Project 1: Spatial Experiences

02.04 — Creating Modules

The task for the first part of this project was to create 3 different shapes that would then be made into different modules. Each shape had to be made different ways, so that is a total of 6 different models being made.

When I began brainstorming, I started in the sketchbook. I sketched out this one shape that I thought would work, however when I translated into its physical form, it ended up being flimsy. Next was the realization that I didn’t know a lot about my medium (chipboard). I had worked with cardboard in the past, but I have never tried to translate form with chipboard. From here, my approach was looser, and I moved away from using my sketchbook first. I cut out 1" x 1" squares and I made random cuts, created triangles and just experienced the chipboard. Using this very subtractive process, I landed on the three different shapes below.

Left- Experiencing the Chipboard I Right-original sketchbook work (didn’t workout)
The three different shapes
First shape created

Shape 1:

For the first shape I made, I was just experimenting and landed on this shape. I wanted to create some complexity so I used cuts that were asymmetrical. When putting it together, the first system I made was just stacking the different pieces in a pattern that gave it height. I matched the the cut-out triangle sides with each other and then connected them. For the second one, I followed the pattern of connecting the the inner triangle cut to the asymmetrical cut. This created a very linear repetitive patter that I thought was more soothing, and had a bit more direction than the first system.

Shape 1 first system
Shape 1 second system

Shape 2:

When I was playing around with the Chipboard, I thought that creating a very angular piece might be interesting. This shape is really just a 90 degree angle, so I thought it would be interesting to see how it could make cubes. For the first iteration, I only collected the outer parts of the “L” not the angled part. This created two almost wire-frame-y cubes. The second iteration was based around creating the system of symmetry. I paired the angled parts of the pieces together, and then kept adding the same pairs the same way to maintain symmetry.

Shape 2 system 1
Shape 2 system 2

Shape 3:

For this shape, I played around with creasing and creating folds. The first system I attempted with this was the helix, sort of shape. I don’t really find this module very stable. Each piece is not held together very tightly, and there is not a lot of clear pattern created in the module. I think though, that this one adds a bit of breath to the range of shapes I was working with. It is more loose and unstructured, whereas with the other systems there was clear repetition or order to the whole. For the second one, I slid the pieces behind one another to create these moving teeth-like objects. I really like the versatility in this shape. There are ways of connecting in the form itself, and also in the slits. I think I want to find ways to connect through the form itself like I did with the second system.

Shape 3 system 1
Shape 3 system 2

02.08 — Using Verbs

Looking back on the feedback from last class, I think I am going to stick with the curved gear shape and build off of that. This might be a bit challenging though because the matches between the pairs do not invite a lot of growth. There isn’t a lot that can connect different sections of these curves. This issue will be a main goal for this work period.

Inspiration:

Image taken from web (a lot nicer than the one at my grandparents house) url:https://www.gotaidea.org/30-fascinating-grape-arbor-ideas-the-perfect-patio-decor/

To start, I wanted to do a pavilion like structure that could act as a refuge from the sun, or even be a sort of waiting room (wrong word but something like that) in a museum. I thought of the trellis that my grandparents use to grow grapes on. There was a table under all the vines and grapes above and it was so relaxing. So, the verb I chose to go along with this was “rest.”

For my modular system, I wanted to keep the trellis in mind by creating a system that seemed like it was moving and morphing around you, similar to the vines. I also wanted it to be more enclosed rather than being expansive. There is a beautiful intimacy with this enclosed space.

Sketch:

Drawing of the space

I think in the whole process, the drawing was the most difficult part. I had an extremely tough time trying to translate the object, especially capturing the texture. This time, I didn’t start with the sketch. I played around with the structure, and then drew. I’m not sure if that was how we were suppose to approach it though.

The three different modules to make the system

To make the space, I used three different modules. Top left is the bench structure, middle right is the common piece that makes the gear teeth, and the bottom left is the connector that connects each separate structure. It dose this by sliding between these little holes created by the main pieces.

Different views of system

02.10 — Experimenting with Color and Light

Color:

Photoshopped Color Samples-Preliminary

Going into this part of the project, I am a little nervous. My design wasn’t really driven by color or pattern. There is a more internal pattern. So, to start, I used photoshop to map out certain colors that I would maybe like to use.

White module expiriment
Black module expiriment

Looking at the different colors, I am mainly interested in white and black. What is really challenging with my piece is that the pattern creates a lot of shadows on the piece. This means there are many different hues in the piece. The reason I like white at the moment is that there is less going on. I also picture that this piece will be out in nature, like a park or something. The white would be more seamless to mold into the scenery. It would look really nice against green.I’m having a lot of trouble with this part of the design.

Lighting:

Different lighting options

I tried out a few different lighting types. From top left to bottom right — natural, side, above, lamp+above, lamp, downlight, and angled. My favorite is the natural lightning.

