"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet."

Archive for the ‘Project Work’ Category

Unit 2B Spatial Strategies: Project Introduction-“Hell in a box”.

In Design, Project Work, Unit 2B, Weekly Update on April 9, 2011 at 12:27 am

Unit 2B SPATIAL STRATEGIES  (Read the Brief here)

To find out more about my new project please click on the link below:



Memory in time and Space: Project Presentation

In Architecture, Project Work on February 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Trailer for the Project Film:

Skylon Tower 1951, South Bank, London


The Discovery Dome, South Bank, London1951

Panorama of the Festival of Britain, London 1951


Matte Painting Template

DVD Design in IDVD Mac

The Video of the  CAD Model

Unit 2A: Architectural Furniture

In Project Work on February 8, 2011 at 2:58 am

Submission deadline:   Friday 11 February 2011, 2pm, Room Number A319 (Mies)

Assessment requirementsPresentation of a portfolio of work, to include:

•     a full depiction of your design proposal to include drawings, models, 2D and 3D computer drawings and construction and detail drawings;

•     documentation of research and sketches showing design methodology;

•     a 300-word evaluation of your architectural furniture proposal;

•     Self-evaluation form.

Unit 2A learning outcomes – in order to pass Unit 2A you must:

•   demonstrate the ability to design a piece of furniture at an architectural scale;

•   produce a clear set of constructional drawings which demonstrate the scheme’s detailed resolution;

•   integrate the use of computer 2D and 3D software programmes into the design process;

•   communicate a design proposal through drawing and model making;

•   make an evaluation of a client brief.

Marking Criteria – The following criteria will be used for marking your work:

Research: systematic investigation of appropriate sources
Analysis: examination and interpretation of resources
Subject knowledge: understanding and application of subject knowledge and underlying principles
Experimentation: problem solving, risk taking, experimentation and testing of ideas and materials in the realisation of concepts
Technical competence: skills to enable the execution of ideas appropriate to the medium
Communication and Presentation: clarity of purpose; skills in the selected media; awareness and adoption of appropriate conventions; sensitivity to the needs of the audience
Personal and professional development: management of learning through reflection, planning, self direction, subject engagement and commitment.
Collaborative and/or independent professional working: suitable behaviour in a professional context alone of with others

Memory in Time and Space

In Architecture, Film, Project Work, The Art of Film on February 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm


“My objective is to crate a space in which the spectator will instantly feel as if he was intruding on someone’s memories. It’s the kind of thing that u can watch ten times over and get new meaning each time.”

“Technically photography is a medium of memory, from the moment it’s taken via processing to the final photograph.  It always shows something which was present but is now in the past.  It captures for the observer, among other things, fleeting eventful experiences in the form of a reproduction on a two dimensional surface.  The observer remains outside the scene and as such can only revive it through his imagination .  Vice versa, since becoming mobile and liberating themselves from being hung on walls as illustrations and prints, images have become a possibility of observing something distanced in space and time, of being, of travelling somewhere else, without moving from where one is.” (Florian Rötzer)


In this project I will be undertaking the role of a set designer.  Scenographer’s part is not only an artistic or an architectural but most of all his work is based on symbolism.  A chair in a private kitchen and the one used in a film is entirely different.  In a domestic environment it has a practical use, in a cinema it becomes a symbolical object that communicates emotions and conveys ideas to the audience.

A scenographer develops the appearance of a stage design, a TV or movie set, a gaming environment, a trade fair exhibition design or a museum experience exhibition design. The term originated in theater. A scenographer works together with the theater director to make the message come through in the best way they think possible, the director having the leading role and responsibility particularly for dramatic aspects – such as casting, acting, and direction – and the scenographer primarily responsible for the visual aspects or “look” of the production – which often includes scenery or sets, lighting, and costumes, and may include projections or other aspects. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scenographer)


  1. CARROUSEL IMAGE PROJECTING DEVICE (think Carrousel Slide Projector, each horse back to play the position of a silngle image and the viewpoint of the person’s memory)
  3. IMAGES from the Festival of Britain 1951 Documentary Film (Black and White) MEMORY FROM THE PAST

Evolution from personal memory to digital memory in an architectural space.

The carousel, as a metaphor, has several universal connotations generally dealing with the idealized innocence of youth and a carefree nature.  As a ride that revolves, its circular path can also signify of the wheel of life and fortune. Combining these views of the carousels symbolism: innocence, lost, the constancy of life, and destiny, are an allusion to the individual, and society at large, dignified in time at the end of this century and the beginning of the new millennium.

