Seeing is deceiving : illusionary architecture

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Hogan, Kieran
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Francis, Kerry
Wake, Sue
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
public libraries
library building design
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Hogan, K. (2018). Seeing is deceiving : illusionary architecture. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can deceptive visual experience be used as a productive architectural device? ABSTRACT: The commonly heard phrase ‘seeing is believing’ may hold true for general aspects of life but falls on deaf ears when illusions are involved. Whether you see them or even acknowledge their existence, illusion and deception are all around us. It is the intention of this project to exploit this fact, delving into the world of illusions in art and architecture to design derived from these deceptions. [...] The current knowledge base accounts for theories in visual perception and the process for the way people perceive visual information. Along with is various artistic references to illusions exist that are yet to be explored in depth within an architectural field. Many more precedents remain undiscovered or unassociated with the specific categorization of ‘illusion’ yet present qualities that are assuredly deceptive and provide more information towards a library of knowledge developed through this project. This working towards design decisions and a final architectural resolution. Dividing the design into three phases allows for the continuous growth in knowledge as the precedent library expands to utilised to the its fullest. This generating a greater understanding of the design decisions as the phases get more complicated. The first design phase focussing on illusion of object to explore how its application manipulates common form. The second increasing in scale and introducing an architectural element as a medium scaled dwelling. This investigating how the illusory techniques identified manipulate form and space at an architectural scale. The third and final design phase is the largest and most complicated as a large-scale public building. Introducing much greater special considerations along with more divergent formal properties. The result hoping to achieve a large-scale public building which shows the prolificacy of illusion derivative architecture. A building, in the end, case a library, that speaks mostly for itself through its visual properties and architectural resolve.
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