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I'm building an installation for my B.Arch thesis that deals with architectural representation and the perception of depth. Read more

Ithaca, NY Sculpture
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This project was successfully funded on May 7, 2013.

I'm building an installation for my B.Arch thesis that deals with architectural representation and the perception of depth.

Ithaca, NY Sculpture
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About this project

The Idea

My thesis project has three major components. First, it deals with the idea that the world exists in 3 dimensions, is projected by light onto our retina as a 2 dimensional image, and then perceived in the mind in 3 dimensions. The purpose of the project is to make this 2D/3D/2D perceptual translation visible spatially. Second, it deals with modes of architectural representation and how they change our perception of real space, specifically the perception of depth. And at the physical level I am using Milstein Hall as a testing ground.

The Process

My initial installation proposals intended to take the 3D space of Milstein Hall, project it onto the 2D wall that separates Milstein from Sibley Hall, and then expand that visual information out into Sibley. As a result of the dimensional shift a new object or space has been created in a space whose identity was essentially taken away by the construction of Milstein Hall.

The truss of Milstein projected through the wall into Sibley
The truss of Milstein projected through the wall into Sibley

I took 5 depth cues from my research on perception to experiment with in the space. I started with linear perspective as the most clearly related to architectural representation, and continued with occlusion/superimposition, light intensity, texture, and apparent size.

The Installation

The next step was to deal with the visual information of Milstein as a neutral field of information. I did a photomerge of the view of Milstein from the Sibley space as a perspective-less field of data, which I then used to make 3-dimensional surfaces. I used the light intensity of the image to make a corresponding surface in Rhino. I did this for daytime and nighttime views.

Day Photomerge removing perspective
Day Photomerge removing perspective
Day Heightfield - the visual information of Milstein made into a 3D surface
Day Heightfield - the visual information of Milstein made into a 3D surface

In order to move this abstraction into a physical installation, I made a 3-dimensional field of rods in the space. I changed the density and size of elements based on the content of the image, for example where the trusses are. I made the rods smaller and more dense in interior areas of the image, with exterior areas (the view of the stairwell & through the windows) becoming larger and less dense. This way the content of the image is made apparent but not directly called out. I then trimmed the rods based on the day and night surfaces and put together a system of panels that will support the rods. The rods will ultimately be three materials; clear, frosted, and solid.

A person walking along the installation will be able to see through the pipes directly in front of them, offering a very limited view of Milstein Hall beyond. By walking back and forth they can construct a mental image of the space behind that is represented by the undulating lengths of rods.

The Money

The money received will be used entirely on materials for the project. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest obstacle is the price of materials, hence the KickStarter. It's a huge volume of materials; I have a plan for transporting them to the shop, but I need some help with costs.

During construction the most important problem will be keeping everything organized. There will be thousands of individual pieces, but I'm planning to do fabrication in segments, which should reduce complications.

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    7 backers

    My eternal gratitude!

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    A personal thank you note from yours truly, handwritten on custom made stationery

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    A personal thank you note from yours truly, handwritten on a laser cut notecard

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    A high-quality 8x10 print of a photograph of the installation

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    4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)

    A high-quality 8x10 print of a photograph of the installation, in a hardwood frame made by yours truly, and special thanks in my thesis book

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    Special thanks in my thesis book, a copy of the book, and a high-quality print of a photograph of the installation

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Special thanks in my thesis book, a copy of the book, and a high-quality 8x10 print of a photograph of the installation in a hardwood frame made by yours truly

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    Special thanks in my thesis book, a copy of the book, and a panel from the installation

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Funding period

- (28 days)