Generating Spatial Visualization through Architectural Subversion Workshop


In this workshop, learn methods for challenging implicit and explicit biases by connecting abstract geometry to concepts in architecture. The goal is to provide methods and insights to artists studying geometry for use across media including music visualization, graphic design, projection, or VR. Through these methods, artists can layer social parameters into geometry to incorporate protest, activism, and social criticism into visualizations.

After the talk, discussion, and samples, participants will have the opportunity to develop projects testing these methods over the course of a week and will then present to a panel for discussion. Topics and techniques addressed will include architectural history, form-finding,"style," parametric/generative design, and architectural graphics.

Workshop Logistics

Dates: Monday, July 27 & Monday, August 3
Times: 5 – 8pm PST

Cost: $180

Experience Level: Participants should have experience with and access to animation through 2-D drawing or 3-D modeling software.

Requirements: Please have a 2D or 3D animation software of your choosing installed.
Examples include: Rhino, Blender, Sketchup, Maya, 3DS Max, standard BIM softwares, Sketch, 2D or video softwares in the Adobe suite, etc.

Workshop Outline

• Architectures of discrimination and landscapes of erasure
• Elements and Process
• Memory and Monument
• Design, Visualization, Activism
• 2D/3D Strategies
• Approaches to Geometric Animation
• Project Brief and Site Selection
• Project Presentations//Panel Discussion

Online Workshop

This 6 hour online workshop will be held as two 3 hour workshops over two days via video webinar. We will have an online community chat to share your questions during and beyond the workshop. The workshop will be recorded, archived and shared with participants for a limited time. Please contact us if you have any additional questions at [email protected].


Dasha Ortenberg

Dasha Ortenberg believes deeply in design’s ability to stimulate critical thought, highlight the weirdness of individuals, and reveal uncanny overlaps of (sub-)cultures. Having emigrated as a refugee from the Soviet Union as a child, her pursuit of education and career is driven by cognitive dissonance. In seeking to reconcile her own deep gratitude to the United States with a recognition of its profound inequities, she works to unveil and promote stories of the country’s places and people – both deeply problematic and beautiful. Dasha holds degrees in Art History and Linguistics (UC Berkeley), and Architecture (Harvard). In her independent projects, pedagogical pursuits, and work for art and architectural practices she seeks to augment both organization and experimentation. She has contributed to and lead projects critically engaging the built environment and the profession of architecture with organizations including Hood Design Studio, Anderson Brulé Architects, SEED, and the Women In Architecture Committee of AIA Silicon Valley. Her 2013 speculative project, A Franchise of Difference, transformed documentation of interviews and sites from a 7,000-mile road trip into a proposal for a business franchise that promotes diverse cultural industries.  As a member of the 2018 ZERO1 American Arts Incubator cohort, she developed and led “The Rhetorical City” workshops in Casablanca, Morocco. She is currently a Senior 3D Designer at the Exploratorium.

Diversity Scholarship

To help creators of all backgrounds reach their goals, we are proud to offer a diversity scholarship to sustain and advance an inclusive community at Gray Area and beyond. This scholarship is for outstanding students from diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education and the fields of art, design, and technology. Recipients will receive a 50% discount towards partial tuition for the workshop.

The Diversity Scholarship gives preferences to artists who identify as women, queer and trans folks, gender nonconforming folks, and people of color. We highly encourage all students to apply.

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