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Proceedings of the 18th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student

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Design -- Study and teaching (Higher)


This paper explores aspects of media that concern illusion and allusion. It will present some examples of beginning design student projects to question and elucidate both the inherent differences of these potentially dichotomous terms and how they might lead us in a more concordant direction for teaching beginning design and visual communications in architecture. In recent history, we have seen examples of drawings such as those published by Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind that have had an inclination to place archrtecture into a greater state of allusion. These drawings are exciting and provoke the thoughtful references to the poss ibi lities of the design. We can also view renderings, produced on our computers, which appear to offer us the ability to easily create highly detailed and precise modes of exact-ness. Because of their seductive nature we should look at both drawings and models and wonder about the issues of illusion. These examples may seem, on the surface, to show the potential opposition of the connotations of allusion and illusion in the production of architecture in relation to the media that we use for designing. But it is when we consider the deeper meaning of these terms; we may conclude that these somewhat disparate ideas may really be two sides of the same issue.


Presented at the 18th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. March 14-16, 2002.

Copyright 2002 Portland State University. Published by Portland State University, Department of Architecture

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