Harry Varnavas

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Major project:

CryptoForm Space*

Can we paint architecture?
*Design through visual perception of 3D Space and Form

This thesis examines the use of computer vision and digital media to generate a new design methodology for architects that conflates perception of found, existing spaces and design through the direct act of ‘painting’ architecture.

The project focuses on the perception of the surrounding elements of the environment, which are scanned and imported into the virtual world. Contrary to traditional design methods, which massively reduce the amount of data considered when imported into any Cad software, high-resolution of scans allow for the import of physical space as millions of points, retaining information on colours, light, etc. These can then be collected, experienced and utilised in virtual space. The aim of CryptoForm Space is to allow designers to operate directly inside their site and shift the scale of both site and intervention, using only your hand and mind.

Through motion-tracking, the two-dimensional movements of the designer's hands are captured and directly spatialised in three dimensions, effectively allowing them to ‘paint’ their ideas. This process generates sculptural forms that can be further manipulated or sculpted. This results in the creation of architectures which not only works with the site much more closely, but also allows constantly changing scales, move smoothly from two-dimensional to tree-dimensional space and between physical and digital domains.


  • Previous degrees

  • BA (Hons) Architecture, University for the Creative Arts, 2013 ; BD Architecture - Undergraduate Exchange, University Technology of Sydney, 2011
  • Publications

  • Project submitted, RIBA President's Medal Award, 2012
  • Awards

  • First prize, AIA Charette Competition Award, 2011
  • Funding

  • RCA Bursary
Royal College of Art Royal College
of Art Graduate

25 June –
5 July 2015

Royal College
of Art Graduate