Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Fantasy Architecture: The Drawing in a Digital Space
Ann Talley
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Parsons School of Design
Thesis Supervisor
Andi Dezso
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Design + Technology
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
drawing, fantasy, architecture, interaction, design, algorithm, animation, applied arts
Abstract: 200-500 words
The techniques of applied arts have been employed in fantasy architecture of the twentieth century, in the 1970s work of Rem Koolhaas and his studio O.M.A.; the contemporary drawings of artists Julie Mehretu and Kevin Appel also reference applied arts and fantasy architecture. These drawings are not interactive, and can only suggest possible sights of experience. I believe I can extend this shortcoming by creating interactive drawings which allow users to move through and explore a space of fantasy architecture, and interact with the objects inside. Using traditional drafting techniques of graphite and watercolor, I create the building blocks for these interactive worlds which I animate algorithmically. “Applied arts” is a somewhat outmoded term, often used in contrast with “fine arts.” Those working in applied arts employ materials and techniques of fine art in service of communication design. The information communicated, the message, is paramount and the techniques are deemed successful only when they reinforce this message. In practical application of architecture and landscape design, the materials and techniques must serve the practical goals of the project. Though not the case in the tradition of fantasy architecture, in “real-world” application, pragmatism dominates. The condition of utility is generally accepted as the defining separation of design and fine art, but contemporary artists have blurred this distinction between the two classifications. <P> The principles of interaction design that govern the creation of online games and commercial websites can be applied to purely aesthetic projects to create meaningful experiences. I’m interested in applying these principles to an interactive drawing environment. The interactive environment I propose is similar to a game, or a web page, in that it is a digital entity with an interface that users manipulate to traverse the created space. Visually, they will share the pared-down palette characteristic of architectural renderings. The user will be able to travel through the space and physically activate the drawn objects by moving and clicking the mouse, or entering text on the keypad. <P> This project advances in parallel, with equal emphasis on production and theory. By theory, I mean the outlining of a process by which I have created these works, which is informed by the work of fantasy architecture and fine arts. Criteria for successful interactive multimedia works is also important here. I hope to create a meaningful experience for my user through comparing the “applied arts” of new media to projects of perceptual or purely aesthetic inquiry. What happens when these categories intersect? How can they inform each other?