In the next 50 years, the mission of the School of Architecture and Design will be to develop, nurture, and deploy the power of human creativity to shape a more sustainable, more just, and more beautiful world. Through innovative programs and high-impact research, we will prepare future leaders and expand knowledge in the creative arts and industries.
We believe creative work is vitally important. It’s important not only for the solutions it can provide to some of our most intractable problems, or because it can contribute to a more beautiful and humane world, though either or both of these results would certainly be enough reason to do it. But we also believe that creativity is central to our very humanity, and that the work is important in the doing, not solely for what it does. Creativity is not simply instrumental. It’s essential.
In the coming years, we will likely be talking and thinking quite a lot about what makes us human, and how we are like—and unlike—the devices that we’ve invented to help us and, increasingly, to augment us. This work will constitute a dance between the individual and the collective, the manual and the automatic, the intuitive and the reasoned, and between the human and the machine. It is this dynamic that we explore in the work displayed here.
Developed by second-year Bachelor in Architectural Studies students in Professor Daniel Canogar’s Experimentation Workshop course, these projects explore our relationship to the technological.
The work combines a focus on effect (light, shadow, movement), and on the way that new technologies can be both alienating and surprisingly natural. The work demonstrates that our students are at once fluent in the world of new technologies and occasionally wary of where they may lead.
As we move into the next 50, this critical and creative approach may serve us well. To embrace the new can also be to wrestle with it, to struggle, and ultimately, we hope, to produce something worth calling art.
This installation explores the relationship between humans and technology, highlighting the ways that technology surrounds and consumes us. Featuring a white box representing the all-encompassing nature of technology, with a moving shadow figure projected inside, it symbolizes a struggle to escape the constraints of technology and social media.
A video projection displays silhouettes that appear to be trying to escape the box, conveying the overwhelming nature of constant connectivity. The mask suspended above the empty chair represents the false personas we adopt on social media, but the expression on the mask seems to betray anxiety and sadness. A constantly buzzing phone is placed in the “brain” of the mask, symbolizing how technology affects our emotions and cognitive processes. Sound notifications add to the sense of information overload, inviting viewers to reflect on their own interactions with technology.
The installation explores the human influence on technological development through a blend of natural materials and technological symbolism. The artwork centers on stones, the first tools produced by primitive humans, symbolizing the roots of technology.
The arrangement of rocks follows an arrow-like shape, representing the evolution of technology. Larger rocks symbolize early inventions, transitioning to smaller stones and, finally, the broken microchip, signifying the immense data storage capabilities of modern technology while also highlighting its fragility. The base, a black-tinted glass table, mirrors our modern screens, while large stone rocks support it, emphasizing the link between modern and early technology.
Clay was used in the sculpture to add another natural element while ensuring structural stability. From above, a hanging lamp illuminates the installation and creates mesmerizing patterns on the glass. This installation harmoniously juxtaposes primitive and modern elements, encouraging viewers to reflect on the past, present and the path toward the future.
In this project, a red string leads to a large white screen, guiding visitors both toward and away from the artwork. Inspired by the Greek myth of the Minotaur, in which Ariadne uses a red string to help Theseus find his way out of the Minotaur’s maze, the project focuses on the complexity of technology and what happens behind the scenes when they search for information online.
A hanging white sheet, representing a computer screen, conceals a maze of red strings, which symbolize the intricate web of technology that makes our computers work. At first glance, the viewer only sees the external string that leads towards the artwork. A projector inside the installation illuminates a partial, two-dimensional section of the web of strings so that it becomes visible on the screen, allowing the observer a glimpse of the beauty and chaos of the “circuitry” behind it.
This piece evokes the sense of loneliness and confusion that many social media users experience, despite being constantly wrapped up in a web of connections through their phones. The screen shows two women holding their phones, wrapped in brightly colored string that represents the addictive pull of technology. The eerie music and message notification sounds are designed to create tension as viewers realize the depth of our reliance on technology.
In the video, one user’s phone dies, causing her to rip the strings away in an effort to find a real, face-to-face connection. However, she cannot achieve it and falls to the ground, demonstrating our inability to function without technology. This piece is a sharp commentary on the role of social media and technology in the lives of students and young people today, who depend on their screens for work and study but are also addicted to them for communication and entertainment.
The project explores the multifaceted relationship between technology and humanity, portraying technology as a double-edged sword, in that it has brought great benefits but also carries inherent risks. The artwork uses reflective materials to create distorted images, symbolizing the diverse opinions and facts we encounter daily from a myriad of sources. The CDs emphasize the rapid pace of technological evolution and obsoletion, while their broken pieces represent the splintering of our attention between various media sources.
A bust sculpture depicts technology's encroachment into our minds, shaping our personalities and actions, even controlling us. Geometric structures are used throughout to reflect digital design and represent the essence of technology—connection. A flashing light at the center of the installation portrays the constant barrage of notifications, echoing the inescapable cycle of connectivity in our connected existence. The project highlights the influence we allow technology to have on us, even though we are the ones who shape and build it.
This installation uses an arrangement of laptops to represent the different aspects of the profound connection between humans and technology in the digital age. The shifting colors on the central screen mirror the constantly changing emotions and opinions that are inspired in us by technology, which itself is continuously shifting and evolving. The accompanying soundtrack changes with the colors on the screen, creating an immersive multimedia experience for the viewer.
Several other laptops surround the central piece, contrasting the active evolution happening on the central screen. The surrounding laptops are switched on, but they are blank, silent and tipped on their sides. These represent the experience of “technological solitude,” the disconnection from reality when people become too immersed in their virtual worlds. The contrast between these blank screens and the colorful central computer represents the difference between passive consumption and dynamic interaction with technology, inviting viewers to question their own relationships with their devices.
This installation explores the theme of technology and humans through a series of hanging wooden frames representing the various screens that people use every day. The strings running between the frames symbolize the connections that these screens allow us to make through texts, emails and the exchange of information. The idea came from a previous work by the same students, which used these wooden frames to explore the relation between space and light through the medium of film.
A light is projected through the hanging shapes to create a two-dimensional image on the screen behind. However, only part of the 3D space is projected on the screen, representing the incomplete picture we get of events and people through the media. Finally, a frame placed on the floor, outside the range of the light and unattached to any strings, symbolizes the choice made by some people to remain disconnected from the digital world.
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