Suspension of Disbelief

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Model, Plan, Students

Suspension of Disbelief

Kasia Stachura


Suspension of Disbelief

“a willingness to suspend one’scritical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.”

AndhereiwishicouldtellyouhalfthethingsAliceusedbelievetosay,beginningwith her favourite phrase `Let’s pretend.’(L.Carroll)

We all tend to create and revel in scenarios that we know are not real. We  suspend our disbelief to temporary accept characters and events that would ordinarily be seen as unthinkable. We ignore the surroundings to truly the narrative and fiction instead, we almost step into a parallel universe.

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What if these parallel worlds exist just around us? Little islands,not bigger than just what wecan imagine;what if they are places that we dream of but we can never get in our temporal world? What  if the islanders are  simply us – people  of the modern society, living in the world ruled by chaos andnonsense, world full of recklessness, restlessness and anxietyin all its different forms? What if we dream of these islands where we could hide and where we could find peace, we read and write about them but they are nothing more than just a creation of our suspended disbeliefs?

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Here is a fictional story about a real world we live in, a place where sense and nonsense meet; here is a story about finding logic in a realm full of chaos.

The project focuses on exploration of suspension  of  disbelief in  architecture and delves into intersection between the fantastical and reality. Based on a  text of a book which scenario creates a fantastical realm, translated into collages representing spatial entities and – last but notleast – subjectively re-interpreted and re-writteninto the modern society,creating 8 chapters around which design proposals are based, creating parallel worlds that aroused my curiosity in the verybeginning.

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false attraction

The Compulsive Liar tends to hide behind his stories, trying to live his life the way he created it. Behind these tales lies the truth which is more beautiful than what he created.

Tired of infinite cycle of lying, hewants to remove the mask butfinds it too hard to tell the truth looking straight in the eyes. He heard that there is aplace where he could camouflage himself in a safe cocoon behind the steam and where he could be heard but not seen.

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He  dreamt  it  as a  stack  of  galleries  composed  along   a narrowspiral-like stairway, one of the sides would openonto another gallery, identical to  the  first  one  and  all  the rest. Some of the galleries would be very dark,some brighter but  full of steam. The vision would be blurred   in all of them, it wouldbe nearly impossible to even perceivethedistancebetweenthetwo.Insomeyoucouldrest,others would work as a passage only. He would keep wandering in his dreams in search for one to sit down, start talking and become a true version of himself.



 Who influences you graphically?

I’m trying to reach for inspirations from different sources depending on a project I work on. I like to use different media and techniques. Since this particular project was inspired by “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” book, I was trying to recreate illustrations form fairytales and immerse the audience into the world of wonders. “Suspension of disbelief” is purely conceptual so I believe that in this way the spirit of the book can be communicated clearly.


What prompted this speculative project? how does it relate to the more architectural work you do in the everyday as a practicing architect?

Every architectural practice is different but since major part of it lies in pragmatic and mundane tasks I wanted to escape into the imaginary world inspired by purely theoretical architectural works that formed the base of contemporary architecture theory. I strongly believe that issues that I have raised in my project are equally valid as the ones brought up in everyday projects that I’m working on.

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How important is the element of narrative in your method of approaching built architecture?

It helps to understand different types of personalities, their needs and the way they perceive space. This is the answer to the needs of contemporary human being lost in the world and closed in the little worlds of their own.

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What lead you to the book ‘Alice’s adventure in wonderland’. How influential was the book in the development of the speculation as a whole -from concept to format to representation?

As I decided to explore the topic of suspension of disbelief and parallel words, I have been looking for a piece which scenario would provide me the scenery for getting immersed myself.

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Then, as I began to read between lines, I found a different meaning of the book. In the whole process I crystalized several personalities and focused on their being. I understood that these personalities were present in the book all the time – they were just not clearly indicated on the surface.

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What defined the use of the combination of axo, plan, section and view? 

In a speculative project like this, use of simple and clear architectural drawings leaves room for interpretations and invites to use your own imagination, just as a book should do. This is also a reason for a very simple color scheme I used. Pale colors are introducing the world of fairytales, at the same time giving a chance to interpret space on your own.

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If you could condense this into one drawing-what would this be?

I would imagine it as a mind map; a map illustrating the connections between different aspects of the project – the project that was not just one-dimensional in any way.


What are you working on at the moment?

This project was a cornerstone for the “Irrelevant Spaces” series that I’m working on at the moment as a part of creative collective Remote Studio (  Besides that I’m working in an architectural practice on a daily basis and looking forward towards developing my little piece into a book.


One thought on “Suspension of Disbelief”

  1. I study the thesis, territorial edges in the Atacama desert, and some of its articulating components, it is the environmental space where the desert meets the green environments, also one of the important activities is tourism, observing the image of the head, it seems that these types of activities do not finally belong in a specific place. As a result, I believe that the frequency of returning to the same place could articulate the activities of origin or vernacular of some territory. An articulation with the environment and culture.

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