Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.Arch.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Michael Halflants, M.Arch.

Keywords

Impression, Surface, Letterpress, Mold, Print, Tactile

Abstract

The word impression encompasses a dual meaning which desires to be more fully explored in the built realm. An (im-print) has a powerful impact because the message becomes an indelible mark embedded within the material. Physically, an impression is made by the pressure of one object on or into another, leaving behind a trace of this interaction on the surface. This process has the potential to create a vivid memory within the participant who comes into contact with it. The idea of imprint can become a part of the process of design both physically and conceptually. As polished concrete can be marveled for its beauty in craftsmanship, so too can the manipulation of surface serve as a valuable haptic communicator for those who interact with it. Sight is a powerful sense, but it remains devoid of any physical relationship with the world surrounding us and provides a level of separation which discourages us to examine our environment on other sensorial levels. By (im-print)ing a material it transforms from a purely visual statement into a haptic experience, engaging the user and introducing a visceral dialogue. Inspired by the process of letterpress print-making, surface can be explored to tactilely communicate narratives of craft, materiality, and process, and open a new haptic dialogue to the body; subtly but powerfully. Through a tactile investigation of materials' expression, we can gain a greater connection to that which envelops us and encourage a corporeal dialogue between user and built environment. This process sets out to create an assembled space through the process of making, molds and prints, and to relay this education of process and materiality to the user hapticly, engaging the senses and in turn (im-print)ing upon the user an indelible quality of experience which inevitably impacts further exploration within the built environment.

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