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Design as Scholarship
When Literary Works Act as a Proxy for Architecture
Zahra Safaverdi
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In this project, Voltaire’s Candide: or, The Optimist, has acted as a proxy for architecture to discover spatial potentials latent in literary works. The work presented here poses two questions. One question is discursive: how could architecture utilize literature as a representation of collective cultural memory and bring distant history into closer proximity? The other question is disciplinary: how could techniques of representation be repurposed to spatialize and materialize narratives, instead of merely visualizing them? This project translates a story into architectural drawings and spatial experiences via the making of an exhibition that mobilizes the spectator throughout two distinct rooms.

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