Sasha Leon

 Sasha Leon
Mentor: Dr. Mark McGlothlin
College of Design, Construction, and Planning
"So many curiosities emerge from my architectural education, and I don’t always have the opportunity explore them as in depth as I would like to. There are also a lot of correlations that I draw between architecture and my outside interests/experiences, most particularly the process of analogue photography. I see this research program as an opportunity to more rigorously explore and develop those curious correlations. And more importantly, I strive to open up a discussion across disciplines; I am much more interested in the question, than I am in its answer."

Major

Architecture

Minor

Landscape Architecture

Research Interests

  • Architecture

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • Florida Academic Scholars
  • Arthur Bleen Anderson Scholarship

Organizations

  • N/A

Volunteer

  • N/A

Hobbies and Interests

  • Architecture Design

Research Description

Architectural Representation: Examining the Intersection Between Analogue and Digital Process
The fact is that the process of making the building endows it with a dimension that cannot be reproduced through the picture or image of the built work. Reciprocally, architectural representations must be regarded as having the potential to embody fully an intended order, like any other work of art” (Perez-Gomez, “Architectural Representation Beyond Perspectivism”.) The “dimension” Perez-Gomez addresses refers to the conceptual aspect of a work, the motivating ideas. In Architectural Representation Beyond Perspectivism, he defends the imperative value of conceptual development and preservation in architectural works, obscuring the line between architecture and art. My research intends to function along this blurred line to explore the role of the architect as a mediator between the conceptual and built realm. The objective of the architectural process is the translation of ideas into physical form. A compilation of documents, drawings, plans, sections, elevations, physical models, and digital renderings, compose the architectural language primarily considered necessary for such translation. The current of today’s architectural industry is strongly swayed by the rapid advancement of technology. New tools, such as digital 3dimensional modeling, have roused a fascination with the ability to rapidly produce a high quality image of a built work before its actualization. Umberto Eco refers to hyperreality as the notion of an image preceding and perhaps replacing reality as a mere simulation. As architecture crosses the threshold between analogue and digital, it is important to re-evaluate prior tools/technologies potential. What aspects of the architectural process may be lost in this shift? How can the roles of preceding tools/technologies be reconsidered to work with tools of a new era? I think there is an interesting parallel between the advent of digital renderings and the advent of photography that may provide answers to these questions. The birth of the photographic image radically altered the way in which reality was perceived and projected; art was no longer strongly obliged nor desired to accurately depict reality—reality could be recorded. Over more than a century, photography has evolved from the base recording of reality to an art form. My research will first examine various precedents of experimental photography, such Man Ray’s photograms, in which light-sensitive materials are exposure with objects directly on their surface. Another example is the architecture firm Diller + Scofidio’s use of film to simultaneously project a plan view and elevation of live performances. Both of the examples show the potential for photography to surpass the reproduction of reality and reveal an alternative conceptual itinerary. The precedent studies will serve as a foundation for exploration of implementing new technologies to preserve the art in architectural representation rather than simply producing another image of reality, or in some cases, hyperreality. To further probe and gain a more comprehensive understanding of conceptual preservation and representation I would like to have the opportunity to produce my own body of work, entailing investigational photography as an architectural means. Could the intriguing opportunities to embody the conceptual dimension of architecture through advanced technology lie within the contemplation of its predecessors?