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ate of tools by which to communicate persuasively has resulted in a certain cognitive dissonance both on the part of our audience, but perhaps as importantly ourselves as authors. Our ability to creatively frame a design problem has been impaired by the still conventional means by which we visually describe what we choose to see and what we don’t in the situations we are working with. For instance, Rem’s use of data to in truth retroactively argue for the intelligence of what may have early on simply been a design hunch, has led to the wide misuse of data—as in the case of the datascape—as the literal basis of projects themselves. These don’t seem satisfying because the analysis is foregrounded at the expense of the real repercussions of such facts. And then, on the other hand, you have the the ubiquitous rendering-at-dusk, an image that persuades only on the basis of affect—quite intentionally, as if to say “don’t bother with its effect or what it might unleash.” It seems to me that most architects working today seem to fall within these two paradigms. We can do better. I’m sorry for the long digression, but it was necessary to preface the answer to your question, which is that the diagrams that I do are Venturi-like in the sense that I’m trying to develop design techniques by which to imagine new things out of a more inventive, illuminating way of describing how things work already—whether they actually operate that way, or as I might deliberately misinterpret a situation. The game theory diagrams in my book are a good example—are they conveying the truth, or a fiction? The exact line is unclear, and perhaps less important than what it might give rise to, that will acquire its own self-evidenitay value. Whether its true or not is beside the point—to Corbusier, the temples were white, when in fact originally they were polychromatic. I’ve taught my students that the goal should be to develop a certain seamlessness between front of house and back of house techniques to learn to string everything together. D26: So what alternate forms of representation are you looking at to help mediate this collapse between front and back of house? Is this a moment where the “pull” of transdisciplinarity you described earlier might come into play? RS: Quite possibly. Living in Los Angeles has really piqued my interest in the many compelling ways that filmmakers pitch their ideas and address their audiences, and I think we might find some strategies there. Just recently at UCLA, Ron Frankel taught a film seminar on his work in augmented reality. He’s done several movies that I’m sure you know, but his visual effects for Stranger than Fiction with Will Ferrell best illustrate what I mean. There are certain scenes where Will’s character counts to himself as he brushes his teeth or crosses the street, and Ron overlays the character’s mental space

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Dimensions 26  
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