Looking at the diverse collection of M. C. Escher’s sketches, it’s hard to believe there exist impossible architectures he has failed to conjure.
Throw in everything else described on this site, Impossible World, with its historical and modern explorations of the subject, and you’re in a genuine tight spot to think of something new.
So take a sidestep and look at the problem linguistically. Instead of asking about the impossible, ask about the imaginary.
(Note the synaesthetic idioms we swallow daily: you can speak visually—apply the eye to an action of the mouth, and look linguistically—apply language to an action of the eye.)
The sidestep works. Words can paint pictures more bizarre than pencils can. What a warped, inconsistent visual geometry does for sight, a description of an imaginary, non-existent wonder does directly for the brain—many times over and uniquely so for every individual. This shouldn’t be surprising: on paper, a drawing is constrained by two-dimensions and utensil type, while a story is only loosely constrained by two hundred thousand words and some grammar rules (amongst which linearity is chief).
So if you’re not a naturally gifted draughtsman with an instinct for the optical paradox, literary expression is another potential outlet (assuming learning how to write comes more easily to you than learning how to draw well).
If all else fails—read! Inhabiting the worlds that rise from the rows of black squiggles is your prerogative. Continue reading “Imaginary Architecture: The Cathedral of Mist”