how to document your architecture experience…. video, photo, words, sketch, writing…
There are so many ways to capture your experience of architecture. Each method offers different benefits as well as different levels of authenticity. A photograph or video can be thought to come closest to reality however even they are subjective and are not exact replications after all photography replicates a 3-dimensional object in 2-dimensions and weakly represents movement and time, video can do that but still lacks documenting the many other senses we use to describe architecture (related topic: How do we EXPERIENCE ARCHITECTURE). So how can we authentically represent our architectural experiences?
Simple – we don’t…
There are two main filters our experience of architecture will go through before it can be documented: our personal subjectivity and the media we choose to represent it
Subjectivity is our interpretation, understanding and opinion of space and architecture which can be highly influenced by the personal experience you have at that given time. How we understand and perceive space can vary greatly from one person to the next. Projects which create strong reaction, both positive and negative are successful, in my opinion, because they hit a nerve and force viewers to stop and think a minute. Good architecture can make you ultra-aware of the space you are in and the moment so your reaction and impression of the architecture is just as important to capture as the architecture itself.
Selecting a media to document will edit what you can represent and how you choose to document the experience says so much about what your perception is. Have fun and be creative with your documentation, exploring will help you learn and enjoy the architecture in a deeper and richer sense. Here are some suggestions to help you think twice about just taking a photo:
Helps to capture the sounds and movement through the spaces
In colour or pencil, with pens or markers, Fast or slow, accurate or free, scribbles or lines, shaded or outlines
Architectural Photography can serve several objectives, knowing what your objective is will produce a collection of photos that will be useful for you in the future and will help direct your photographic decisions while on site.
See my previous post: The Intention of Architectural Photography
words that describe the space and how you feel – these don’t need to be full sentences
describe the materials, use adjectives
journal entries such as the ones I have posted online help recall specific moments that can be forgotten.
Document your thoughts while you walking around (you can get an app for your smartphone, there are even programs that can transcript them for you.
Sound clips are also great to capture music or acoustic qualities
Use objects you have found to represent the architecture
The options are endless… it is your subjectivity and selected media that makes the documentation of your architectural experiences an artistic expression.
If you have any other suggestions please share it with us.