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A shifting facade : an exploration of the zone between actual and illusionary form


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Coote, RD 2007 , 'A shifting facade : an exploration of the zone between actual and illusionary form', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The starting point for this project was in the reflections upon modernist glass
façades. Throughout this research the reference to reflections developed into a
broader critical interrogation and investigation into the possibilities of glass
within other architectural spaces.
The aim has been to develop both a visual and working methodology which could
speak from within, and about, particular architectural spaces; with the intention to
disrupt the formalised architectural grid by distorting our perception of
architecture as being contained. By taking what is intrinsic to external glass
architecture - a visual combination of stable and fragile forms - into utilitarian
architectural spaces, I sought to create non-static readings of otherwise static
spaces. The ultimate aim being to create multiple reflections that could suggest a
constructed space that seemed sturdy, but with the illusion of being able to shift or
collapse at any moment.
Throughout this project I have explored the possibilities of combining float glass
and stainless steel through the process of kiln-forming. I experimented with
installation strategies to attach these materials directly to the architectural
elements they reference, so the work seems to come from its architectural source
before breaking away and disrupting it. The resulting works falls into three
categories: architectural installations, objects and large-scale public art. The
installations in the final submission exhibition are arranged as a collection of
ideas and possibilities for utilitarian architectural spaces, which could be applied
on a larger-scale. The two public art commissions see the accumulation of the
studio research within actual architectural spaces, and the objects are experiments
into industrial processes and prototypes.
The contextual research focused mainly on the glass façade and the critique and
interpretation of it. This project finds a solid grounding in both the questioning of,
and admiration for, modernist glass architecture, particularity Mies van der Rohe;
looking at his glass skyscraper and Barcelona Pavilion as case studies. Leading on
from this I explored the new sensibility of post modernist and contemporary glass
architecture along with the Deconstructivist architects of the 1980's who
collapsed and questioned architectural structure. A sculptural influence on the
project has been Dan Graham and his critique of glass within architecture through
his 'pavilion' series, along with artists Mary Schaffer and Christopher Wilmarth
who explore the potential use of glass in an innovative and sculptural way. The
installation of glass within architectural space has been researched through
Australian artists Janet Laurence, Wendy Mills and Maureen Cahill.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Coote, RD
Keywords: Glass construction, Glass in art, Facades
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2007 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references

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