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Anime for Architects: A new Perspective on Architecture

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Title:Anime for Architects: A new Perspective on Architecture
Authors:Weatherford, Rebecca
Contributors:Sarvimaki, Marja (advisor)
Architecture (department)
Date Issued:May 2012
Abstract:The primary argument of this study is that the medium of anime and manga, Japanese cartoons and comics, has the potential to offer a new perspective on the representation of architectural space. This might come as a surprise due to a preconceived notion that cartoons and comics are an immature art form without any value outside of the entertainment realm. Hence it is the goal of this dissertation to reveal how the methodology of manga, in particular, has the ability to enhance architectural representations in terms of the multi-sensory and space-time perception of architecture through characteristics of manga, such as narrative, portrayal of the invisible realm and the expression of both space and time by panel arrangements. To do this, a foundation with the beginnings, development, and basic visual vocabulary and grammar of comics is described and compared to other art forms. Through this comparison, the communicative power of comics is assessed by its combination of picture and word, ability to make visible the invisible through iconic images, and closure, which creates sequencing and narrative. Next, a comparison is made to show how manga is unique and visually distinctive from Western comics. Manga is found to make more use of the “masking” effect, aspectto- aspect and moment-to-moment panel transitions, length, hyper-stylization, and minimalist art. In order to argue that these manga differences have a better relationship in representing architectural space, important characteristics of architectural space are identified. These characteristics are the built environments presence in a multi-sensory world, space-time, and its association with experiential and lived space. These are then examined in relationship to the ability manga methodology has in representing these three characteristics. Finally, manga is compared to the current methods of representing architectural space such as conventional architectural drawings and writings, 3d architectural animations, virtual reality, and film. It can be concluded that manga is a more complete way of representing architectural space. As a demonstration of this, a sample manga that focuses on one particular area in Tokyo, Ikebukuro, is drawn to illustrate how this method can work utilizing the characteristics of manga, such as narrative, portrayal of the invisible realm and expression of both space and time by panel arrangements.
Pages/Duration:161 pages
Appears in Collections: D.ARCH. - Architecture

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