Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



Major Professor

Marleen K. Davis

Committee Members

Brian Ambroziak, Barbara Klinkhammer


"The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity." - Alberto Giacometti

"...representation itself is not a reflection of some "reality" in the world about us, but is a means of casting onto that world a concept - or a subliminal sense - of what reality is." -Ackerman, 121

Photography informs our perceptions of reality. Through various themes or techniques of transformation, the photograph exposes reality as an abstraction of itself and alters the way that we see and understand our surroundings. This way of seeing, or "photographic vision", is especially important in the visual field of architecture. As architects, we aim to create "moments of experience" within a building. By utilizing the photographic themes of transformation in the creation of these "moments", we can capture the same sense of illusion that is exposed in photography. As representations of themselves, these "moments" will offer a glimpse of an alternate reality.

The small-scale urban setting can benefit from a public building that embodies these ideas. Many small downtown areas have suffered misuse and neglect over the past decades, and are now attempting to reverse these effects through major revitalization efforts. A work of architecture based on the transformation of reality will not only encourage revitalization, but also become a symbol of the city's aspirations.

Museums engage our sense of vision. Their primary function is to display works of art, each of which becomes its own "moment of experience". Therefore, ideas of photographic transformation, altered perceptions, and "moments of experience" will be fully explored in the design of a museum.

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