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Looking at a building as if it were a film

“I've always been fascinated by film: how stories are told and how I can apply that when designing. How do you maintain tension and stay engaged?"

Looking at a building as if it were a film


Zoey Benschop graduated from ArtEZ in 2019. Not – as you might expect – from a film course, but from the Interior Architecture bachelor course. The subject for her graduation project was Designing from a filmic perspective. Zoey: “A film maintains interest by using narrative devices (structure, tension arc, cliff-hangers), but also by means of camera movements and editing. The director defines the frame, what you see on the screen. Sometimes you want to look around the corner, as it were. Film is structured in such a way that you are continually stimulated to keep watching. That aspect appeals to me as a designer."

Filmic perspective on architecture

Zoey conducted research into film based on the following research question: what happens when a functional space interacts with filmic aspects? And what are the consequences for architecture today? Zoey: “Various architects have made comparisons with film in the past. Rem Koolhaas was a screenwriter before becoming an architect. So parallels have previously been drawn between film and architecture, but not in the way that I do it. In particular, I make use of the narrative structure, framed representation, fragmentation and layeredness. In this way, I bring the filmic perspective to my designs."

Theatre as a place for storytelling

You could apply this kind of filmic perspective to any building, but Zoey chose a theatre. A theatre that can be discovered by the visitor step-by-step: “Many theatres still have traditional layouts. It is time to go beyond that and take a different approach including filmic aspects. Besides, a theatre is the ideal place for telling stories."

In-depth master

After her Interior Architecture course, Zoey opted for a master in Scenography: “After my graduation thesis, I had the feeling that I had only scratched the surface. I started looking for an opportunity to extend my research. I wanted to focus on the experience of space and the viewer experience." This combination of bachelor and master courses brought together the conceptual skills of interior architecture with artistic research for Zoey: “Investigating the field of architecture from the inside out enriches and renews us as designers."

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