Forward-backward : the odyssey as a design interface
Author(s)Giannakopoulou Karamouzi, Iris.
Odyssey as a design interface
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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The Odyssey, one of the two Homeric poems, the other being the Iliad, stands as an exemplary invention of the ancient Greek oral tradition. Odysseus's nostos, his returning journey to his homeland, Ithaca, still echoes today, as an inexhaustible source of imagination and creativity. This project postulates that in the instance of the Odyssey, Homer blends imagination with reality, history with myth, the humans with the gods, and the living with the dead. In doing so, he offers us, an affective experience of the known and the unknown territories of the Cosmos; a poetic world of sounds, images, tastes and emotions; a 'synesthetic' experience that puts into question the platonic modes of thinking that supplemented the Homeric period. This work wishes to explore the Odyssey as interface for contemporary design, looking into significant shifts in epochs, such as the one from orality to literacy and further on to what the cultural theorist Gregory Ulmer coins as electracy which describes the technological, ideological and institutional apparatus of the contemporary digital epoch. As such, what specifically interests me in the myth of Odysseus, as a creative invention of the oral tradition, are the underlying logics and characteristics of this interface, which not only allow insight into the shift from an oral to a literate ontology, but are also suggestive as we look into contemporary digital design thinking, making and doing. My exploration in this project, takes the form of a 'forward-backward' exploration between Ulmer's theories and the interface of the Odyssey, as well as a 'forward-backward' oscillation between different epochs, aspired to creatively engage with the myth of Odysseus in search of latent design intelligences for the contemporary epoch.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: S.M. in Architecture Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2018Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 141-149).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology