M. ARCH I
Fiction, Worldbuilding, Otherworlds, regional architecture, distinction
TO THOSE WHO HELPED ME DEFINE FANTASY: AKSHAY BAPAT • AMY SCHWALBER • AZADEH SAMIEI •BILAL HYDER • CONNOER MCDONALD • DIPAL MISTRY • ERIC SCHWALBER • ERIN DARNAUER • HANUSIA HIGGINS • JANE ZANKMAN • KATIE EHRLICH • KOJO QUAINOO • KRYSTOL AUSTIN • MAISIE HEINE • MATHEW RUTLEDGE • MAUREEN YUE • RACHEL GAYDOS • RAHUL RAMASWAMY • REBECCA HSU • RUTH BLAIR MOYERS • SEOHYUNG (KAY) LEE • SHIVANGI BHATIA • ZICHENG WANG
Classical Literature and Philology | Environmental Design | Literature in English, North America | Other Classics | Regional Sociology | Urban Studies and Planning
Fantasy literature world building can suggest and support alternative paths for architectural practice using the super stimuli of fantasy “otherworlds” to promote and create more “placed” spaces and improve the wellbeing of communities. According to Edward Relph, the United States has had an issue with “placelessness” since the 1950’s, where building typologies are nationally distributed and rarely localized. Literary Fantasy has created worlds so desirable that they have permeated into a multi-billion dollar industry that reaches past literature, making the consumption of fictional worlds a central behavior in modern societies. The cultural importance and success of the genre is due largely to the importance of world building in that genre’s success, as imaginary worlds act as super stimuli, tapping into the human’s interest for unfamiliar environments according to cognitive scientists Dubourg et al. The speculative fiction genre requires a separation from our world, resulting in distinct “otherworlds”. So why Fantasy rather than any other type of fiction? Fantasy differs from other types of fiction in that it pulls heavily from folk culture for inspiration. This mix of historical precedent and world delineation often results in a regionally distinct architecture, ideal for dealing with placelessness. By comparing fantasy world architectures, we can synthesize fantasy elements and create a framework for designing and testing. Simulations are then run, showing how this framework can develop distinctly regional architecture. We then test these new designs against the Living Building Challenge, gauging how the fantasy framework can increase inhabitant wellbeing. Using a framework to tap into this massively popular genre, we can provide a model for architects how to promote a more placed and conscientious architecture to developers and owners, and begin to ascribe worth to buildings that score highly on the fantasy scale.
Schwalber, Kae, "MORE THAN JUST A FANTASY: LITERARY FANTASY AS AN ARCHITECTURAL TOOL" (2021). Architecture Senior Theses. 487.
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