ANTHONY YU, MArch

An Architecture Outside Digital Imagery in the Age of Social Media



Physical experiences in architecture encompass the five human senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. The intent and operations of social media platforms, such as Instagram, are used to share visual content between people and can weaken the human sensory experiences in the physical world in themselves and for other users. This seductive aspect of social media can exploit the human sense of sight in how it uses architecture as unintended points of interest for self-communication and marketing instead of a source to experience the built space. Thus, individuals that use their other human senses besides the visual have become undervalued due to the ocularcentric nature of social media. Due to the increase in social media consumption, social media consumers have become distracted by using tools such as geotagging, the “like” system, and the hashtag for social status and material gain instead of appreciating the architecture. As a result, the human response to architecture has become consumed by digital imagery for social media, where users are most concerned with capturing the experience of the moment into an image rather than appreciating and embracing the physical experiences themselves.

This thesis attempts to influence an individual’s habits of capturing digital images and video for social media in this image-making culture by focusing on the physical experiences in architecture by exploring qualities of sensory stimulations and ephemeral effects on the human senses. By exploring these qualities, the research engages an iterative design proposal that attunes to the human awareness of the senses.


As a result, the human response to architecture has become consumed by digital imagery for social media, where users are most concerned with capturing the experience of the moment into an image rather than appreciating and embracing the physical experiences themselves.







Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.