Through the Double Frame

Windows as a Device for Social Interaction

History and Theory written thesis, Royal College of Art, 2021
Awarded distinction 

“an architectonic of cinema has the capacity to extend our understanding of our everyday environment."
    - Francois Penz, Cinematic Aided Design, An Everyday life Approach to Architecture 2018

“Like imitates art”
    - Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying 1889

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As covid accelerated increasingly mediated social interaction, windows, of both the virtual and physical kind, frame much of contemporary communication. Through using the sociologist and psychologist Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis this study investigates the window as a site of social interaction - as a place for looking in, looking out and presenting. Adopting a methodology of the double frame, this investigation focuses on how windows are portrayed in art and film, including the paintings of Edward Hopper and the films Rear Window (Hitchcock),  Playtime (Jaques Tati) and A Room with a View (James Ivory). The artistic and cinematic frame make explicit aspects we take for granted in the everyday, and reveal architecture in its active form - how devices, such as the window, enable and inform certain behaviour. Through writing and drawing, this study aims to observe relationships between passive and active qualities of windows, distilling how the physical form enables certain social interactions.