Sometimes, 3D models and sectional diagrams aren’t the best means for an architect to communicate their design. Sometimes fantasy and memoir take the reins, motivating a different approach run by personalized narrative, exhibited solely through images. A couple of standout theses from the Piet Zwart Institute’s Masters of Interior Architecture and Retail Design took this route, creating studies of interior spaces steeped in memory and new possibilities.
Our Student Works focuses on MIARD students Joanne Choueiri and Nathalia Martinez Saavedra, who explore the atmosphere of interiors through, respectively, fantastical illustrations and reality-bending photographs. Influenced by Pompeii’s interior murals and the evolution of the “bourgeois” interior by way of Walter Benjamin’s philosophy, Saavedra's thesis, “Interior Portraits”, is a photography study of an apartment interior in Rotterdam. Her pieces use lengthy exposures and staged projections to capture vectors of movement and time, flipping the coin of interiors as being wholly separate from, or permeable to, the outside world. Using a camera obscura to create projected images of the exterior world within her apartment’s interior, Saavedra analogizes the photographer’s gaze literally being brought into the apartment, and with it all the imagery of the outside.
The illustrations in Choueiri's “Interiors of Memories” have the ambient palette of a children’s storybook and the mathematical perspective of an architect. On display at the thesis exhibition, each illustration is hung in mis-matched frames on a wall, the collaged accumulation of so many treasured childhood artifacts. Choueiri's thesis is totally unapologetically fantastical, and in her own words, “stemmed from a need to escape a reality” where “the world has become too ugly and boring to deal with.” Her escapism is not didactic, simply elements of “interior” spaces in a world that must be filled in by the viewer.
INTERIORS OF MEMORIES
by Joanne Choueiri
The narrative is a means for the creation of spatial experiences. It allows the reader to escape into another world constructed by the author. The fantasy genre that is known as “literature that is away from reality”, generates these different worlds based on past models. Memories of a past, thus, become prominent for the production of a new reality. The project investigates personal memories as a source material for the production of new, fantastic, experiences.
Built on the theoretical and artistic study of the fantastic genre, Luigi Serafini’s “Codex Seraphinianus”, and George Perec’s “Species of Spaces and other Pieces”, narratives based on memories expanded the limits of understanding of a space beyond its physical constraints. It enabled the generation of a set of rules for the creation of spaces based on memories.
Interiors of Memories is a collection of spaces based in the domestic that utilizes memories as a foundation for the creation of new forms of interiors. These interiors, fantastic in nature, attempt to redefine the existing programmatic functions of the home.
by Nathalia Martinez Saavedra
Interior Portraits moves beyond historical and contemporary ways of interior architecture representation and aims to simultaneously reveal multiple layers of information, conditions and atmospheres contained in a single space. Numerous spatial readings are achieved by constantly portraying the domestic interior through a collection of different analogue and digital photographic techniques. This visual analysis aims to alter the perception of the interior space by capturing the immaterial and visualizing the invisible.
This research is based in the different readings that image making, particularly photography can generate. Understanding the multiplicity of events in space and visualizing what is not possible to capture with our eyes is the main motivation for this project.
From visualizing the traces of the inhabitants to reveal how their actions transform the interior space, to exploring the possibility of visually merging interior and exterior, Interior Portraits takes the principles of photography as light, time and exposure in addition to conceptual association to motion, multiplicity and memory in order to contribute to a wider visual exploration of the material and immaterial qualities of interiors.
As an architect and photographer my aim is to make a connection between these two fields in order to question today’s image representation of interior spaces and eventually create other alternatives that might develop different ways of conceiving and understanding the places we inhabit. My objective goes beyond documenting interiors as they are in reality and thus I intend to focus in the atmospheric qualities and invisible aspects contained in space.
Managing Editor and Podcast Co-Producer for Archinect. I write, go to the movies, walk around and listen to the radio. My interests revolve around cognitive urban theory, psycholinguistics and food.Got a pitch, or want to write for us? Contact me!