features archive

Feature 1: Section Story

Author: Rubin Quarcoopome & Jueying Liu

School: University of Michigan

program/major: Master of Architecture

city: Detroit, MI

Project title: Section Story


Remember the first time you read a comic book. Words and text married together in inventive ways to depict endless imaginations and complex narratives. Batman threw a fist across a panel at Superman. Calvin and Hobbes explored a minimal, beautiful world, a relatable story painted with invisible skill. In every case, the language of comics allowed the bizarre a relatable bridge to the everyday. 


“Section Story” borrows the many techniques of comic book design and applies them towards the creation of the un-imaged structure of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel, High Rise. This project imagines the spaces of the titular building intertwined with the plot arcs of three major characters, Anthony Royal, Richard Wilder, and Robert Laing. These wildly different, mysterious, and often violent arcs are mapped to a section, and proceed to mix the convention of the architectural drawing with that of the comic book page. Poche and gutter become one, time and sequence rely on the power of the panel, and the section can now be read in a specific way and direction. 


The narrative of and about a work of architecture can take on unique life, often outliving the finished structure itself. It becomes vital, therefore, that these narratives are not told solely by a privileged few. “Section Story” is an exploration of the importance of narrative in the built world, so much so that the story shapes the building as much as the other way around.

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