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Collective Individualism

Graduate Work - Fall 2020 

Tech Seminar - UCLA AUD

Instructors: Yara Feghali

Team: Alekya Malladi, Gesthimani Roumpani, Chinmayi Suri and Luis Garcia

Softwares Used: Agisoft Metashape, MeshLAb, Unity Hub, Cinema 4D + Octane Renderer, Sketch Up, Rhinoceros 3D and Adobe Photoshop

Challenging this new normal of our pandemic lifestyle, collective individualism imagines a new live-work space that lets us self-isolate and collaborate. Four distinct living rooms, for four distinct owners, within four walls separated by four mere pieces of furniture.


Phase 01: 3D SCANNING

Using photogrammetry as a documentation tool, we were able to take a good look at the components in our spaces that made our rooms more than just a mere 4 walls. Going over every inch of surface, every texture and every shape together through this photo realistic tool opened up conversations about data dignity, authorship and surveillance. The process of arriving at this design through photogrammetry gives us point clouds and messy mesh geometry. In a collected dataset from 5 different living rooms, an individual vision turns into a collage of collective living rooms. The now generated digital space destroys the rigid structure of the objects as we know them. So when attempting to understand objects from another person’s living space - what is realism for one, could become abstraction for the other. 


Inspired by Erin K Wright’s isometric illustration, we began by remodeling, using color and subtle texture to hint at elements of construction and the differentiation between poche, entourage, and mosaic. This geometric comparison led us to juxtapose some of the 3D modeled elements with the photogrammetry ones instead of replacing them, encouraging this competition of supposedly identical objects, created with different methods, allowing the comparison between abstract and realistic textures. It is this entourage that allowed us to co exist together, yet separately, in out imaginary living rooms.


Erin K Wright, Backyard Landscape 03, 2019

The animated GIFs allowed us to explore the implication of putting some of our different pieces together. Alternative compositions and assigned movements associate our otherwise mundane objects with user narratives. With these narratives we were able to identify which pieces worked best as individual or combination components of our collage.


The last part of the process was a Unity game that we developed which allows the player to make their own living room with the objects form our living rooms. There is no control over the frequency with which the objects appeared. This led to the liberation from the typical four wall restriction that was produced in our drawings. In the game one can utilize this randomness and messiness to produce more unexpected end products. This loss of control on top of the previous fragmentation of our living rooms, pushes the idea of a replica to vanish, at least within the game.

Collective Individualism brings into light the ambiguity of point cloud generated geometry with its nearly perfect textures vs the perfect modeled geometry with its original visualization of color. So,where does abstraction lie for you and which version is considered a more accurate replica?

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