Midterm Projects-Kelly Sechler

Out of all the midterms that were presented this last week the one that interested me the most was the perspective house. I am especially interested in how forced perspective is used in entertainment. Forced perspective is defined as, “a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It is used primarily in photography, filmmaking and architecture. It manipulates human visual perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the spectator or camera”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_perspective). Forced Perspective is particularly popular with theme park companies and and film sets. An example of forced perspective used to make a structure appear biger can be seen in all of the Disney castles along with many other pieces of Disney Park Architecture. Forced perspective is used in Disney parks for many reasons some being because of design concepts and others being more practical. Sometimes forced perspective is used because it gives a kitchy feel, which allows Disney parks to feel more like fantasy and less like the real world. It also helps the environment to seam more “people size” and therefore tends to put people more at ease. More practical uses of forced perspective can include making a building appear bigger than budget or law allows. For example, in Disneyland in California the risk of earthquakes always needs to be taken into consideration when building up, so buildings need to be kept as close to the ground as possible. Also, in Florida the law is that any structure over 200ft has to have a red light at the top of it to warn planes. Therefore tall structures such as Cinderella’s castle have to stay under 200ft in order to keep the integrity of the design.

I think that creating a perspective house where different rooms are in different forced perspectives is an interesting study in both science and art. It would represent how much art can influence even the trained eye. The house would also be an interesting math and psychology piece. It would teach people the importance of perception and optical illusion.

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