Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016

Irene Hwang
Man is the Measure
Irene Hwang
Man is the Measure

“Man is the Measure of all things.” This statement by Protagoras indicates that the individual man is the measurement of all things that are objective to sense-perception. Nowadays, the development of digital technology has made things easier and more convenient. Meanwhile, human elements have vanished. Because people are barely using their senses, they face the deterioration of sensory dynamism.

Space is a reflection of quality for human senses and mentality. Sensing physical space, instead of digital space, helps people to focus on different interpretations based on senses. Spatial identity reflects what people experience and feel differently at various times and moments in space. It becomes continuously changeable and flexible.

The project, “Man is the Measure,” focuses on two spaces, New Museum in New York City and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan—both designed by Japanese architectural firm, SANAA. All the elements of the system are pulled out from distinctive characteristics of each architecture. Each element represents the sense of sight, sound, touch, and time in the space. The sense of sound is relative to noise level; the sense of touch to temperature, and the sense of sight to solar radiation and density of population in the space. These variables of sense and time dictate the ever-changing shapes and positions of the elements. Depicting the quality of space in real time, the system is implemented in each lobby as a cornerstone situated on an outer wall of a building to commemorate its dedication and architectural information.

Jay Hsiao
Louise Pei Foong Hyde
Contested Terrains