Through the Looking-glass
Min Keun Park @ Cornell University, Bachelor of Architecture, 2017
Through the Looking-glass, we encounter many Models. Representation of these peculiar models wavers between the medium of photo and render, with frames used as technique to allow the simultaneity of multiple mediums. Its representation acknowledges that fact that we no longer view the world through a single frame of reference. Images of a range of scales and mediums are seamlessly rescaled, collected, and archived across our devices and media platforms. The constructed drawings coinciding with the images reveal how we are able simultaneously engage the Models and its site. The method of representation questions the contradiction of how we observe architecture as image in fluidity and multiplicity despite the fact architecture as building remains singular and static. The consequence is an ambiguity of scale, which is evidenced by how the Models are observed, constructed, and represented. To represent is to construct, and the Models demonstrate how the method of representation projects itself to a method of construction. The framed image is reframed and multiplied to speak about both the image and the physical model. The physical and digital world are blurred by the projection of its shadows.” This presents ways to disrupt and intersect, where the juxtapositions and contradictions are welcomed. As a result, the interpretation of the Models is not singular but multiple, serving as representation of the image-based society. The Models sit as objects of curiosities at the scale of exhibition, victims of the blurred consequence between the physical and the digital world, where its singular objecthood opens up to multiple interpretations and scales.
Who influences you graphically?
I often turn to specific works of artists and architects, including Aldo Rossi, Josef Albers, First Office, Magritte, and Thomas Demand to influence me graphically.
However, I just as well look towards daily feeds and streams of images that populate social media platforms, like Instagram, that allow me to collect endless images from variety of designers..
What defined the use of the drawing as means through which you reveal your project? In relation to the notion of framing have you ever thought of exploring the movie/ animation as a possibility?
Interest in scale motivated a specific approach to drawing. The drawings became tools to model a scaleless world, where what is drawn can have multiple interpretations. What can be perceived at a scale of an object can just as well be perceived at a scale of a building. In addition, the use of drawings became also a tool to represent the accompanied physical object at the site of its exhibition. This prompted the use of both images and drawings to represent the dialogue between the physical and digital world. The notion of framing came about as a consequence of presenting the series of representations that eventually became a mode of drawing as well. How an image is framed distorts and blurs the image’s scale, allowing an opportunity of layering and discovery when these frames can be layered together. There is definitely room for the idea of framing to expand to other mediums such as movie and animation, and artists and architects who have explored these mediums have definitely drove the project, for instance, that of Charles and Ray Eames.
What dictated the choice of frames you explore?
The choice of frames came about as curated moments from the act of zooming in and out about both the physical and digital space. Fragments are composed together to illustrate the idea of multiplicity of scales that can come about by the observation of both the image and the accompanied physical object.
To what extent has the use of books as ‘Here’ by Richard McGuire influenced your work?
Graphic novels such as ‘Here’ are entirely governed by the strategy of framing. What is framed and how the frames can relate to one another can be best observed through this genre.
What role do the more technical drawings play in relation to the views?
The layering of the technical drawing uses the idea of framing and scale to represent the relationship between the objects and their respective site. The relationship between the object and site reveals how banal and ordinary moments can be reinterpreted at various scales to become special and fantastic.
If you could dedicate one more month to the project- what would you be keen on exploring?
I would love to play with now the scale of these constructed images and objects to explore how it affects the experience of these images and objects.
Min Keun Park is currently an architectural assistant at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. He recently completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University with this thesis project, initiating
the ongoing research and interest in the perception and production of multiplicity of scales. Prior to SOM, Min has worked in offices including Only If and CODA, as well as participating in various competitions, publications, and grants.
At the moment, he is working to define a method of practice with his partner Nayoon Lee to open up new possibilities for architecture.