Fakin’ It investigated perceptions of reality and authenticity in the built environment and the paradoxes inherent in cultures of replication. The studio project centered around domestic environments: houses, apartments, and rooms. We prioritized techniques of copying, replicating, forging, twinning, mirroring, and simulating to produce imagery that suggests new forms of living. Parallel to this production of images, was a set of investigations into larger cultural phenomena dealing with “fakes” and variable perceptions of reality such as: fake sciences, fake news, fake humans, fake fashion, fake money, counterfactuals, counterfeits, alternate realities, alternate histories, and imaginary numbers. We relied heavily on literary texts like Byung-Chul Han’s writings on Shanzhai, Carrie Lambert-Beatty’s work on Parafiction, and other scholarly research on aesthetic forgeries. Work of interest was Thomas Demand’s model photographs, Jojakim Cortis + Adrian Sonderegger reconstructed scenographies, Roxy Paine’s installations, Filip Dujardin’s collages, Architecture Office’s Swissness Applied project, Besler + Sons’s Enjoy Your Deck project, and many many more!
The semester was split into three parts: Materials + Technologies, Culture + Symbolism, and Real + Hyperreal. Part I addressed the technologies used in architectonic acts of copying such as 2D and 3D replication, scanning, photoshopping, and prioritized the accumulation of fake materials for the studio to analyze. Part II reflected on western and non-western symbolic discourses on copying and false items such as art forgeries, knock-off goods, and the Chinese concept of Shanzhai. Part III used the collected knowledge of the previous parts and investigates what metrics we might use to qualify objects as real, fake, simulated, authentic, less than real, or conversely hyperreal. It built upon contemporary discourses on photorealism, collage, and visual effects technologies in film and architecture