The Bartlett School of Architecture


Phuong-Trâm Nguyen

Table with suspended objects and projection



Anamorphic images: an interval in the body

First and second supervisors 


This thesis aims to understand how the experience of anamorphic images can challenge our relation between the space of the real and the space of representation. Because anamorphic images imply that a change in space provokes a change in perception – but also because the meaning of those images needs to be re-enacted by the body to be formed again – anamorphic images bound the movement of body to visual perception.

Anamorphic images are deformed images, where the point of view is displaced in space. Therefore, the resolution of the image is only possible through the adjustment of the body near that particular point. Between the first impression of the image and the slow apparition of another image, the body has to adjust within the space, and therefore re-establish a physical link between the fictive space of representation and the space of the real.

This research inquires into the temporality of anamorphic images to see how they can reveal an alternative way to engage architecture and restore our sense of space, of discovery and desire for wonder. From a historical research into the context of development of anamorphosis in the 17th century at the Minims convent in Paris and in Rome, the exploration will be pursued into the realm of moving images and performance, where the body acts as an arch between the space of representation and the space of the real.


Phuong-Trâm Nguyen trained as an architect at Université Laval and Université de Montréal in Canada. She also holds an MA in History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University, Montreal. She has worked at various architectural practices in offices in Montreal and Lisbon. She is currently working on a practice-led PhD at the Bartlett, where she explores the notion of temporality and presence through the potential of moving images.