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Inside the Kaaba: An Exploration of Admittance ︎ Master of Interior Design Thesis 

IDES 660
Spring 2020 ︎

Interior Design

Eithar Alsayigh

Heather Scott Peterson

Habitation is one of the fundamental presumptions of architectural space, but in some circumstances interiority can be inadmissible due to cultural, political, or religious exclusion, physical limitations of capacity, scale, location, or fragility, or a space can simply no longer exist. The invention of photography greatly expanded architecture’s visual ingress through mechanical reproduction and dissemination. Today, other imaging technologies such as x-rays, infrared photography, augmented reality, and virtual reality allow us to confront notions of the uninhabitable through these various techniques of visualization. This project will utilize AR (augmented reality) to help access one of the least admissible interiors in the world, the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Of the 7.8 billion people on earth, only its 1.8 billion Muslims have religious access to the holy site, but even within the Muslim population, the interior of the Kaaba is restricted to it’s guardians for two days a year. This project will take the form of an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., displaying original parts of the Kaaba alongside physical facsimiles with AR-enhancement, and ask questions regarding how we visualize and exhibit architecture, and how we rethink its admission.

Catalog Description

The culmination of the Master of Interior Architecture, students pursue their self-directed theses in collaboration with a faculty advisor and a selected expert resource. Continual self-assessment and synthesis of the knowledge and skills developed in the program is exercised as part of the thesis development process in order to demonstrate mastery of the critical focus and practice of the discipline.