One of the sources of inspiration for Beautiful Economy is the Alhambra in Granada. Last October we visited this 1000-years old marvel of Islamic architecture, and almost every day I remember being inside its walls, surrounded by art, science and spirituality. Feeling at ease, at peace, and with a strong sense that this place has something to teach us.
The Alhambra was designed to reflect the beauty of Paradise. And indeed, the gardens, palaces and waterways all breathe heavenly quality. In spite of receiving thousands of visitors each day, the place has maintained a serenity. It allows you to slow down while drifting along the endless patterns of arabesque, woodwork and tile tessellations. To be taken away by the detail and by the entirety.
Titus Burckhardt explains that ‘the islamic designs do not imprison the gaze and direct it to some imaginary world, but rather free it from all the impediments of thought and imagination. They produce in us no fixed idea, but an existential condition, a feeling of tranquility combined with an inner sense of vitality.’
It made me wonder: ‘If a physical structure can evoke the experience of peace and vitality, what about a social structure, the economy?