maryland, Texas, and California. In the late 1970s, he traveled with Joseph Campbell on study tours of Northern France, Egypt, and Kenya, with a focus on the Arthurian Romances of the Middle Ages and the Mythologies of the Ancient World.

Dr. Smith will bring his vast knowledge of world mythology to WMT with a view to identifying the common archetypes and delineating the all- important linkages and parallel myths that together will open into a panoply of cultural stories for the exploratory visitor."


Wolfgang Knoerr
D O U G    S M I T H  

Wolfgang Knoerr

Doug Smith is a consultant, writer, thinker, historian, teacher, lawyer and inventor who has made distinguished contributions in public policy, management thinking and practice, education and social change, and technology.

As CEO of Web River Media, Inc. Doug has co-invented (patents pending) a non-linear arrayed video-system with methods for creating and viewing fully browseable video – an entirely new form of education and entertainment.

As a Partner at McKinsey & Company, the premier management-consulting firm, he co-led their worldwide organization practice and launched the “horizontal organization,” a part of the re-engineering revolution that Fortune called “the model for the next fifty years”.

Doug has contributed to innovation, strategy and change in scores of organizations across more than forty industries in all three sectors - private, government and non-profit.

Most recently he authored On Value and Values - a sweeping vision to revitalize our values for our world.


Soula Saad Soula
S O U L A    S A A D

Soula Saad is a documentary filmmaker specializing in the diversity of world cultures and their music and art.

Soula began a life journey of traveling and living in foreign countries at age 12. With 20 years of exposure to widely differing peoples, each with their own artistic expression, Soula recorded her impressions in her diaries; through writing, photography and video she captured these different cultures, recording the sounds and the music of her journeys in photo books & CD & DVDs.

After graduating in Marketing/Management from the American College in Switzerland, Soula received a master’s in Mass-communication in Paris while working in Events Production, within the film industry. She organized the premieres & releases of a hundred films, among which 'Baraka' , a documentary that caused her to take the leap into the more creative side of filmmaking, i.e. filming with music. She went on to participate in the musical scoring of dozens of documentaries.

Soula produced monthly concert series ‘Global Groove’, starring World Music artists in Los Angeles and collaborated on World Music Concerts for Peace-Making and Global Harmony through Music and Dance: The Uni-verse Festival at Royce Hall, UCLA in 2OOO, and Concert Above the Clouds in Malibu in 2OO1.

Soula simultaneously found in documentaries and music a way of freely expressing that which language fails to clearly communicate. The documentaries have included:

In 2OOO, Venice Circle - Drummers from around the world on Venice Beach, California. In 2OO1, Musical Memories in Lebanon – presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2OO2 . Also in 2OO2 and 2OO5, the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles and a concert series at UCLA, Earthways and the Foundation for World Arts to honor cultural diversity, and 'Essaouira Trance' - Gnaoua & World Music in Essaouira, Morocco featuring rare forms of African dance.

Soula is currently developing a documentary on Womens’ Voices from around the world. She co-founded DreamAgo in February 2OO5 a non-profit organization which gathers conscious filmmakers from all over the world to help support films that inspire, empower and expand conciousness, a sort of ‘Filmmakers without Borders’ with patrons in many countries and yearly workshops that focus on 1O projects Dreamago helps develop from Script to Screen.


Soula Saad Soula
D R.   P E T E R    M A T U S S E K

Dr. Peter Matussek pursued extensive studies in philosophy, literature, psychology and education at Hamburg University, supplemented with undergraduate scholarship studies in India and Croatia. After graduating with honors Peter became an IT journalist and software developer.

His doctoral thesis on the Aesthetic Perception of Nature in History earned him a summa cum laude.

As a consultant to the Federal Government, Peter organized interdisciplinary conferences for the advance of e-humanities studies.

He subsequently became principal researcher for Psychohistorical Studies at the Foundation for Analytical Psychiatry in Munich, and as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in Essen, he led interdisciplinary research on Goethe's Concept of Time.

At Humboldt University in Berlin, Peter became an Assistant Professor in the department of Cultural Studies where he joined the Multimedia Commission. As a consultant to the German Research Foundation he evaluated database concepts and headed various funding projects in the field of e-humanities. Here he completed a ground-breaking study on The Computer as Theatre of Memory.

