Portals in the Urban Terrain: excavating the virtual ruins of rendered architectural propositions
Kingston University, London
Supervisor: Professor Julian Rodriguez
Monumental billboards concealing construction sites have become commonplace in towns all over the world, with images envisaging desirable, aspirational and unfathomably clean living and working environments. On closer inspection however, these projections quite literally disintegrate. This practice led research will address the spatial inconsistencies provided by simulated architectural propositions, and will challenge their material status when they intersect the post-industrial landscape. We are at a key moment in image production, whereas the software that is used to produce computer generated imagery becomes more readily available, the rendered image starts to break down. There is a carelessness in the facades that conceal the ruinous sites that lie behind them, which is reflective of their fleeting purpose. Through the interdisciplinary nature of my practice, I will be arresting images that although temporal, have a lasting impact on the social and economic fabric of the urban landscape. I will be paying particular attention to the ‘slippage’ that occurs in these propositions, and it is this unintentional error that I will be adopting as my methodology for creating new photographs and installations. This research will place the production methods for making contemporary architectural propositions within the lineage of image production, and has the potential to impact the ways in which we read digitally constructed environments. This disruption of the rendered image points to an inconsistency within a capitalist narrative, and through paying attention to this I will be activating a discussion about their unattainability. I will be drawing attention to the ways in which propositions ignore the social landscape in which they are situated, posing serious questions around social cleansing and gentrification. Through reconfiguring our reading of architectural representation, and the ruin to which it points, this research will work towards influencing future policy making decisions that affect the way in which cities are constructed before they are even built.