WHO AM I? An exploration of the spatial expression of Self and One’s subjective experience of existence

Joseph Ravlich

[email protected]


The synthesis of one’s wading among the ebb and flow of existence. This question spans a lifetime yet passes in an instant upon the utterance of three words.

According to the existentialist, we are the sculptors of our own destiny, using subjective experiences of our surroundings and interactions with others as a means for positioning ourselves among the chaos of existence.

Free to determine our own purpose and identity across our lifespan, we are inherently blank, where consciousness is a formless void conceived through our awareness of it, taking shape according to our subjective reflection of our worldly experiences. 

A notable figure among existentialists, Jean-Paul Sartre emphasises the inherent dynamism of self, suggesting that one’s self is created over time, rather than being discovered as a complete and unified ideal.

It is through the coalescence of subjective worldly experiences that the self is realised, undergoing continuous change over time in the hope of reaching an ideal form, a feat which is largely considered futile.

Texture expressing the dissolution of the ego
Img 9982E
Img 9985
Landscapes of infinite potential

This thesis seeks to explore the notion of self and how the innate formlessness of our consciousness may be spatialised and architecturally expressed using Sartrean existentialism as a foundation for research.

Emergent egoic space out of existential experiences

This thesis is an explorative investigation into the dynamic and complex nature of self, seeking to capture the emotions, sensations and feelings experienced in its cyclical formation and destruction, extending them into a spatial suggestion. Writing and making serve as the primary methods of exploration, where we translate our subjective perceptions of existence into speculative atmospheres and landscapes expressing this innate flux.

Body 5
Landscape expressing the re-creation of the ego
Emergent egoic space out of existential experiences (2)

This project does not aim to manifest itself as built form, but rather as a temporal, dynamic and intimate experience of self as space. In doing so, this thesis uses architectural discourse as a means of anchoring oneself among the disorder of existence, seeking to resonate with those who observe this collection of work.