Miniature Folly

Theoretical, Architecture, Folly, Installation

TimelineSeptember 2020
Team LeaderAlexander Young
DesignersMehrose Naeem, Karyna Yanovska
MentorsB.Akhavan, A. Zapata, E. Solomnishvili, N.Hassan

Miniature Folly draws from select Persian miniatures produced in Herat, Afghanistan between the 12th and 16th centuries. The illustrations are visually rich drawings that depict a story, often using expressive architectural motifs and distorted perspectives to visually communicate complicated tectonics and narratives. Providing the viewer a sense of flatness, yet through layering and what can only be described as “folds”, one starts to see a foreground, mid, and back. Hierarchy of scale dictates not only the architecture, but also the people.

Part I of the project is dedicated to the exploration of said miniatures, analysis of their articulation of space, and use of architectonics to depict a narrative. The pieces produced during this time borrow from the original architectonics and extrapolate the flat drawings into multifaceted structures.

Part II investigates means of formally expressing the narratives through the typology of the folly, a building typology which developed in the Picturesque movement first seen in England during the mid 1700s.

Follies are decorative structures that often display monument-like qualities. They offer shelter to visitors of the surrounding landscape and have evolved into sites for architectural experimentation. The Miniature Folly does not have a distinct program, but suggests different activities. Circulation, meditation, and the ability of Persian epics to inspire folly architecture became the focus of the space.

The Miniature Folly is intended for navigation by Joseph as he flees from Zuleykha. It is characterized by multiple entrances and intersecting pathways to aid his escape. The architecture radiates from the rotunda and permeates an unseen grid. This transient space of bold forms and stark shadows invites one to investigate the stories unfolding within.