The Ghost in the Machine

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Christopher Schultz (designer)
Ashley Schafer (studio professor)
Curtis Roth (studio professor)
Spring 2021
This project questions how digital tools, the hardware and various software by which we design and share most architectural representation, influence the production and reception of the representations themselves. It explores how an understanding of these digital biases can lead to new discoveries within representations that seemingly shift based on user and machine perception. A new drawing type that I have created and provisionally named "the orthographic composition," investigates these issues. The orthographic composition accurately layers the information from axonometric, isometric, section, and plan views of a project to create a democratized image free from the hierarchy of singular views. This shimmering effect and unstable relationship create an image that changes across software and hardware so that multiple analysis can be performed on the effects that emerge from the representation. Across various software and hardware, the destabilized nature of this image is perceived differently by the user and the machine, effects can appear and disappear depending on the level of intersectional patterns and the software deployed to see such interactions. It is my hope that this constant state of flux blurs the boundary of clearly articulated geometric space into nebulous space. The ambition of the project is that this process not only makes evident the pre-conceived conception of the hardware, and its software, but that the representations it produces can be mined as a new multi-dimensional means to plan and design buildings. The layered perspectives and gradient hatch clouds of the orthographic composition are freed from a single projection or top to bottom three-dimensional modeling. My research into representation, software, and the latent effects it can produce in representation are all part of an effort to capture new types of public spaces that are softer and less determinant than those typically found in the western canon. The orthographic composition produces a nebulous approach to space planning which allows for more gradient than a figure-void relationship can provide in the traditional architectural discourse.
ARCH 8420