the ɐnd of architecture

theme parks, video games, and evolving notions of space

Architecture is becoming simply a support for computer-generated images.... The virtual space created by these images replaces the physical space of architecture...the image terminates the space. Architecture is reduced to a shelter for the image. — Lev Manovich

about the book

The End of Architecture charts a new, interwoven history of animation, film, theme parks, video games, and virtual reality and establishes a fresh approach for thinking about environments. We define and explore five spatial regimes which have moved us beyond traditional architecture: filmic, thematic, electronic, holistic, and finally the emic.

Today, more and more of our spaces are not conceived of as architecture. Architects don’t like to hear this, but it is undeniably true. Perhaps because of these disliked trends, professional and scholarly design discussions about the contemporary built environment tend to not focus on themed and virtual spaces or, worse, see them as something frivolous or even disdainful. We argue instead that practitioners and scholars need to pay attention to the entertainment-centric, visual and experiential trajectory that all of our spaces are continually accelerating towards.

The End of Architecture is forthcoming from Intellect Books / The University of Chicago Press.

about the authors

Dave Gottwald is Assistant Professor and coordinates the Interaction Design emphasis of the Art + Design program at the University of Idaho. He is an award-winning visual designer, design educator, and writer with extensive experience in design for user experience and interaction, print and digital media, and within the built environment. Dave teaches UI/UX for mobile, experiential design for the built environment, exhibit design, typography, digital imaging, and design history. His research explores the theming of consumer spaces, the genealogy and taxonomy of thematic design, and the liminal blur between the built environment and the virtual.

Dr. Gregory Turner-Rahman is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Art + Design program at the University of Idaho. His current research and creative activity explores both the intersections of physical and virtual spaces and visual and experiential storytelling. He has studied design communities from within as his professional experience spans over twenty years and the disciplines of graphic and interface design, web development, and industrial design. As a member of a creative team, he garnered Apex and Clarion awards for writing and design work. He also writes and illustrates children's books.

Dave and Greg are also co-editors and contributors for Virtual Interiorities, forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon ETC Press. The collection links ongoing cross-disciplinary discussions under the aegis of what virtual means in a socio-spatial context.

They were recipients of the 2019 Design Incubation Writing Fellowship, during which they developed the prospectus for this project. They also received the 2020 CG Constructed Environment International Award for Excellence and the 2021 CG Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design International Award for Excellence for the two journal articles which form the basis of the polemic they deepen with The End of Architecture.

contact

Yes, we know that architecture is not actually ending. But it is changing irrevocably. Want to talk about it? Drop us a line.