Applying FABRIC as a Tool to Understanding Architectural and Landscape Icons in a Time of Travel Restrictions
journal contributionposted on 09.11.2021, 19:23 by Jacqueline McIntosh, Bruno MarquesBruno Marques
Iconic architecture and landscape architecture are most often understood through photographic media that mediates between the idea and the reality for those learning to design. The drastic lockdown responses to COVID-19 and the limitations on local and international travel highlighted the importance of the visual and the potential of the virtual. However, visual media can also be understood as systems that go far beyond a strict representation of an object. In this climate where publicity, politics, and perception play ever more crucial roles, representations of iconic architecture and landscapes increasingly blur the boundaries between the imaginary and the tangible. This paper examines the experience of iconic architecture and landscape in four iconic European cities (Paris, Barcelona, Seville, and Lisbon) as seen through the eyes of fifty postgraduate architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture students from New Zealand. It compares their understanding of a building or landscape from its photographic image before engaging with the physical reality. Students were asked to first identify iconic architecture and landscape, then closely analyze and document the essential qualities which established its pre-eminence. A subsequent visit to each of the places provided the opportunity for comparison and the testing of the realities and fictions of the icons themselves. Our research finds that today’s architecture students are savvy and sophisticated consumers of technology. It also presents FABRIC, a conceptual framework that offers additional scaffolding for educating design students through experiential learning in a time of travel restrictions.