When architecture has it in all the right places

We no longer live in a purely physical world; we live in a post-digital hybrid that is simultaneously simulacra and tangible. The digital is so interlaced into our everyday consciousness that we often take for granted its impacts on society, politics and culture. We’re oversaturated with digital content, and the physical architecture that surrounds it is stretched and deflated - it can no longer barricade the digital inside.

THICC SEAMS looks at the world not as physical versus digital objects but as two juggernauts jostling in the same space; their seams, their edges and their layers are becoming exposed as the digital is beginning to seep out.

It is these moments that give us the most understanding about the relationships between physical and digital objects. Here they share interactions and reflect upon a phenomenal transparency as well as a literal transparency; a digital transparency and therein a phygital transparency. This is a notion of visibility that opposes a separation of physical and digital and encourages the digital to tear at physical seams.

Seams within purely physical architecture are the residue of parts – a legacy of tectonics that the digital does not have. Here, the digital uses these seams expressed as the interplay between physical material connections, high contrast edges, corners, projections and a myriad of spatial and formal overlaps to forge a new type of relationship between parts to wholes, and manifest themselves in a much more nuanced way than the mere agglomeration of physical architectural parts.

The objects look nostalgically upon themselves as generators of work to come, whether through the re-scanning of physical objects or questioning the work through recursive machine learning in order to reflect upon what has been done, as a way of navigating the present.

THICC SEAMS, embraces both realities. Mutated digital objects which became physical, once again become digitised mutations and act within the choreographed city as the digital, flaccid and bloated, oozes through physical seams. AI generated patterns emerge and therein are skewed, distorted and act as augmented reality signifiers of digital rebellion - a tattooed defiance. These tattoos react with utter disregard to their physical shackles as they push and pull their physicality, distorting their own existence.

Once architectural objects, they find personification when assuming animated T-poses and they now let loose upon the generic city, unsuspecting of the digital orgy which lays within the seams of its physicality.

Inflatable objects occupy the space, unknown to them - they are invisible, unreadable and undecipherable to their digital counterparts, a singular panel acts as mediation as the digital can read it clearly but their stretched, transparent bodies remain a mystery. Undulating from crinkled reflectivity to vacumous in its transparency, they inflate and deflate in unstable choreography, visitors question their own occupation as they share the same physical space and often are displaced due to their sporadic movements.


iheartblob is an award winning architectural design studio and research collective formed by Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum, currently based in Vienna. The studio has a strong focus on the Architectural Object, yet, draws on core tenets from an array of philosophical and theoretical principles whilst exploring new models of architectural thinking and constructing.