Statement of Issue/Problem:  In architectural design, there is a history of utilizing scientific tools in order to address new problems and explore creative possibilities.  This thesis seeks to import photogrammetry, a scientific tool of geographical survey, reverse-engineering and medical prototyping, as a way of generating “structures” of the subjectivity of space with a scientific process.  Because the technology is rooted in photography, it has the capacity to record the subconscious and atmospheric.  Photogrammetry is able to extract spatial information from at least two overlapping flat images, similar to the way the brain composes spatial imagery from our eyes. The artistic usage of the photogram, a method of creating a photographic image of objects abutting photo-sensitive material from exposure to light, is seen as an example of creatively using a scientific process,  however it only produces one-dimensional recordings.  Through photogrammetry architects can harness the “tension” between photograph as record of subconscious “atmosphere” and as survey of scientific data to generate new hybrid “recordings” of space between these opposing realities,  Unlike the photogram, they are three-dimensional representations.  Also, the filmic nature of inputting multiple photographs into photogrammetric technology produces new spatial and temporal boundaries.  It is through this automation that the unperceived is made perceptible, and through recordings and their subsequent boundaries inform a creation of hyperrealist architecture composed of photographic information.

Method of Inquiry:  Photography and film have been potent optical devices for translating an experience of physical reality and is often used creatively to design new architecture.  Photogrammetric technologies present the opportunity to use photography in a new way, as an input for the generation of three-dimensional space out of planar information.  Such three-dimensional models reflect physical dimensions, temporal movements of the camera and objects, and lighting and material conditions of the reality.  With this information embedded, one can engage these conditions and the objects and surfaces that define them through methods of augmentation, fragmentation, and re-composition.  Inspiration can be taken from case studies and Surrealist, Hyperrealist, and Ad-Hocist works.  One such example are the architectural element concoctions of computer artists, which prove that a hyperrealist architecture is possible digitally through photoshop manipulation and re-sampling within a “realm” of photographic information. Also, the process of documentation can be a variable in the design, such as utilizing different positions and intervals between points of capture.  A final interest is the effect of film versus photograph as input into the program, as well as the usage of found photographs and films.  The photogrammetric model becomes a tool for hyper-contextual design and is suited for physical realization because of its photographic root to things that already exist physically.  Through this physical manifestation, “pixels” and “light” become a building material, which must then be given some new or re-interpreted materiality in order to ensure its construction.

Expected Outcome:   The application of photogrammetry enables a hyperreal architecture.  The outcome will help us understand its potential to evoke new reactions and feelings towards a three-dimensional model of space, as well as towards the design of a constructed physical object perceived with an “unmediated eye”.  Like several hyperrealist sculptors, this may be achieved through providing a “higher definition” to minute details and textures through the scaling of objects in relation to the viewer, as well as through “freezing” certain temporary moments and activities in time. Whether designed for seamlessness or fragmentation, the new architecture should generate a dialog with its context and reveal the new atmospheric and spatial boundaries discovered through the design process.

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