Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
We come to rely on computer hardware and digital software to generate and digitize the world around us and the degree of distortion latent in “street view” and public domain digital representations is rarely brought to the fore. Organized information made up of data scripts and RGB values within an intangible space have now become what many assume to be architecture. But where, between all that translation of information, does our sense of history and culture lie? What impressions remain and what memories are lost from the collective of digital representations when the only things left to define them are digital photographs and a short description on Wikipedia?
Having been raised in a Mexican-American family and a large ethnic community, I know there is a divide between the actuality of my own heritage and what has come to be represented digitally. This is especially true when it comes to the site of Chicano Park under the Coronado Bridge in San Diego. There is a legacy of activism and cultural awareness brought forth by the Mexican community that is embodied through a variety of public art and murals embedded into the concrete structure of the bridge that does not get included in 3D models of the space and only get snapshots of moments through images and photographs.
This project creates previously unseen perspectives and the misrepresentations they generate that are then built into physical constructs from digital meshes using tools such as 3D printers and stereoscopic cameras. By exploring concepts on the degradation of digital information, I manipulated and constructed impressions of depth and form using data points and RGB values as markers from static images. Images become juxtaposed with 3D models created by other humans online to bring attention to the content and history each digital manifestation fails to portray. It is that same sense of a cultural and historical misrepresentation that is realized throughout the evolution of this project.
Villarruel, Gian, "Decoding the digital border" (2018). Masters Theses. 309.
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