In this way I interpret these two images to be related: The carousel depicts the “conscious” world image of life’s path and the photographic images from the Festival of Britain depicts the “unconscious” divine equivalent, a delightful memory of the grand festival.

This is also an example of the search for the unification of the world of fantasy (as in a dream or a world of the cinema) and its nestling space (the architectural environment of the dreams setting).

The images of South Bank used in the set are reproduced from their original form, treated as flat, two-dimensional photographs to retain its role as a symbol. Placed over the carousel – the horse figures, colorless and transparent in itself; take on the colors of the images from the past. The carousel becomes a stage for the show, the grand events of the exhibition. The interplay of the “real” and “imagined” blur and shift. Perspective space is implied yet mystified with uncertainty.

Through the presence of carousel I want to explore the relationship between the human mind and the memory of a past event, image process and the technological development shown in the presence of architectural buildings.  The set illustrates the projection of an image and importance of film responds to human’s memory in an architectural environment.

I also like the analogy of carousel to image projection – its presence is almost as if it was a real carousel slide projector, a device projecting still images in its immediate space.  It moves and continues in motion, but the journey of a carousel is an illusion, just as the illusion of a moving image in our minds (visual fantasy).

The photographic images of Festival of Britain – symbolize the Memory. The 3d model of the Festival Buildings and the Carousel (crated and rendered in Vector Works CAD Program) symbolize the architectural environment of the dream.  I used the model in a very technical and unrefined look (almost like taken from the architect’s desk) intentionally underline the relationship between the two worlds.

Modeling  of the Carrousel in Vector Works

Rendering of the Model

Adjusting of the Images in Photoshop

3d CAD Model of the Festival of Britain 1951


Matte Painting Device: How does it work?

In Project Work on December 6, 2010 at 6:08 am




The Story behind my Project – “Designing Dreams”

In Architecture, Film, Project Work on December 6, 2010 at 1:23 am

“My ambition is to recreate that dream world of fantasy, grandeur, passion and a spectacular landscape.”



My project is about the relationship between film and architecture in the environment of a city.




Many things, but most of all – the grand scale of the Festival of Britain,

that took place in the South Bank in the 1951.

The Theatrical Appeal of the South Bank.

I am also fascinated by the art of Matte Painting

and The History of Film and its importance in relation

to architecture and how we see our cities…


Whilst researching about the significant relationship between film and architecture I discovered the Art of Matte Painting.  I was truly amazed by the beauty and grandeur of the screens and the clever techniques applied by the artists in order to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit.  I have decided to read more on the subject of Matt Painting and that’s how I came across a fantastic book called “The Invisible Art.  The legends of Movie Matte Painting” by Mark Cotta Vaz & George Lucas.

"The Invisible Art" by Mark Cotta Vaz & Craig Barron

Illustration 1.  “The Invisible Art” by Mark Cotta Vaz & Craig Barron

I have learned about Peter Ellemshaw and his matt paintings for the “Black Narcissus”.  I remember watching this film long time ago but I had no idea that, it has been mostly shot in the Pinewood Studios in London, and the stunning scenery was a pure creation of Ellemshaw’s paint brush.

Illustration 2.  Peter Ellemshaw painting interior of an ice cave for the 1962 film “In search of the Castaways”

When Black Narcissus opened in England in 1947, Great Britain was barely emerging from the agony and exhaustion of World War II. Nothing could be further from gray, hungry postwar London than the India imagined by director Michael Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger: here was a land of high mountains, lush forests, and fields of flowers exploding in deeply saturated Technicolor, a tempting landscape of overwhelming beauty.”

The film is hauntingly beautiful. In Black Narcissus, colour was used to amp up the exotic nature and “otherness” of the Indian landscape, architecture and costume.  So convincing were the studio sets, plaster mountains and matte paintings, that Powell received many letters from people who had traveled or lived in India claiming to know the exact locations of certain scenes. The skills of both Jack Cardiff (Director of Photography) and Alfred Junge (Art Director) were acknowledged with Academy Awards.

Illustration 3.  A dramatically portrayed scene from the Black Narcissus, directed by Michael Powell, 1947

I became very interested in the work of Peter Ellemshaw.  I read this wonderful book called: “Ellemshaw under Glass – Going to the Matte for Disney”. Whether recollecting his childhood in England, his early days in the movie business, his wartime experiences as a pilot, his long and fruitful years at Disney, or his second career as a fine art painter, Ellenshaw flavors his text with warmth and wit.  There is also a sparkling documentary based on the book under the same title.


