Fabian Johnson Atmospheric Archetypes

  • Tauira / Student
    Fabian Johnson
  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Tane Moleta
  • School
    Victoria University of Wellington, School of Architecture

Atmospheric Archetypes is a project centered around the transcendence of tragedy, focusing on the Aristotelian elemental archetypes of earth, fire, water, air, and aether. The aim of this project was to explore how architecture can evoke story and convey meaning intuitively through symbolic qualities. To achieve this, I integrated emergent phenomena and delved into the dynamics of both the conscious and unconscious minds. My methodology focused on developing atmospheric archetypes from the classical elemental archetypes of earth, fire, water, air, and aether.

I choose to represent these archetypes in this specific chronology to convey multiple narratives simultaneously. These narratives include the ascending transformative path of alchemical processes (solid - energy - liquid - gas - plasma), the roles of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Horus in the Egyptian myth 'The Death of Osiris' (Tradition, Revolution, Revitalisation, Perception), the cyclic story of chaos and order (Order, Chaos, Healing, Understanding, New Order), the stages in Joseph Campbell's interpretation of 'The Hero's Journey' (Ordinary World - Call to Adventure - Resurrection - Return with the Elixir), the story of grief (peace - loss - healing - understanding - transformation), and the story of growth (stability - volatility - contemplation - elevation - transcendence). These narratives are represented qualitatively through architecture, landscape, and sky. Each architecture embodies the intangible qualities of its corresponding elemental archetype, using procedural rulesets that incorporate elemental principles (earth - topography) (fire - entropy) (water - fluidity) (air - permeability) (aether - fractal geometry). The landscape evolves to reflect the unfolding narrative, and the sky, atmosphere, and weather convey fluctuations in clarity, intensity, and feeling. The film incorporates motifs, with fracturing being particularly significant. Fracturing represents the destruction of the earth architecture and the transcending of breakages in the aether architecture. The architecture representing earth, fire, water, and air is depicted in black and white to reinforce the principles of duality and balance. This restriction allows the aether architecture, with its vibrancy and color, to have a heightened experiential impact, representing something beyond physical reality.

The filmic experience is intended to represent a series of versatile architectural identities that engage the viewers collective unconscious to inform a subjective, non-exclusive experience.