A Fantastical Document on the Origin of Matter

Timothy Yang

Modos Web Intro

This thesis is an architectural animated project that explores the peculiar relationship between the realm of quantum mechanics, scale, architectural representation and motion graphics.

This thesis is inspired by Charles and Ray Eames’s short film Power of Ten, which depicts the vast span of the universe using scale factors of ten as measurement. Moving from galaxy to proton, the film zooms into edges of the universe portraying a world which is contrary to the anthropomorphic surrounding we experience and inhabit. This thesis is interested in the critical theme of scale and the ideas presented in the film. The miniature is synonymous with the gigantic; the atom is a microcosm of the universe.


Focusing on the miniature, the project explores the unfamiliar realm of the subatomic through frame animation, as we speculate on the strange nature of quantum behaviour; a world we do not fully understand. The Fantastical Document is a reference to an animation phenomenon which describes this medium’s abstract attempts to engage with the non-fictional world. Animator Jan Svankmajer argues that documentary or nonfictional motion picture in animations can only be comparative and be used as a subjective tool, half dedicated to representational authenticity, half-dedicated to the narrational forms.


In this case the animated documentary of this thesis seeks to reveal an instinctive ‘truth’ about the nature of quantum physics through the machination of animation to speculate on the architectural occurrence in the world of the miniature.  


In the common domain the shrinking of bodies into a smaller scale is physically impossible. This project concerns itself not with the problematic possibility of scale shifting in the future, but rather it will explore the known science regarding the miniature and hypothesise the speculative idea of an architectural presence in these different scales.  

Modos Web 3
Exiguus Spatio, 2016 Scale 27.2 x 10-20 m : 1 Mix Media Animation, frame 300, 3840 x 2160 px (2500 x 4500 mm)