Labyrinths in Places

Labyrinths are found in many places. Some are permanent and some are brought in temporarily for events. The challenge for labyrinth enthusiasts is often how to get permission to introduce a labyrinth into a specific environment. This section of the website examines some of the places where labyrinths may be found, the benefits of having them there, how they are used, and how people were able to install them there in the first place!

2. Bringing a Labyrinth to a University

If you are interested in bringing a labyrinth into a university setting, you’ll need to find ways in which your own work, experience and expertise make a connection with a particular academic discipline, or another function within the University. Your starting point will depend on whether you are already working, or studying, within a university or an organisation connected to Higher Education, or are coming in from outside the institution. Because universities are often very large, you may find interest in one corner – and complete lack of interest in another.


Look for common ground, and for tangential connections which may prove to be useful. In addition to academic departments, schools or sections, think about links with different teams (names will vary):

  • Arts initiatives
  • Careers and other Guidance teams
  • Chaplaincy – inter-faith or single faith
  • Counselling Service
  • Health and Medical Centres
  • Personnel Department
  • Recruitment (of students) and Widening Participation initiatives
  • Staff Development
  • Student Societies
  • Students’ Union
  • Student volunteer and other service initiatives
  • Teaching and learning development.

Likewise, if your background is in one of these fields, think about possible links to academic departments. For example, if your background is in counselling, consider approaching an academic department that teaches guidance or counselling, as well as the Counselling Service. The more relevant and focused your proposal, the more likely you are to find someone who wants to listen. It may help to offer a one-off trial event to gauge interest.


Space is likely to be a practical issue. At the University of Kent, on each of our two main campuses we have one room – and only one room – that’s ideal for a 36 ft (11 metre) canvas labyrinth, and bookings for this must be negotiated. Other spacious rooms are not available for various reasons (too much furniture and nowhere to put it; fee required for use; fixed furnishings, and so on). It’s advisable not to take other people’s word for room measurements; try to measure it yourself (perhaps with a friend to be on the safe side).


As an alternative to portable labyrinths, be prepared to work with temporary structures of tape or other materials. You may need to be flexible and imaginative about the space offered. For example, with a one-off opportunity to lead a labyrinth walk for one group of students and staff, the only venue available was an underground gymnasium in a busy city sports centre. The key question was: what view would confront participants as they stood at the entrance? A basket-ball hoop? A fire escape sign? A blank wall? We opted for a plain corner to give a sense of distance, to minimise distractions and to avoid forcing metaphors of goals and exits onto the participants.