Manhattan Transcripts 3D


Bernard Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts are an exercise in alternative visualization techniques for architecture. Instead of being concerned with the mimetic depiction of space, they seek to investigate movement and experience through visual disjunction and the side-by-side juxtaposition of representational modes. In this spirit it seems natural to extend Tschumi’s experiment in the digital realm.

This project is an application made in the programming environment Processing that brings the Transcripts into virtual, 3D space. The application is not conceived as a “tool” for researching a body of work, but rather as a step towards extending Tschumi’s project into expanded dimensions. The exercise might begin to suggest other ways of transforming architectural experience and knowledge through media: for example, a research paper could be integrated into the application so that its text and argument are navigated visually and sequentially alongside the images.

Another aim of the project is to expose additional possibilities in Tschumi’s representational techniques by presenting the images in combinations and sequences not possible on the printed page or gallery wall. The sets of photographs, drawings, and movement diagrams can be viewed side-by-side or as semi-transparent layers thus making it easier to investigate the correspondences and differences between each representational mode. In addition, the images can be viewed all together or sorted by medium. Using the keyboard, the images can be cycled like frames in a film, highlighting Tschumi’s own references to the medium of cinema.