02.15 — Adjectives and Refinements

The adjectives that I want to describe the system:

  1. secluded
  2. calm
  3. intimate

The words that I got from three other people

-protected

-heavy

-scalar

-protected

-shaded

-hidden

-anchored

-parenthesized (from the openness)

I’m pretty happy with the outcome of this because the people I asked got the enclosed protected feeling that I was going for! I’m interested in the “heavy” adjective used. This might go against how I wanted it to be calm.

Changing Verb: to shelter. This makes more sense with its context to nature as well as its form.

Refinement:

In my process of refining the modular system, I ended up reverting back to how I made the module two classes ago by keeping the chipboard as it is. Before I made this decision, I did try out a few different materials and colors:

Trying out different tones and mediums

I tried out corrugated cardboard, this thick tan board (I think its called pulp board), and also the tan board with water and paint. The corrugated cardboard had an interesting movement to it, but it was too flimsy and the textured inside was distracting. Also, the dark brown color seemed a bit heavy handed. Whenever you think of nature, the first colors that come to mind are greens and browns. This seemed to be playing into that a bit. The tan board was too clean and bright (similar to the white I tried last week). Finally for the painted pieces, I found myself gravitating to the ones that almost exactly matched the chipboard color. This was a good way of understanding why I wanted to choose chipboard.

The main thing that I like about this color is that it is a bit more discreet, and it has the capability to blend in with nature. The form itself is already very industrial, and is not extremely organic (even though it references items in nature). Adding a more earthy color would almost create more tension between its more industrial shape and its natural context. In order to blend, it also has to be able to work in the different seasons. As the colors change from greens, to warmer hues, to cooler darker tones, back to green, this module has to seamlessly be integrated into the space. I also appreciate how it is the color of the material. I feel like using that inherent property of the medium makes the overall structure more robust. Lastly, another reason why I prefer this color is because the structure already has an immense amount of intricacies. Each slit makes a shadow on its pair, which creates different tones just within the pattern itself.

02.16 — Class Critique Reflection

Imitated process that Q showed

The main thing that Q discussed in our critique is my use of color. Right now, the color of the chipboard that I like, is not as reflective of the structure’s relationship to nature. Q mentioned that it looked like concrete rather than being a more natural hue, which I totally agree with. He also took an image of my piece then pixilated a nature image on top of it to show how this could be a way of picking colors. Doing this I found that I wanted to stick to the more green/brown hues. I do think that it is important that I add color, but since I am not drawn to color in design I think it is going to be extremely hard for me to find the right colors for this structure.

02.17.20 — Final Review and Refinements

Finding colors:

The process of trying to get the right color palette was extremely tedious and difficult for me. I tried out different approaches to coloring the modules, but I was still caught in this idea that no color is better. But, as I moved through the process, I started to get an idea of what color/colors would be best.

Initial tonal relationships:

In deciding what I wanted to do, I was heavily inspired by these buildings in the Glenstone Museum. The slight differences in tone create a less “concrete” texture. It isn’t as cold as one single color would be. So, to create this effect, I started to use the technique of staining the module pieces with water so that they would have a slight difference from the other, but still be more natural. Each would have its own huge, and when they would come together, you would get an overall natural and “earthy” look.

The stained pieces, all with different color try outs and different dilution levels
Reference https://www.pinterest.com/pin/349310514847003643/

I got a lot of insight from my peers saying that the different colors made them think of camo and military, more than it did nature. This wasn’t the experience that I wanted to have for the viewer, so I decided to take another route. This time, I took inspiration from concrete buildings that used another material in tandem. Looking at this image, the wooden hues lighten up the concrete quite a bit. You also get this tension that exist between the two that I find really dynamic.

So, I decided to mainly stick to one hue to exist through the form as an accent. I used the same process of tinting the chipboard, but I tinted the whole board one color and cut it. The color was made of greens, different browns, some yellow, and some black. I found that as I colored the board, it naturally created different hues and colors in itself which I found really interesting.

Final Images

Final Reflection:

What I really like about this is that the colors now represent the relationship between the structure and the context. The form of the structure references a more industrial repetitive “gear” like object, and the color green gives it a more natural feel. I think this tension adequately describes the purpose of my form. It is a man made object that is trying to exist within nature, and at times shield you from nature. It references this form of nature, but ultimately gets you out of nature, so there is that tension there.

Also, having the greenish natural color dispersed throughout the concrete colored modules emphasizes the color more. If I made the whole module that color, there wouldn’t be any tension that would exist. This almost makes it reference nature more because it shows that there is more of an extreme.

Im pretty happy with how it turned out, but I want to get more comfortable with using color in my designs. The last bit of adding color was a very uncomfortable process.