Imagining the Ultra Real

Visual Studies

Spring 2013

Farzin Lotfi-Jam, instructor

As a means of communication, no other visual media rivals the short animation in its efficacy. It can make you laugh, cry, be horrified, believe and disbelieve, all within thirty seconds. The unique structure—linear time, filmic juxtapositions, narrative and abstract composition—has become the drawing of contemporary architecture and design. Kinetic by nature, animation can reveal the way in which an architectural space changes over the time.

Change occurs in multiple ways: it may be motion of bodies in space; it could be the dynamic quality of light and materials; it might be that it is imperceptible under “normal” conditions, either too slow or too fast for our senses—but that change can be revealed through the use of animation.

The workshop was structured by the production of its final assignment—a short animation that imagined how a space changes over time. Students drew an animated sketch of an architectural space using a three-dimensional interface in combination with any other graphic means necessary. The concept was then developed and refined through the use of advanced three-dimensional techniques, providing a broad based knowledge of current digital animation practice.