While on a recent trip to New York, I had an interesting conversation with a colleague that took me back to a formative time in my education. We were discussing the idea of memory, how it works and relates to objects and places. The conversation turned to the mnemonic of the “Memory Palace”, a tool used by Cicero to deliver speeches to the Roman Senate, without notes, by constructing a palace in his mind. The rooms and the objects in them helped to recall his ideas, and the path walked through the palace provided the structure for his discussion, where the location in space makes the ideas memorable.
This idea was introduced to me by my mentor in graduate school –Charles Moore. Memory was a relevant tool, it is how he taught, and there was no better way to create memory than though the experience of place.151