Matthew Lyall

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Panoramio 3D and the San Francisco Police Department Auction House

The first studies broke down the image manipulation and faux-3d space of Panoramio. By reconstructing space using the geotagged photos found in the software, a new form of hybridised architectural site was developed, that slipped between the real space of tourist photos and the composited transition between these fixed points by the Panoramio algorithms. Space becomes stretched and distorted with each jump.

These principles were introduced into the second project that was located in an alley way between the SFPD and a branch of the Bank of America, the design is strongly informed by the interaction of the physical and online auction process of stolen and found goods. Before having the power to sell stolen items, SFPD must hold goods for at least 6 weeks in order that members of the public can claim them. A storage facility is situated on the south side of the site carefully framed by a facade of concrete batons allowing glimpses of the goods without clearly revealing them to avoid false appropriation. Objects for sale are digitised by a process of structured-light scanning techniques in order to be viewed online. Specific shadows are projected on to objects, photographed and reconstructed digitally resulting in point clouds. The specific nature of the process results in an articulated roof-scape formed of louvres designed to rotate along a horizontal axis in order to align shadows with nonvertical surfaces down below. As the objects come closer to point of sale, the digital reconstruction becomes both more accurate and of higher resolution. The breakdown in the relative scale of the stolen goods (a distortion of perceived dimensions that occurs on website layouts) is simulated in real life through anamorphic arrangements of the objects within the building.

Matthew’s second year work was awarded the Narinder Sagoo Drawing Prize for best 2nd year drawings.

  • Filed under: Student Work 2011-12