Comics: An Alternative Visualization Tool for Post-Rationalist Architecture

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Natre Wannathepsakul

Abstract

Representational tools are never just a neutral vehicle of communication. The post-war critique of modernist architecture and the emergence of certain strands of postrationalist architecture that prioritised the aesthetic, socio-cultural and sensorial dimensions were accompanied by attempts by architects such as Alison and Peter Smithson and Nigel Coates to come up with alternative methods of architectural visualisation that would correspond to their particular interests and directions. This paper traces their developments and then proposes the medium of comics as a way to document the specificity of the socio-cultural makeup of a place and to represent architecture that focuses on human perception and sensorial experience. The paper focuses on three properties of comics: its sequential nature through the use of panels allowing for the element of time and therefore storytelling, the portrayal of characters and the graphical techniques that strive to render non-visual experiences visually.

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