Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Cara Liberatore

Second Advisor

Evan Farley


As architects, much of our work lives within our various computer softwares. Rendering within architectural practice allows us to fabricate highly calculated, realistic representations of our work- a method by which we place ourselves within a space, inhabit it, or make it familiar.

“A Digital Surreal” seeks to explore how rendering can be employed as a space for the production of narratives that instead challenge our perceptions of space. Drawing from artwork from the Surrealist movement, the project considers the characteristics of work by artists including Rene Magritte, Kay Sage, and Conroy Maddox, amongst others, along with contemporary architectural precedents, using them to generate compositions of speculative moments and worlds where objects, scales, and stories come together to manipulate familiar environments.

The result is a collection of images that challenge the preconceived notions of architectural rendering, re-purposing the everyday and hyper-real in order to produce a digital Surrealism. The images serve as a commentary on rendering by means of manipulations, distortions, and a co-existence of reality and unreality that push us to explore the role of the architect as not only a producer of said reality, but as an artist with the ability to highlight peculiar, unfamiliar visions of space.

“A Digital Surreal” is composed of a collection of scenes built from digital models with a combination of self-built and sourced materials and objects, each exploring a marrying of architectural and Surrealist qualities. The collection pushes us to rethink our relationship with spatial imaginations, while producing content to be consumed by those familiar with architectural design, and those that are not. Looking forward, it seeks to serve as a point from which these visions may be pushed to take on concrete form, becoming spaces, objects, or experiences for engagement within the real world.


View exhibition online: Michael Garel-Martorana, A Digital Surreal

Included in

Architecture Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.