“Pondering, as I often do, the question of how and when the world went mad, I recently made an important breakthrough. It was to do with the displacement of the hearth or fireplace.
The oldest and most satisfactory form of dwelling is the “primitive hut”. Made simply of sticks, stones, mud or whatever is to hand, it has a circular wall and a conical thatched roof with an opening at the top to let out smoke from a central fire. …
Focus, meaning a centre which receives and emits rays of light, is the Latin name for the central fireplace. ...
Modern house-builders have given us high levels of convenience and hygiene, while ignoring the psychological necessity of a focus; and through the absence of a cosmological centre our minds have become unbalanced."
From: John Michell, 2006 ‘Confessions of a radical traditionalist’