Architecture, College of


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Glesinger, Ashley C. "Parafiction and the Architectural Imagination" Master of Architecture Thesis, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021


A THESIS Presented to the Architecture Faculty of The College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Architecture, Major: Architecture, Under the Supervision of Professor Rumiko Handa. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Ashley Glesinger


I observe current architecture practice to be too reality-driven. As a response to this issue, this thesis demonstrates parafiction as one productive method of exercising architectural imagination. I define parafiction as a type of fiction that begins with a fact and is presented as a fact in order to demonstrate what the world could be. To create parafictions, I have used multi-medium techniques of representation. Through the representations, this thesis strives to “make present” one person’s imagination.

I see parafiction and architecture both as projective activities. Specifically, that both redefine relationships to what already exists and create tension between the present and what could be. To demonstrate parafiction as a productive technique of exercising imagination in architecture, this project consists of a short mock documentary, website, and archive that will be presented as factual. The website and documentary follow my journey of discovering a self-taught female architect from the same rural Nebraska village where I grew up. The life of this person is constructed from found photographs, archived newspapers, fabricated letters, and objects, carefully curated interviews, and simulated architectural drawings. The artifacts are recontextualized and re-presented to create an alternative narrative and richness to a seemingly unassuming place.

Advisor: Dr. Rumiko Handa