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December 7, 2022
  • ‘Le Caligarisme’: Virtual Reality and Architectural Space in Film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    December 7, 2022  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Huxley 406, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, BN2 4GJ

    Throughout the years, cinema has demonstrated remarkable architectural structures, which influenced the history of architecture and film. The majority of contemporary studies deal with Virtual Reality (VR) application in the realm of archaeological reconstruction. However, no VR studies deal specifically with the reconstruction of film sets. Hence, one important architectural theme in this study is the reconstruction in a VR simulation of film sets that have been lost, damaged beyond repair, or no longer physically exist.

    Expressionist architecture has a limited presence in physical constructions. Expressionist architects tended to create their ideas within other media, such as painting, and the construction of film and theatre sets. As the existence of three-dimensional expressionist elements is scarce, this research argues that expressionist stage sets are important for restoration purposes in an effort to preserve cultural heritage from a filmmaking and an architectural standpoint.

    The digital techniques applied in this research utilise raw archival material without having any existing three-dimensional environment as a prototype from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Robert Wiene (1920). A phenomenological approach will be applied for the critical analysis of the VR simulation produced for this research. For Husserl, the notion of kinaesthetic consciousness is key to this embodied, experiencing subjectivity. Having analysed the literature, the archival materials, and additionally practiced recreating the film sets in VR, my analysis of the VR simulation from a first-person perspective will help to understand the benefits that this technology can offer to the evaluation and better understanding of the architectural space in this film. In this study, the first of the arts (architecture) accompanies the seventh art (cinema), to stride along the VR alleys.

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