THE VISUAL LINEAGE OF ELVEN ARCHITECTURE
Elven architecture has developed a set a language of visual representation utilizing attributes of historic precedents. In typical depictions of architecture designed for elves today, elements of Feudal Japanese, Art Nouveau, Frank Lloyd Wright, Classical, and Vernacular Nordic can be seen. All of these references can be traced backwards to when fantasy visualization entered the public mainstream - the production design of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The artists and designers working on the films set the precedent for following mass market representations of elves.
A pair of drawings of ‘real’ elf buildings from games Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft coupled with a library of diagrams illustrating iconic Japanese formal elements gathered from fieldwork illustrates the presence of aspects derived from historic Japanese examples. This background research was used to create a speculative drawing illustrating a mountainous Orc village. As the capstone of the research, this drawing explores alternative avenues for the use of historic reference in fantasy representation.