Mazes were designed to be serene and introspective, and followed a single circuitous path. In Germany, for instance, young men would walk through a labyrinth as part of their initiation into adulthood. Officially, the word “maze” refers to a collection of branching paths, through which the traveler must find the correct route. “Labyrinth,” meanwhile, refers to a pathway which, while winding and potentially disorienting, is non-branching, and leads directly to its endpoint. Starting in the 16th century, European royalty began building elaborate hedge mazes on their property. The mazes were meant to entertain, as well as to provide private, out-of-the-way places for secret meetings. In 2012, artists build a maze out of 250,000 books, called aMAZEme, the pop-up installation in London was built over the course of four days by hundreds of volunteers, and immersed visitors in classic literature. Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo designed the structure to mimic the shape of Spanish language writer J.L. Borges’ fingerprint.
Sound management and my research surrounding moss as a sound absorber inspired me to research the history and purpose of mazes or labyrinths. This opportunity reminded me of seclusion and interaction, two things I think are important to stay engaged when working. My thought is that users can be in private areas with the ability to stroll when needed. From this article I was able to gather that mazes are often vast and difficult to navigate, however, the opportunity to design a maze that creates spaces for social and individual work can be met with the balance of being able to walk around in the same vicinity to clear one’s mind when being productive.