Spatial effects and experience through reflectivity
Author(s)Kim, Frederick (Frederick C.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Architectural discourse on transparency has centered on the idea of layering spaces, light construction, and perceptions of different spatial relationships and has a long history from modernism to the present. This thesis proposes to question received notions of glass as a transparent material and instead focus on its possibilities as a reflective material. The thesis is an exploration of a specific material property, reflectivity, and the effects it has on architecture in terms of experiencing a space and defining a space and redefining perceptions of one's self within space. Architectural projects often draw from materials and their specific properties to create certain forms or types of spaces. Reflectivity as a material property operates on the extreme end of the spectrum of transparency. Transparency is a way of introducing layers of space and juxtaposing spaces on top of one another. Reflectivity, on the other hand, has the special property of recreating an image almost exactly but one that is dependent as an effect on the actual eye of the viewer. The location of the viewer in relation to a space and a mirrored surface becomes a relationship that can be highly controlled to create a specific effect or experience. The geometry of the mirrored surface and the geometry of the space being reflected can also be carefully controlled and designed to produce particular effects. Mirrors are unique in that they provide an opportunity where spatial relationships may not be as solidly defined as what is normally experienced. The architecture latent within the reflected image of a mirrored surface can appear to operate under its own laws of physics. There can be an ambiguous quality to a space that detracts from the more concrete materialization of the architecture. Normally, we can readily define our position within a space but the mirror distorts our perception of space beyond cognition addressing the psychological aspects of experiencing a spatial architecture.
Thesis (S.B. in Art and Design)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2011.Pages 86 and 87 blank. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 84-85).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology