Parsons the New School for Design

Interior Studio II / Fabrication and Process

Instructors: Ali Tayar / Daniel Michalik



This is the age of the artificial - the simulation.  The digital revolution has granted us with the gift of infinity.


Material, once a tangible fact, can now be rendered immaterial through a series of 1's and 0's - the artificiality of this simulation is accepted as reality.  The letter A was once created through the physical act of either: 1) applying pigment to a surface 2) the lead/graphite indentations on paper 3) metal striking typewriter ribbon imprinting paper.  The digital era has translated it as 01000001 and reproduced it as an A on the screen [ A = 0100001 = A].  The touch-screen age has even further blurred the reality of A with the removal of a physical keyboard and a simulated replacement that is touched but never touched.  The algorithm now reads: [0100001 = A = 0100001 = A].  Simulation/the artificial has now preceded reality.  The double aughts have reduced films, music, photographs, and building facades to immaterial manifestations of the tangible.


The material we anchor ourselves to has been immaterialized - space itself is becoming unspace. If we have come to accept the artificial as reality, is there anything that is unacceptable?


The nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution filled the Victorian home with the mass-produced bric-a-brac as an antidote for the perceived "horror of the void."


The Digital Revolution celebrates the void!  It grants the final ascetic experiment - how much material can be replaced by the immaterial? In this age of accepted artificiality, the material is elevated to the sacred and the immaterial becomes material.


Object hierarchy one. (stool)

The object does not conceal its materiality or structure.  It is neither supported nor structured, but is both support and structure.


Object hierarchy two. (bed, desk, sink)

The bed is composed of a structural combined materiality.  Its objecthood is hybridized and neither concealed nor revealed.


Object hierarchy three. (shelves)

The structure is hidden, rendered invisible.  The object attempts to deny its objecthood.


Object hierarchy four. (digital screens)

Having neither structure nor material, the object is pure simulation.  It can neither conceal nor reveal.


The fourth level of the hierarchy represents the Dionysian juxtaposed against the Apollonian.  We are dichotomous creatures, born from the duality of order and chaos - our interiors must reflect the schizophrenia of our existence.


And in this CorianĀ® age, we need the visceral and sensual, that which dwells within our psyches and our existence.  We crave things that are of the flesh - the forced pumping of adrenal glands...


This is the gift of the digital - acceptance of simulation as reality.