W5 Pandora’s Box (Final)

My final model was based off the 2nd model in this post. I increased the overall size since I realised that the reason why I couldn’t adjust the dimensions of my boxes (lest they have “similar lengths”) was because they were all too small. The final dimensions were about 10×9×4, 19×1.7×1, 6×3×0.1 (cm).

Twice the size of the original

My word was XYZ axes. Initially, I left the subordinate larger in size to emphasise the 3-dimensionality, but the advice was to trim it to emphasise hierarchy rather than 3-dimensionality. So I did. Then the remark was that it wasn’t 3-dimensional enough… T_T

me </3

I guess the moral of the story is to take everything with a pinch of salt. A piece of advice followed may resolve the current problem, but raise new problems… T_T


2D sketch analysis and 3D sketch models

Verily summarised version (see aforementioned linked post for more details on actual selection of boxes and reasons for joining together in certain way):

  • Purposeful extreme variation of rectilinears
  • Emphasis on “directional pull” in 6 directions


Material: Wire mesh and fishing line

The overarching idea was that planes are just a unison of many lines. Hence, the idea was to use a “transparent” frame, to see inside where many lines cross each other randomly.

Wire mesh was chosen for the fact that it was the best material for providing anchors to the lines (through the holes), where I could make the lines out of fishing lines, sewn in with a needle, while still vaguely giving that sense of lack of mass. I also used the same material because I personally feel that, more than being separate axes, all 3 axes are fundamentally the same (especially in that X, Y and Z are interchangeable terms.)

Fishing line, joining all of them together, was meant to re-emphasise that unity, while having the fishing line somewhat not visible as well to add to the lack of mass.

(Will update later when I have access to my journal, 3 pages on the step-by-step process of making with wire mesh) Written step-by-step process. I used an embroidery needle specifically for the length, relative thickness and hole size.

(Will update later when I have access to my journal, a page on contemplations of techniques to get what I want with acrylic) I also considered acrylic, which would have fulfilled the transparency criteria much better, but mostly discarded that idea by virtue of that I couldn’t think of a time and cost-efficient way to use acrylic, especially since I have zero knowledge of it as a material. At least wire mesh was malleable. And had in-built, evenly spread and decently-sized holes.


Possible Usages

  • Stilt house: Bamboo house with nipa doorstep-roof, a chimney-thing, and hardwood stilts (may come with windows, drive-through windows, etc)
My photoshop skills are poor, but I try
  • Weapon: Cannon, gun controls behind a gun shield, and a protruding end for manual swivelling (may come with ladder) (all metal)

Other ideas also include: elevator (SD as elevator shaft and D as elevator), lever-pulling-based exercise machine (SD as lever with elastic wire attached to SO)


Some work-in-progress shots

(to form the lines inside)


W4 Pandora’s Box

My term was XYZ axes, and it immediately sparked tragic memories of a topic named Vectors in a subject named H2 Math, which I never quite managed to pass. On a brighter note, that prior knowledge was somewhat effective in assisting me. Here’s some of the things I still remember which vaguely helped me:

  • 3 axes = 3 dimensions, the X, Y and Z axes
  • There’s 3 main features, the point, line and plane
I haven’t done this much Math since November.

I didn’t particularly think of this while working, and not all of it is applicable because we can only use right angles, but it was what unconsciously led me to thoughts on things like origin points, etc.


I really disliked my previous designs, especially where jointing wasn’t available yet. It’s a little hard for me to see the 3D-ness happen if I can’t joint to allow the edges to jut across all 6 sides, than just 3, which undermines the unflatness.

For versatility purposes, I decided to use foam rather than boxes, where my dismal collection of  boxes didn’t seem to fit together well (and the colours were rather distracting). Consequently, I headed out to ADM, picked out pieces of scrap foam at random, and spent a wonderful late evening of foam cutting! (This was mostly just to straighten the edges, but it’s surprisingly therapeutic once you get into the routine.)


The usage of the foam cutting machine, along with a pet peeve of mine (which involves the use of too many rules at once), led to me deciding to make this.

After the initial cutting therapy, I started to notice that there was 2 ways to cut the foam: one, by lining the part to be discarded on the left and the part to be kept on the right; two, vice versa. I know it sounds incredibly simple, and it probably IS very obvious, but I’m ashamed to say that my common sense also failed me similarly when it came to paper cutting for Foundation 2D. Regardless, prior to this I had only been using method 1 to cut, so with this epiphany I realised I could use the measurements to line up and cut the foam to certain dimensions as so desired.

I’ve previously mentioned that I have a certain distaste for similar shapes, similar meaning sharing the same ratio but just in a different scale. With that in mind (and Cheryl’s mentioning of cutting boxes to two-third sizes of each other), I hence decided to do exactly that, in a sort of masochistic, self-spiting way.

Initial Problems (and any refining actions taken)

If I rotate the SD/SO to solve flatness problems, it causes hierarchical problems instead, so even with a 2D sketch it’s kind of difficult to find a solution anyway.

