Project_Rorschach is a series of ten cards that compile architectural imagery from digital archives in a manner inspired by the ten cards used in the Rorschach inkblot test. It was first exhibited at the Design Biennial Boston from February–May 2013, and was curated by over,under at the BSA Space, the exhibition space of the Boston Society of Architects in Boston, MA.
Once meticulously printed on a single antique press in Switzerland, the Rorschach images were sold only to licensed therapists. Having run out of copyright protection in the US, the test images are now available on Wikipedia for all to contemplate. We employ a reference to them as an invitation to follow and see (anew) images of contemporary architectural tropes.
Grouped by meme, ubiquitous images of architecture are layered into ten revised Rorschach cards. No longer inkblots, but retaining the symmetry that was originally constitutive of their figuration, the architectural Rorschach images are super-saturated compositions of chimneys, robotic bricks, cantilevers, house piles, hyper-towers, circles, phalluses, beanie blobs, single surfaces, diagrids, and stacks. They are assembled from the digital archives that designers draw on when thirsty—such as Archinect, ArchDaily, or Dezeen—and reproduced here in the low-res flatness that is their currency.
This project invites architectural self-analysis while it simultaneously plays on the fact that the discipline of architecture is constituted, multiplied, and advanced from constant projections onto its own archives. Although the inkblot revisions still might send the “chance image” signal, Project_Rorschach does not provide any means for authorial evaluation of the imaginations projected onto it. It speaks instead, and hopefully propels further, into an open-ended string of interpretations—some of architecture’s contemporary haunts.
Project Ana Miljacki, Lee Moreau, and Sarah Hirschman
Team: Oliver Wuttig, Alexander William Marshall, Andrew Manto, Sean Capone (The Supernature), George Xinxin Lin, Clay Anderson, Bill Gastrock, and Chiranit Prateepasen
Cards 10 takeaway Rorschach-inspired cards
Projection Animation transitions between the ten composite Rorschach images
Bench Large custom bench (derived from Gerrit Rietveld’s Z chair and his Red/Blue chaise lounge) serves as seating and card display