With the changes of freedom after 2nd world war came the simple expressions of structure and functions, which rejected facile imitations of historical styles.  In 1951, just six years after World War II, Britain’s towns and cities still showed the scars of war that remained a constant reminder of the turmoil of the previous years. With the aim of promoting the feeling of recovery, the Festival of Britain opened on the 4th May 1951, celebrating British industry, arts and science and inspiring the thought of a better Britain.

The most effective medium modern architects had at their disposal was the exhibition, where full-scale examples of modern architecture often went on display before the public.  The exhibition pavilion and its express function as a publicity event also fostered a spirit of experimentation.

In this respect, exhibitions were comparable to movie sets, which were likewise temporary constructions having useful publicity value for studios.    Although exhibitions never attracted spectators to the same extend as did the movies, they did allow architects to reach an unprecedentedly large audience.

Exhibitions provide a convenient means of tracing the development of modern architects as viewed by the public – and of course, by the movie designers who adopted what they saw for the movies.

The story of modern architecture in the movies properly begins in the middle years of this century’s second decade.  The warfare that had inflicted so much devastation on Western Europe helped contribute to the destruction of the now outmoded notion that insisted on a separation between the “high” arts, like painting, architecture, and sculpture, and the “low” ones, like cinema.  A new purposeful realism emerged, one that sought to combine all aesthetic efforts-elite and popular – with modern technology into coherent, egalitarian agenda for the arts. It was against this background that cinema and modern architecture took first steps toward their fruitful confluence.

While film and architecture had many aesthetic affinities- most notably in their shared interest in special inventions, artificial illumination,  and movement – movie makers contributed to modernism a sense of fantasy, whimsy, and drama, qualities that modern buildings, so often lacked.  Film has the ability to execute modern designs on a grandness of scale through the many fascinating techniques that only in the cinematic world they can bloom to life…



1. “The Invisible Art.  The legends of Movie Matte Painting” by Mark Cotta Vaz & George Lucas;  Thames & Hudson, London

2.  “Ellenshaw Under Glass – Going to the Matte for Disney” by Peter Ellenshaw

3.  “How to Read a Film” by James Monaco;  Oxford University Press, New York, 2000

4. “Designing Dreams” by Donald Albrecht; Thames & Hudson’ London 1987

Katrina on Her New Project

In Project Work on December 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm
  1. WHAT IS YOUR PROJECT ABOUT?  My project is about the relationship between film and architecture in the environment of a city.
  2. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? I am trying to juggle a few different projects at the moment.  Right now I am still experimenting with my matte painting device.  I am learning how to use Final Cut Studio and I have just started editing the documentary “Behind the scenes of the Six and the City Project”.  I am also quite busy organising my Film Event, which is a project for my Exhibition Elective.
  3. DESIGN IS … Intelligence made Visible.
  4. DO YOU HAVE A NAME FOR YOUR PROJECT? Yes, I call it –  “Designing Dreams.”
  5. WHAT INSPIRED YOU?  Many things, but most of all – the grand scale of the Festival of Britain that took place in South Bank in the 1951. The Theatrical  Appeal of the South Bank.  I am also fascinated by the art of Matte Painting and The History of Film and its importance in relation to architecture and how we see our cities…
  6. MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS PROJECT?  Spend as much time as you can at the site, always have your mind open for new ideas and inspiration, talk to people, don’t be afraid to experiment … and always have a spare battery for your camera.
  7. MISTAKE YOU WOULDN’T REPEAT?  I never repeat my mistakes.  I try to learn from them and move on to the next thing.
  8. WHAT IS YOUR STRONGEST POINT/ SKILL?  Research.  I am like a detective.  I will not stop until my knowledge on the subject is fully satisfied.  I enjoy learning new things …
  9. WHAT ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH?  My experimentation skills.  I seem to always leave this part of the project to the last minute and then I get into trouble when things don’t work the way I intended them to!
  10. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT THIS TERM?  The moment when I learned that I have gotten a place at the Film Platform.  It was exactly what I wanted to do this year.  Almost like a dream came true …  I am very happy with what I have achieved this term and I am looking forward to bringing my project to life soon …
  11. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING ON THE FILM PLATFORM?  I love the fact that we have a great freedom of expression.  I can work in my favorite medium – photography and film.  And I love the blogging thing…
  12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FILM?  I can’t just choose one … I like many different films for different things.  Recently I watched “Metropolis” and I loved it!
  13. YOU LIVE BY THESE WORDS…  “Some people see things as they are and say: Why?… I dream of things that never were and say: Why not!”