Architectures of Hiding

Zenovia Toloudi

Yellow + Blue, 2021

In an era where architecture is more and more absorbed by atmospheres and spectacles, it is timely to think through these terms less from the lens of new gadgets and technologies, and more from the lens of the physicality of structures. For these physical operations that produce either optical illusions or transformations of matter, this ongoing research employs the term architectural apparatus: It can be either an individual structural element with particular forms, materials, textures, and perforations, or an opening and a threshold, or a design of particular scales, geometries, proportions, and dimensions, or a strategically positioning of a building or monument to produce an effect in the eyes of the beholders. The architectural apparatuses intervene in particular buildings or conditions to either transmit light, or recreate an image to interrupt the daily routine in a building through the production of ever-changing phenomena, or to produce an illusion of infinity in a small interactive futuristic model. The architectural apparatuses become an intermediate architectural operation between two polar ends: the increasing corporate architecture (physical) and the increasing screen experiences (virtual). Through experiment and experience, certain ideas prevail about architectural apparatuses: they are artifacts yet non-representational; they become portals for phantasmagoria; they disrupt the spatial homogeneity and life-style monotony; they recalibrate the senses and cognitive abilities of the viewer; they displace temporarily one’s image in relation to the surroundings; they are theatrical, literal, and temporal; they become transitional objects or communicative devices; and they become co-producers of space.

Keywords: art, architecture, installations, perception

DR. ZENOVIA TOLOUDI, D.Des, AIA Intl Associate, is an architect, artist and Associate Professor of Studio Art at Dartmouth College. Founder of Studio Z, a creative practice focusing on the intersection of architecture, art, and urbanism, her work centers on connections between the environment, technology, and society. Zenovia has exhibited internationally, including at the Biennale in Venice, Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, France, the Center for Architecture in New York, the Boston Architectural College, the Athens Byzantine Museum, the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens. She has won commissions from Illuminus Boston, and The Lab at Harvard. Her work belongs to permanent collections at Aristotle University and the Thracian Pinacotheca. A Research Fellow at Art, Culture, and Technology Program at MIT, a recipient of The Class of 1962 Fellowship, a Public Voices Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow, Zenovia received her doctorate from Harvard’s GSD, a M.Arch. from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a diploma in Architectural Engineering from Aristotle University.

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