top of page

Frames of architecture 

Architectural Composition Through the Frames of Film and Photography






Spatial perception through visual cognitive senses is a fundamental way of how we navigate our everyday interactions and narratives.

It shapes how we traverse through space in regards to our other senses, generating what we call and came to know as an experience.


There is a quote by Frankl stating that, “Once we have re-interpreted the optical image into a conception of space as it encloses our

mass, we read its purpose from its spatial form”. (Frankl, 1968)


The statement above is a brief description of the architectural significance in our everyday, where purpose plays a much bigger role

as we indulge in the space we live in. Yet, in film and photography, they often successfully convey the otherwise. Purpose are not

as much of a aspect in a film or a photography, but meaning and experience is what gives the media its impact. The ideas that they

emenate allows their viewer to experience their story and meaning in an almost surreal form.


As sir William Holford had written in his criticisms in architectural photography ,“Architecture becomes, not a background to people,

but a series of studio portraits. Ordinary folks have to look at these buildings through the lens and filter, instead of moving in

and through them, and becoming conscious of them as it were, by absorption and use” (Tawa 2010).


This thesis is an experiment into the notion of architectural composition in the realm of film and photography. This thesis would

look upon the concepts of Picture, Frame and Perspective as its main constituents, with methodologies of time and filmic techniques

to establish a way of translating these ideas into the final filmic composition. I collected data from a broad literary sampling, filmic

case studies as well as filmic experimentation in Perth CBD using the methods developed to further understand the implications of

filmic composition in architectural design.


This research aims to prompt an intensive engagement with temporal and narrative qualities of space and a fresh consideration of

how architectural space is conceived and perceived. In addition, the investigation also aims to explore the methods of narrative

composition in films and its relation to the practice of architecture.





















Copyright © Tiu Tien Chuan, 2014

All Rights Reserved.

No reproduction without permission

All images are author’s own except where

due acknowledgements has been made

bottom of page