Undergraduate Degree




DA9002 Space and the Spectacle

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites:Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

This course will examine the mutual relationship between architectural space and the spectacle of event, both as it occurs in the visual world, as well as how it is constructed in film and other virtual worlds.


This course is a study in the relationship between architecture, image and spectacle and their interdependent reliance on each other towards the construction of spaces and events. The course will focus on how the ‘spectacle’ as an architectural experience is inextricably linked to its site and space. Drawing parallels between film and architecture, it will examine the mutual symbiosis between spaces in film and events in architecture. The function of filmic space differs from physical space in one main aspect: Physical space functions primarily for habitation, its role remains as one that allows for the inscription of physical presence within its Cartesian confine.  Filmic space has traditionally been conceived of as backdrops – surfaces and topologies assembled towards the construction of an image that allowed the unravelling of events.  As such, filmic space is bound to the spectacle of narrative and exists for that specific purpose. The course will examine the negotiated relation between space and spectacle and look in detail at the influence architecture has on filmic spaces and conversely, how events and ‘spectacle’ affect our perception and apprehension of architectural space.

Course Outline




• Introduction – the Architectural Image & the Filmic Space

2 - 6

Film Screenings & Lectures: Topic Specific


• Architecture

• Spectacle & Event


• Mid Sem Report

8 - 12

Film Screenings & Lectures: Topic Specific

•The Moving Image

•Constructed Space

• Filmic Space

• Final Project


• Final Review

Learning Outcome

Understanding of Space & Event

  1. Understand the components of architectural space and event

  2. Understand the fundamental relationships to how space and event are constructed

  3. Understand the utilization of spatial techniques in film and photography

  4. Understand the use of architecture in filmic space and the converse relationship between the two

Understanding of Knowledge in Space & Event

  1. Demonstrate the skills to negotiate the aesthetics of form and space in constructing an image

  2. Demonstrate the ability to develop an event space based on the constructed image

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70%

Continuous assessment components will include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments

  • Class participation


Suggested Reading:

  1. Bordwell and Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 9th edition, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

  2. Dietrich Neumann, ed, Film Architecture: from Metropolis to Blade Runner, Munich: Prestel, 1996.

  3. Maggie Toy and Bob Fear, eds, Architectural Design: Architecture + Film II, Wiley-Academy, 2000.

  4. Robert Ray, A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema, 1930-1980, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

  5. Braudy and Cohen, Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009.

  6. Scott Bukatman, Blade Runner, British Film Institute, 1997.

  7. Bernard Tschumi, Space, Event, Movement, 1996