Measurements: The dominant was 13×20×5cm, the subdominant is 8.6×13.3×1.6cm, and the subordinate is 4.3×6.6×3.3cm (3:2:1;3:2:1;3:1:2) (I would have went for all round 9:6:2, or 3:2:1, but the lack of appropriate foam worked against me). Taking into account the fact that the dominant and subdominant were fairly close in terms of 13cm and 13.3cm, I decided to shorten the dominant’s X to 12cm (the only nearby number which would result in non-clashing measurements).

Without jointing

Splicing: I neglected to realise that I needed to factor in additional foam for things like wedging or piercing until I actually tried to put the foam together but when I tried to join them without jointing techniques, it seemed poorly executed. So, I tried using only wedging instead.

Why I wouldn’t choose this

  • Forms too similar, it plays by the rules but it’s boring (linked to comparative proportion?)
  • Difficult to adequately show 3D-ness without compromising hierarchy




Prior to doing the second model, I drafted the OSS post for the first one (as seen above). Writing really helps me to sort my thoughts out, and I noticed certain patterns in how I approached it. With this in mind, I decided to try avoiding what I did for the first model, to see what I felt would actually work.

As stated in the brief, students are to cut “at least 12 rectilinear volumes” BEFORE proceeding to organise them. Presumably, this is either a negotiable point, or intended to ensure students avoid the methodical approach of measuring each box and making them already well-placed with each other. Hence, I decided to approach this less methodically, by refraining from doing any initial touch ups, and just picking 3 volumes which looked wildly different: 1 decidedly normal piece, 1 ridiculously slim piece and one looooooooooooooooooong piece.

(I happened to be in possession of many long and slim foams, results of the foam trimming therapy session)

Initial Problems (and any refining actions taken)

I like this one in terms of direction, but the subordinate is really messing up the subdominant on 2/6 sides

Measurements: I trimmed the subordinate from the start, of course. Afterwards, though, it was still rather big, so I sliced it into nearly half again to reduce the surface area, and wedged it to give the dominant more dominance in the bottom left sketch. (Then, the subdominant was also really long so I trimmed it from about 18.3cm to 15.4cm,)

It WAS really big.

Hierarchy: Natural problems arose from a too thin subdominant paired with the wide subordinate. If I were to rotate to counteract there wouldn’t be the nice 4-directional pull anymore, so I didn’t really manage to find a solution for this, but since it’s 2/6 sides maybe… It’s.. Passable?

Also mostly just that I randomly made it in class previously and kind of liked it, so I used a similar idea. Instead of wedging, I used both piercing and wedging though.

Why I wouldn’t choose this

I mean, I prefer this over the other two, so…




I tried to combine elements of both 1 & 2, 1 in actually considering factors like precise measurements; 2 in choosing seemingly “random” pieces (and also the general design, though this time I tried piercing through BOTH pieces than just one to create an “origin”, like XYZ axes typically have).

Initial Problems (and any refining actions taken)

Since the design is really similar too, I had similar problems to the 2nd one

Measurements: Surprisingly, nothing much. Besides the foam trimming therapy, I did almost nothing.

Hierarchy: I do feel the subordinate is somewhat underwhelming, especially from that one (two) angles where you see practically nothing (0.2×1.05 cm²). However, changing to a different piece might compromise the slenderness I enjoy for the other 4 angles, so…

Why I wouldn’t choose this

Purely just the subordinate problem; if I could resolve that, I would pick this over the second one, where the piercing/wedging cut the dominant enough to avoid excessively large, flat planes.


I made some other random stuff in class, but other than aforementioned under the second model, they were all mostly useless, and just cutting/jointing practice. I did make a sailboat with all planes intersecting at one point, which inspired me to try to make an origin point for the third model though!

I’m still vaguely confused as to if we’re supposed to have a critique… Today, or if this is the end of the project, or if we still have time to rework our things, but if I could, I might opt to use some kind of textured, wild surface, one that really emphasises the idea of unflatness. Like… Rock. Or something.

W1 Interesting Object & Boxes, Boxes, Boxes

For the lesson, I brought my headphones, which was a decision mostly influenced by an overwhelming number of standard-shaped items, and the fact that my headphones are in fact quite a comfortable accessory which I like to bring everywhere.


Personally, what I noticed first was

  1. Colour
  2. Symmetry (and Flatness)
  3. Positive/Negative Spaces (and Circularity)

Other things that Cheryl (Ms. Heng? I’m still not used to the first name thing) raised, which I didn’t really notice, was the texture, and proportions AFTER extending it (I guess you don’t think too much about changing the state when you’ve been using something in a certain state for too long).

In terms of colour, it’s predominantly black, with silver as the subdominant colour. I find that there’re different silvers as well, with the silver button(?) being subdominant by virtue of how bright and reflective it is (I personally feel like it’s so bright that it’s trying too hard to be dominant, which really irks me). The SONY words are also subdominant by virtue of size (it’s a much more tolerable silver to me), and the silver linings are so dull they’re effectively subordinate. The model name is mostly just irrelevant by virtue of size.

