Where the facade bends — on narratives and fiction in architecture

A screening, conversation and workshop activity, around the short film: “Where the Facade Bends”.

​Which stories shape the stages of our everyday life? What are the narratives embedded in architectural practices, and what role do they play? Can we attempt to tell different stories, to expand the collective imaginaries of our cities, and to shift the perspective away from the one considered “neutral” by the market?

​These are some of the questions Sophie Czich addresses in her practice and wants to explore together in this ABC Session. The session will start with a screening and open discussion around the video piece “Where the Facade Bends”. It will then turn into a more hands-on workshop, testing how fiction and architecture are intertwined by playing with images, stories and words.

Part 1 — Screening and open discussion (~30-40 min)

​”Where the Facade Bends” (2021, 7 min) is a video exploration of the ideal spaces depicted in architectural 3D renders. In this work, the artist questions the highly realistic representations of places that don’t exist yet. These images stand halfway between an imaginary world and a future that will physically materialize. They play a role at several moments in the development of a place, whether it be for advertising to potential investors, communicating to convince the public, or creating a marketable image and storytelling. Happy human archetypes are pasted in the ‘perfect’ house, which is placed in an idealised environment. At the core of this peculiar world-building practice, the narrative of hyper-perfection fashions a sleek paradise, propels capitalist norms, and shapes our collective imagination of desirable lifestyles, cities, and potential futures.

Part 2 — speculative meaning-making activity (~1h)

​After having discussed this dominant representation and narrative in the first part of the session, the second part will focus on the various subjectivities a place can hold. Through this workshop, we will create some fictions and attempt to involve more perspectives in the way we make and think through images. Can storytelling and fiction deconstruct and reconstruct ways to inhabit and imagine cities?

For this exercise, it is ideal to bring an image of your choice involving architecture/urban space in a way or another. It can be a personal picture, material found online, a drawing, etc. The workshop will make use of the platform miro, please create your account there before the beginning of the session.


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