From 2003-2008 Peter was Professor of New German Literature and Media Culture Studies at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. Since 2008 he has been chair holder for Media Aesthetics at the University of Siegen and head of the Department for Media Science.

He has continued to hold visiting professorships at Universites in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and China.

His forthcoming book, authored together with Kirsten Wagner (Berlin) and Robert Edgar (Stanford), wil be on "The Renaissance of Memory Theatres".

Dr Matussek will evaluate the cultural impact of the World Memory Theatre and offer guidance in the ways it may best serve the needs of the day.


S T U A R T    S I L V E R S T O N E
Stuart Silverstone

Stuart Silverstone is a noted designer of visual information displays for print, exhibits, multimedia, web, interface design, management processes, events, architectural environments, journalism, education and entertainment.

He trained as an architect at Carnegie Tech and Texas A&M, practiced with leading architects in Harvard Square and researched and taught in MIT¹s architecture department, focusing on visual communications, design process and computer-aided design.

Over the past thirty years Stuart has developed tools for integrating architectural and media experiences into visual displays that facilitate collaborative efforts in learning, creativity, problem-solving, decision-making and action - evolving together into 'pattern language' for visual information displays.

His signature visual information design approach is to facilitate  understanding by identifying and displaying the key patterns that comprise big-picture overviews of themes, with emphasis on wholism, generalism, alternatives and future visions.

He helped launch a major monthly journal on knowledge management--for which he created a monthly 'visual interview' with leaders of the field, and a visual timeline on the life of management guru Peter Drucker.

Stuart's current portfolio includes developing new interfaces for the Web, building situation rooms, creating educational visualizations and designing custom visual mission-identities and other content visualizations for clients of infoVisual designScience in LA, from where he consults on architecture, exhibitions, Web and print projects worldwide.


Wolfgang Knoerr
J E F F   H U T N E R

Jeff Hutner

Jeff Hutner is the founder and editor of New Paradigm Digest and Newswire, newparadigmdigest.com, an online window on emerging cultural and business trends.

For over twenty years Jeff pursued a business career on Wall Street as a researcher and analyst. His interests were broad and innovative and he helped accelerate several new trends, from natural foods to indoor skydiving.  His consulting clients include entrepreneurs in natural foods - Nutiva,  in new thinking systems, QuantumThink, and in food service - ZSCreations. 

He is currently editing 100 video interviews he conducted with social visionaries from diverse fields, age groups and cultures for an upcoming DVD, "The United State of Us". Jeff strongly believes that the greatest obstacle to peace and harmony in individuals and the world is the assumption that there is an "other" and that we are separate from the earth and should dominate it and its feminine expression.

These old paradigm views have led us to pollute the earth with toxins and destroy human lives. In his view, "one of the most valuable gifts the World Memory Theatre will provide is a profound experience of connectedness through the theater's deeply embedded cross cultural stories and art, and the beautiful atmosphere of it's physical space".

When Jeff is not traveling in South America or South East Asia his home is in Ojai, California.


Wolfgang Knoerr
D R.   S A R A H   K E N D E R D I N E

Sarah Kenderdine

Dr. Sarah Kenderdine is a curator, archaeologist and artist with a background in New Zealand and Australia. Sarah is a former maritime archaeologist and is now at the forefront of research into immersive experiences for museums and galleries, and collaborates with international organizations and researchers in the pursuit of these interests. Her work is focused on immersive architectures that promote a kinesthetic and multimedia inhabitation through evolving narratives, to include tangible and intangible aspects of culture and heritage.

Sarah heads Special Projects and The Virtual Room at Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. www.vroom.org.au Sarah exhibits her built work worldwide including Sacred Angkor 2004, Place-Hampi 2006-2010, Eye of Nagaur 2008, Ancient Hampi Exhibition 2008-2010, and Unmakeable Love 2008, as part of ReActor, a History of Cinematic Experience.

Sarah has published widely including Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage - a Critical Discourse, (MIT Press, 2007) and the upcoming Place-Hampi; Inhabiting the Panoramic Imaginary of Vijayanagara (India Book House, June 2009). Dr. Kenderdine received her Ph.D. from RMIT in Immersive Architecture for the Embodiment of Culture and Heritage and is currently Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong.