Isabela Sierra

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 5-2023


kaleidoscopic, Ultrecht's canal-lined park, perception, visual experiences, ocular-centric, optical realities, photography




Architectural Technology | Architecture | Arts and Humanities | Photography


Since ancient tines, philosophers have tied knowledge to clear vision. Sight has been deemed the most important sense to mankind. Plato said vision was "humanity's greatest gift." It is human nature to make optical conclusions, to reify, to totalize, to control. What is seen is assumed to certain because of the uncontested and unexplored optical gray areas upheld by our rational and technological culture. We solidified our ocular-centric society by creating vision-generated understandings of knowledge, truth, and reality. Architecture, along with art and film, deals directly with human existence in space. Architecture is the construction of human perception.

The universe is uncertain and unsettled. Photos and film prove that what you saw was relative to your position in time and space. The invention of the perspective drawing organized reality into an ideal perception where man was in the middle. The invention of the camera proved there is no center. There are gray areas between our glimpses of reality; this project aims to highlight the possibilities of the space between space allowing for human contemplation of our optical understanding.

Like a painting or photograph, architecture is composed of fragments, parts, or fabrications. A perceiver looking at a painting, film, or photograph allows the mind to come up with every possible reality that composed it. The same can be found in architecture. There are so many realities as there are perceivers. Everything visual is a collection of fragmented parts; with every step, the composition changes. There are many realities as there are perceivers. Everything visual is a collection of fragmented parts, with every step, the composition changes. These optical dynamics call for complex fragmentation or kaleidoscopic architecture to question our optical realities.

This thesis contends with the homogeneity of vision and explores the notion of fragmenting the singular linear perception in architecture to critically understand human existence in space. Though s series of optical episodes in Ultrecht's canal-lined park landscape, the architecture highlights and dramatizes our awareness of possible perceptions by constructing our mechanisms of perception and then cinematically shifting, altering, distorting, and complicating the visual experience.

Additional Information

Thesis Group: Architecture as the Design of Buildings

Advisors: Valeria Herrera, Richard Rosa



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.