The Ambiguity of Space

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The Ambiguity of Space

Kara Biczykowski


Who influences you graphically?

My style has predominantly been influenced by a mix of architects and artists over time including Early OMA drawings, Aldo Rossi, Peter Cook, El Lissitzky, Salvador Dali, and most recently David Hockney has become one of my favorite artists. In all I admire their juxtaposition of color, figures, and most importantly the ambiguity of space accomplished through their strange perspectives and well crafted compositions.

You talk about re-representation through Hockney and Webb, to what extent could we speculate on the project as a re-enactment rather than a re-representation?

I drew FAT’s Hoogvliet project as a re-representation through a re-enactment of drawing styles by Hockney and Webb. Using their techniques offered a new perspective on the project once redrawn and changed the viewer’s perception about how it was originally understood. I was exploring FAT’s subconscious intentions that they may not have been aware of themselves in the early conceptualization of Hoogvliet. I used the re-enactment as a guide to change spatial relationships of building to site, perspective, color, atmosphere, etc to produce the re-representation. Therefore, I see the project as both re-enactment and re-representation, because one was used to create the other.

What does ‘in the style of’ mean to you? Does it involve the framing of an image, the color palette, the strutting of a view, the line weight etc

For me it was all of these qualities. Color was critical to achieve the right atmosphere in both drawings. For example, color combination in the Hockney collage needed to convey cheerfulness, like in many of Hockney’s paintings, but also hint at the unhealthy environment from the power plant in the background.

I was trying to think like the masters and imagine how they would compose the scene. It was important to be mindful of what elements I chose to show and where in the foreground, middle ground, and background they were to be placed to compose a story. The same applied to the Webb drawing. However, here I took advantage of two perspectives with extreme polarities to depict contrasting atmospheric scenes and generate conflicting feelings in the observer.

What dictated your choice of color palette for the Artifacts model? (white juxtaposed to primary colored acetate) 

The final color palette came after much experimentation with other materials and my decision to display the Artifact as a hanging interactive light that viewers could look through and rotate. To create the chandelier effect I required the use of lightweight material. The artifact became an instrument for experimenting with light and view, which I limited to two rules. First, all four faces of the artifact would remain opaque to trap light inside and limit views through to be indirect. Second, all extruded surfaces would be built in translucent colored acetate so light would reflect off them and produce an overlap of color on the opaque surface. This overlap of primary colors would create new secondary colors which could be seen indirectly. In a more philosophical sense, the colored acetate became the residue left behind from the act of extruding the figural surface.

How does the aesthetic language of Mindmap as Artifact communicate and clash with the graphic approach of Hotel Vauxhall (model and drawing)?

It is always difficult transitioning between drawing and model. Both overall forms and color palette are relatable, but I chose to “cartoon” the representation of the hotel rather than try to graphically mimic the Artifact. One understands how the elements look and act on a tangible scale from the model, but the drawing was used to speak more generally of the playful atmosphere and effects it would have on the site and visitors. Graphically the drawing struggles to represent the spatial complexity and transformation of the detailed extrusions and their quality and color of light in space like in the model. On the other hand, Hotel Vauxhall has the ability to put these elements to scale. For example, extrusions have evolved from surface ornamentation into large spatial organizers of the building. The drawing and model work together for a comprehensive understanding of the project by taking advantage of using relatable but different graphic coding.


Hoogvleit_In The Style Of 

Application of two canonical drawing styles, Michael Web and David Hockney, is utilized as a technique to speculate on the formal and conceptual understanding of a FAT project. Simultaneously the study aims to de-familiarize the reception of the work through its re-representation. The exploration establishes the inventive and provocative role drawing and representation influences the communication of architecture and the design of physical buildings.

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In the Style of Michael Webb


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In the Style of David Hockney




Mind Mapping

The Mind Map requires continued exploration of the FAT precedent, Hoogvleit, as detectives gathering data in the architectural, artistic, cultural, global, and historical references. A combination of these references and a personal reinterpretation of the precedent is represented through drawing and modeling. Both elements of research and design form a descriptive and generative design tool, an irrational diagram, to later develop a program and site for Vauxhall, London.

Hoogvleit Book The book utilizes the duality of its innate two sides and both physically and conceptually as one flips through pages from front to back. The front of the book positions the viewer in the landscape with Hoogvleit in the distance. As viewers flip through the “image stills” of the landscape they are actually moving through the landscape and come to find the end of the book positions standing inside Hoogvleit looking out into the landscape.

Simultaneously each page acts as a frame to both sides of the inside cover. Fifty unique frames reconstruct scenes from Stourhead and Stowe gardens by placing new objects in the landscape such as pavilions, bridges, benches, sheep, fences, and trees. The last page is then textured with patterns of ornamental frames.

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Hoogvleit Book

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Mind Map as Artifact

Transformation of the Mind Map drawing into a three dimensional representation was crucial for the influence of future design decisions of the Hotel Vauxhall. The model successfully takes the ideas of overlapping figures to form new relationships one step further than the drawing. Select figures from the drawing are stacked one on top of another. This technique causes surfaces to collide and blend together vertically, while other surfaces disassociate themselves by hovering off the plane of the artifact. A change in material to a transparent multicolored surface in the extruded locations produces indirect views into and out of the artifact and unique light qualities. These outcomes offer possibilities for privacy, light control and effects, formal explorations, and a playful environment.

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Vauxhall Hotel

Vauxhall is currently one of the larger sites in London currently being developed as the city looks to a 21st century future. Various influential projects to the area include the construction of the new American Embassy and the refurbishment of the Battersea Power Station. The hotel hopes to function as a gateway for people arriving for short periods of time to the site via the embassy. The idiosyncratic clash of a non-denominational prayer hall for many immigrants with various backgrounds settling in the area and the hotel for embassy and hotel event guests provides an inventive typology to accommodate needs of both groups.

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Kara received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The Ohio State University in 2012 and a Masters of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture in 2015. Se has grown to be a designer with a clear vision for the future of architecture from working with some of the best professors and architects in the world. Under the tutelage of mentors such as Sam Jacob and Sean Griffith, Kara’s interest in promoting drawing as a critical mode of representation and communication has become very important. Their influence enabled her to produce the winning design for Yale’s H. I. Feldman Award. Biczykowski has been fortunate to recently work in Mexico City with Tatiana Bilbao to explore solutions for Mexico’s housing crisis, and in the past for Caesar Pelli, and Cannon Design’s Experimental Office in Shanghai, China. Currently Kara works in New York City for Joel Sanders Architect.







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