Narrative Spaces

The introduction of a spatial narrative refocuses the discussion in architecture from the depiction of a form into the realm of experience and emotions. With the digital medium user engagement become much stronger and effortless due to the narrative’s strong visual character. The potential viewer is already familiar with other types of narratives through our ever-prevalent television and movie culture. This congruency of digital representation to cinematographic media shares similar successes by being more intuitive to an audience than two-dimensional, line projections found in architecture such as plans and sections.

These student projects were developed as part of the sketch assignment for the Im/Possible Spaces studio at RISD. From the top to bottom: John Kim, Victor Serrano, Hae-Eun Choi

Idea for the narrative space (Danteum)
by Victor Serrano, RISD’2006

“This space is defined clearly by the relationship between the architectural elements and the light that penetrates like mist, and the progression of the space is determined by the position of the vertical elements in relation to the apertures. The idea behind my intervention is to create an awareness of that progression by way of defining ephemeral boundaries that highlight the tectonics of the space. The incorporation of weathering materials is a way to relate the intervention with the existing space and the illumination that changes at intervals function as a metronome that marks time. Sometimes zones can be suggested by way of enclosure or interlocking light volumes in order to direct the path through the morphing space. After being aware of the space, as a whole one cannot inhabit the space anymore for it will be already transformed into another space.”

Narrative space; dream to reality
by Hae-Eun Choi, RISD’ 2006

“In this project, I tried to create a dramatic transformation in one space by using light. While the space is static and tangible, light is changeable and intangible. We have different perceptions of one space through changing light. Conceptually, this space is changing from dream to reality. I relate these two perceptions with a light ball. It is a clue and confuses your perceptions by coexisting in dream and reality.

In the first scene, it starts in complete darkness. You do not have any clues about what is before us or where we are. Blue horizontal light sweeps from left to right. Then, it opens space like the blinking of an eye. Light erases the boundary of space through contrast of value and color. Then, it shows the illusion of columns among existing ones but we cannot differentiate them. One of the red light balls starts jumping. It attracts your eyes. It is a key to lead you into reality. The red light ball is slowly coming out of the existing column. When it comes out, it changes into a white light ball and enforces the illusion of light columns. I change the color of light ball to emphasize the change of illusions. The white light ball flies to the left of the space behind the doorways. As the ball passes along the doorways, it leaves a trail of very bright white light. We see the trace of the light ball expressing the space behind the wall. Coming into the center of the space from the doorway, the white ball gets even brighter. It fills the whole space with white. Now, we see whiteness. We cannot see anything else. It is the transition from dream to reality. The white light begins to diminish and disappears. The camera pans back and the light looks moving farther in the distance. You are now in reality. Ceiling, floor, walls and columns are visible and have a real texture.

In one of the columns, the red light fades in and out.

It is the same light ball as we saw in the dream space. It confuses what world we are in, dream or reality? The light ball jumps, flies, and inhabits in the space. It narrates the space by its motions in the dream but it is still there in reality. The light ball shows that your perception of space is following how light acts in the space.”