Architectural Association


Communication+ Media Studies

High Pass Exhibition / 2021

High Pass Exhibition / 2020

︎ 2020 Prizes 
︎ 2020 Gallery
︎ 2020 High Pass List

︎ 1st Year
︎ 2nd Year

‘The media are not toys… they can be entrusted only to new artists, because they are art forms.’
(McLuhan, 1954)

Elliot Watt

Digital Dioramas

With Ana Nicolaescu & Sebastian Tiew

CMS2 Second Yea


Creating a digital scene or artificial world in a real-time engine provides the opportunity to manufacture an artificial moment in time. Inherent in the creation of an artificial moment is the ability to control time. This medium gives divine power to the creator, allowing them to play with the passage of time, speeding it up, slowing it down or layering multiple time scales upon one another.

Situated in a serene natural environment, this digital diorama is a layered abstraction of time. The macro-scale passage of time, the changing weather and the movement of the sun, happen at racing speed while the micro-moments, the birds flying and the deer feeding occur slowly and calmly. In a moment where fast and slow coincide, the viewer’s perception of time is altered, and the scene takes on a surreal quality.

Course description
Digital Dioramas
With Ana Nicolaescu & Sebastian Tiew

In the 19th century, the diorama was a three-dimensional model that aimed to replicate a scene or moment in time. In Greek, the word “diorama” literally means “through that which is seen.” This course would like to consider that the construction of a virtual environment or set today is analogous to that of a diorama. Moving beyond its traditionally understood definition, the aim of this course is to use its very concepts and principles to create a freeze a moment in time through the application of emerging technologies and tools.