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Project:    Master Thesis in Architecture

Institut:     Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Date:          2020-2021

Deserted Islands - places of greates hope and biggest dissapointment. Why do Islands become this places of LONGING, DESIRE and UTOPIA?
In using analytical and interpretative methodologies,
I tried to understand and reveal the essence of islands.
A space whose main features lies in its desertedness,
in its untouchability, in its state of being in the in-between:
as geographical existence and at the same time projection surface.

This Atlas is a collection of the stories of deserted Islands in the Mediterranean Sea


Because of their inherent nature as places upon which one can project any narrative, they reflect the most conflictual and contemporary dynamics of ongoing changes and have become hotspots of territorial mutation, able to anticipate what will happen on the mainland.⁵ Their significance and importance for our human civilization in all kinds of fields – from the construction of myth to the testing of military weapons is evident throughout history. The island has become a heavily combated geopolitical tool and has been a site of war as well as a stage of the most romanticized fictions and novels. We always have to remember their potential as spaces of imagination and at the same time realization.

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Atlas of Deserted Islands

The Travel

An Animation of a fictional trip to the deserted Islands

The traveler, send to find places, where the impossible becomes possible, places which unwritten and separated from the common, which offer space for projections. Where desires and wishes manifest in a spatial way, where the fictional begin to merge real ...



Already the word island itself, “is - land” - evokes the very profound, radical, and refers to the notion of the origin. Arguing with the definition that an island is solid material surrounded by fluidity, every kind of landmass can be regarded as an island. In this sense the beginning, the first creation started with the formation of an island. But the larger the land becomes, the more the essence and the inherent character of islands as places of imagination and otherness are losing themselves in the vast dimension of the landmasses, and its absurdities and peculiarities are devoured by the common

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The Significance of an Island

What is an island? What does an island represent? In spite of its well-defined boundaries, the island itself is a very complex and blurred entity¹, which does not allow for one simple definition².
The island can be interpreted in various ways and disciplines and has, since ancient times, become a subject of study, art and science – it is used as a metaphor and projection surface; as an object of interest for natural scientific research and philosophical conceptualization; and at the same time as a geopolitical tool for global corporations and nations. 

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The Mediterranean Sea

                             - a contested Territory

The Mediterranean Sea, situated between the three continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia, is a highly contested and conflicted territory, with multi-stratified transnational constellations and most divergent functions, oscillating between its capacity of connecting and separation. Its adjacent nations encompass the most diverse cultures and traditions, though still concluded under the denomination of “The Mediterranean”. But what is “The Mediterranean”? What are its limits, what is its essence?

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Intuitive Drawings and Writings

The Island seems to be invisible 

"We can only spot the island from the distance as a faint appearance in the far which hardly differentiates from the blue of the sky and the sea. Which lets lightly tremble the tender line of the horizon before it becomes a still and constant horizontal again. The island is a blurry entity, a non-graspable reality, so fragile in its appareance from afar and yet so clearly defined in its materiality. The island seems to be lost in reverie, fading, enwrapped in fog, and has become a place of forgetting. Detached and solitary, a place of silence, secretiveness, prancing on the edge of the moment of dissappearance."

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Thesis Documentation Book

This Thesis is a Journey to explore the Phenomena of deserted Islands.

The first series of explorations revolve around the  essence of deserted islands. In using different methodologies and media, which vary between analytical and interpretive approaches, I attempt to reveal their inherent nature. It compromises the production of an Atlas about Deserted Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, intuitive drawings and writings, an animation, essays, and a trip to an actual deserted island. Following this part, my research focused on the question of how we can interact in an architectonical way with this topographical archetype. Therefore, I conducted a case study on how different architectonical interventions change the sites’ character and formulated the idea of a non-colonizing architecture. The third part explores the possibility to translate the island into our space in form of an installation.
My methodology can be understood as a conglomerate of explorations and studies which add up to a fragmented collage representing deserted islands. 

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Bringing the island to us

A Translation 

The island’s fascination lies in its state as a thought model and in its capacity to offer a physical space for our imagination. To be able to offer us this space of imagination, its condition of not being defined – of not knowing – of just giving us a fragment - is essential. 

The islands great potential as a projection surface, can it be transferred to a different context? Not far out in the sea, unreachable, untouchable, but can we actually bring the island to us? In form of an installation in the spaces of the Academy of fine Arts I conducted an experiment and brough the island to us.

To indulge into islandness and what the island represents. What happens if we decouple the physical space from the island’s geographical materiality? The installation comprises a video with a focus on creating your own island, and models of fragments from an generic island.

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