The Psychotropic House

3-month online media studies course, October-December 2021
Architectural Association, London
Taught by Paula Strunden

In 1962, J. G. Ballard published his narrative concept of the “psychotropic house”, imagining a physically morphing structure that attempts to kill its inhabitants as it is reliving its own traumatic experience.

Ballard’s sci-fi short story ‘A 1000 Dreams of Stellavista’ envisions houses with emotions, a character and free will. In this virtual reality (VR) course, students will start by analysing and drawing elements of Ballard’s story and design their own moving, morphing, talking psychotropic house using photogrammetry, 3d modelling software and the real-time game engine Unity to end up exploring their designs in VR.

This course is concerned with how, through designing for VR, we can expand the perception of our body and transform digital designs into immersive and interactive experiences that tap into our multiple senses.

VR Film by Sofia Barinova