Congratulations to Lucie Rigaldies for her architectural thesis, which an outside panel of experts rated as “Highly Commended." Her thesis advisor is Professor Aki Ishida. Lucie is from Charlottesville, Virginia, and is excited to begin her journey as a professional. Lucie describes her thesis as:  

“This thesis explores the circulation of digital media as a condition that is rapidly changing the way we perceive people, cultures, and environments. As the accessibility and combinations of images are increasingly integrated into the built environment, we may find ourselves lost in the flux of virtual platforms. As Toyo Ito writes in Tarzans in the Media Forest, we are now designing for two types of bodies; “The real body which is linked with the real world by means of fluids running inside, and the virtual body linked with the world by the flow of electrons.” While we enter transient, digital space we live in fixed, architectural space. While we pursue fictional realities our bodies reside in the real world. While we swim in a sea of technology we search for nature in our cities.

As information space engenders an expanding consciousness, the act of design now exists between the unstable flows of informatics and the anchored frameworks shared by humans. In questioning how these new realities are conveyed, an interactive space for the presentation of emerging media is superimposed with a laboratory for its production. The exploration aims to capture architecture as an instrument for communication, and as the media form through which we encounter a collective network. Through an open-ended, blurry, and aggregational process, the architecture is endlessly perforated to allow for mediated interactions. 

An ecology of views and formats constructs a tangled operation that unfolds particular modes of traversing the work. Within a rigid, digital framework, spaces are permeated by flows of information and depict the lived experience of the city as increasingly ephemeral and fluctuating. This centralized network points to a series of flows and relationships that intersect and hold together long enough to form an architectural identity. Its substance is thus no longer a specific set of materials, but a more complex system of knowledge, languages, and technologies. The architecture displays an endless panorama - all either expanding or receding, melting or condensing. Both a mirror and an audience at once, this hyperconnected system is an accumulation of information and material; it is technological and human, virtual and real.”