Extension. The easiest way to see it is if the wires begin to cross each other.

Cheryl also noted that the black varies in terms of texture, which was such a prominent point that I mentally slapped myself for not seeing it. There’s the matte black of the headband, as opposed to the glossy black of the earpieces (I’m not too sure what to call the black of the wire, but it resembles the matte more). After extending, a lot of rule of third comes into play: the headband makes up 2/3 and the earpieces 1/3. The silver button(?) is at the 1/3 mark, and the model name is also at the 1/3 mark, along with the extension marker.

Symmetry. Turning the earpiece makes it flat.

Symmetry is also a prominent feature to me, where it’s obviously a practical decision, but also makes it look harmonious. This symmetry applies from practically all angles. If the earpieces are turned accordingly, the headphones also allow for a flat plane from almost all angles too. (Incidentally, this is something I enjoy about the headphones, that it can lie flat around my neck and it can be flatten and kept.)

Something else of note is also the contrast of positive/negative spaces. The headband traces a circular shape which isn’t filled, and, fun fact! The radius of the void is roughly the diameter of the earpiece. Meaning, twice the size. What I DON’T like, however, is how all the shapes are all similar. You have circular earpieces, circular negative space, circular button(? it’s not actually a button but I have no other word for it), and it’s incredibly overwhelming. Perhaps it was intended for a sense of unison, so I might just be the outlier.

(I do like the flat wire though, even if the headband shares a similar shape too.)

It’s probably really obvious that I have problems with photography too, isn’t it 🙁

(There’s some stuff in the 2D sketch which I didn’t cover above since it was all mostly straightforward, so if you’re feeling up to it you can see as above.)

If there’s anything I’ve truly learned from Lesson 1, though, it’s that you shouldn’t make assumptions. It’s sorely disappointing to have nothing to be critiqued on because you misinterpreted the limits of the prompt (and didn’t clarify it!) so I shall have to make an effort to work on that.

I was given the theme of X Y Z axes, and 1. I assumed you couldn’t use adhesives and could only stack 2. I assumed you could use all 3 together to form 1 bigger picture, hahaha hahah a ha…. ha………………………….. Needless to say, I failed magnificently. So I redid the models. Here they are! (While I had the foresight to use my hoard of A2 paper, I severely overestimated its ability to accommodate the dimensions… Time to hoard A1 instead)

While making them, I tried to keep in mind the various comments Cheryl gave in class to everyone, on trying to avoid using boxes with dimensions which matched, flushing boxes to each other, rule of 3, ignoring colours for now, et cetera. On a personal level, I also tried to avoid using similar boxes, similar here having the same meaning as for similar triangles/rectangles/et cetera.

(Note that the distinction between the subdominant and subordinate is not particularly clear, where this was the only configuration I could make where the boxes were of varying dimensions, at the cost of being able to use size to differentiate dominance. I probably need a better box collection. Or to learn to prioritise.)

Side Front

Side Left

Side Back

Side Right

Dominant: Leo (L)

Subdominant: Mirror (S)

Subordinate: Medicine (XS) (but I think the longer width makes it almost equal size, in terms of volume, with the fairly thin mirror box)

For this, I tried to go with a more “random” feel, by spreading out the placement of boxes. That the other two boxes tend towards different edges of the dominant makes the dominant provide “height”, while the 2 other boxes jut outwards in different directions to form the other 2 axes. For no particular reason, I went all out on rule of third, so the mirror and medicine boxes are placed on 1/3 of the dominant box. 1/3 of the mirror box is not in contact with the Leo box either. (I personally find it boring, but that’s life I suppose.)

Side Front

Side Right

Side Back

Side Left

Dominant: Dynamo (XL)

Subdominant: Cap’n Crunch (M)

Subordinate: Whitey (M) (same issue. less length, but more height and width to make up for it)

For this, I neglected the recommendation to not flush boxes (a fair point, because the sheer amount of mass there is really drawing attention away from the dominant), but I wanted to try making an “origin”, the point of intersection for axes. I considered stacking all 3 on top of each other instead to form the point (while still having Crunch and Whitey jut outwards), but I felt like that would accentuate 1 axis far more than the others, so… In hindsight, though, the dominant is so big that it already makes 2 axes quite prominent, and leaves 1 severely lacking where the other boxes are unable to provide the same level of support, and especially where Whitey is making the already long length even longer. I have no idea how to rectify this, but to be fair the very poor selection of boxes and even more poor decision to flush the boxes had long screwed this one over. It’s always good to know what doesn’t work, I guess!

I’m atrocious with anything involving more than flat planes, so 3D is really looking to be a challenge, but I… Shall do what I can. Which is not a lot. But, as McEwan once wrote, “the attempt was all”.