graphic objects

an exhibition by Hans Tursack

graphic objects

by Hans Tursack

Text and images by Hans Tursack

About Graphic Objects


My experimental design work, academic research, and teaching address the architectural use of color and time-based media. Through investigations into color, process, and geometry, I attempt to recover elements of speculative architecture mined largely from the history of various postwar neo-avant gardes.

While one of the most significant formalist narratives in the recent history of experimental designis the exchange between abstract painting and architecture, color as a design problem presents a critical blind spot in professional practice and in the education of architects. The history of compositional theory in architecture (the theory of how architectural form arrives into design space) is largely one of geometric (conceptual) thought being translated into the material stuff of the built world through intricate linework drawings and diagrams. Asserting colorful, two-dimensional graphic matter into geometric genesis narratives upsets received formalist wisdom. As media theorist Carolyn L. Kane points out in her writing, color has been relegated to the periphery of philosophies of perception in the history of western aesthetics. As architectural values, color and surface (as opposed to ontologically superior subjects like form and geometry) are disparagingly cast as ornamental or cosmetic concerns.

Above: Rendering from Ghent House
Header: Animation of Campus

Floor Plan Renderings from Ghent House (left) and Desert House (right).
The work collected in Graphic Objects constitutes a series of four house-projects and an animation that visualizes a campus of building-scale objects. The work is largely a compositional research endeavor. The projects aspire to set color, geometry, and tectonics into a reciprocal visual conversation from the first moment of an architectural thought. Using digital form-finding techniques, visual tropes borrowed from gaming culture, and animation/simulation platforms, the work explores the communicative function of architectural objects’ geometric and graphic conditions. As a conversation with historical precedents that engages geometric art and postwar formalist architecture, the work amplifies and hyperbolizes those visual codes.
Wedge Gallery

©2021 Woodbury School of Architecture
Website design and show identity by Robyn Baker
©2021 Woodbury School of Architecture
Website and show identity by Robyn Baker