According to Jencks, architecture in the 1970s and 1980s was experiencing a crisis of meaning: iconic buildings sought to dazzle and distract, whereas a truly meaningful architecture would stimulate ‘deeper questions about morality, spirituality and politics'. The Cosmic House is Charles Jencks’ ultimate experiment in symbolic architecture, iconography, and designing a building ‘that speaks’. In the process of design, Jencks produced symbolic programmes for each room of The Cosmic House. These were written prior to the design, and altered and edited together with collaborators, artists and craftsmen. They usually included a selection of references from mythology, history and literature, and explained the main concept for a specific room, or object that was being commissioned.