Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Digital Decay: Glitch Architecture

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posted on 2022-07-28, 01:58 authored by Haslop, Blaire

We now live in a world where architecture is produced through arrays of pixels and this remains as the representation rather than the reality of buildings inevitably ageing their physical forms. So if architecture is kept in this digitally frozen state, then how does architectural form age over time? It glitches. A glitch is defined as a sudden malfunction or fault caused by the harsh reality of digital decay. Currently glitches as a result of digital decay are solely explored as forms of 2d art therefore this thesis looks to reconnect the underlying data to its digital architectural spatial form and interpret digital decay in 3d. Our methodology follows a systematic iterative process of transformational change to explore design emergence on the base of computational glitches. A numerical data driven process is explored using decayed files which are turned into 3d formal expressions. In this context, stereoscopic techniques are experimented, helping understand further how glitch can be performed within a 3d virtual environment. Ultimately we explore digital architectural form existing solely in the digital realm that confidently expresses glitch in both its design process and aesthetic outcome. This thesis does not aim to answer the research question through a resolved building, we instead define architecture as three dimensional digital form and space. This thesis uses glitch as a methodology to design three dimensional spaces within the digital realm. The architecture exists in the digital therefore the spatial perception of architecture created through this research is in the eye of the beholder and their previous spatial experiences. Employing a methodology of transformational change to explore design emergence on the base of glitches or decayed files, the aim is to generate a contemporary architectural interpretation of decayed data. (Haslop et al., 2016).


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Schnabel, Marc