In many ways, the process of architecture is a process of layering: layering of structures, layering of materials, and layering of spaces. Each different layer has its own identity while it is interconnected with others, collectively forming the work of architecture as a whole. When viewing a work of architecture in its entirety, one can identify small parts of the spaces, materials, structures, etc., while much is masked through its interaction with the others. When considering architecture as a result of the layering of different states, analogies to two-dimensional work may easily be drawn. The word “layer” in itself carries connotations of two-dimensionality, and there are media techniques that rely heavily upon layering. Collage, chin-collet, and multi-color printing immediately come to mind. Considering that these methods may have analogous relationships with architecture, and given architecture’s graphic representation methods of two-dimensional orthographic drawings, the quandary of translation arises. Can one translate a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional construct, and vice-versa? Arguably, yes. How does one go about doing this?
This degree project intends to explore the idea of architecture derived from two-dimensional imagery. This will be explored specifically through derivation of constructs from images created through reductive woodblock printing technique. The method of reductive woodcut produces a single, multi-colored image from a single block, as opposed to multiple blocks corresponding to each color. The artist plans his first state, or color to be printed, and cuts away only what is to remain the color of the paper being printed on. The first color is printed, and the artist then cuts away only what is to remain the first color. This way, the next color printed covers the previous color, except for what has been cut away. Over the course of the different states, the colors are layered and the woodblock is reduced to only the surface area necessary to print the final color. In reductive woodcut, planning the interaction between the color states and the physical states is paramount, and requires a level of consideration commensurate to the consideration given to the interaction of spaces and materials in architecture. This degree project intends to take advantage of the iterative process of reductive woodcut and recognizing the final image as a whole comprised of the interactive layering of different states. Each different state of printing will be examined in its singularity and translated into a three-dimensional counterpart. While each two-dimensional and three-dimensional state will have its own identity, its relationships with the other states are what form the finished work as a whole. This is why reductive woodcut has been chosen as the vehicle for exploration; its very nature requires that the work be considered simultaneously in its entirety and as individual states. This methodology will be applied to architecture, as architecture should be seen as a work of totality dependent upon the interaction of different states of material construction and space.