What is Ikebana?

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The name comes from the Japanese ike, meaning ‘alive’ or ‘arrange’ and bana meaning ‘flower.’

" Ikebana is not just about sticking a flower into a vase: It is about the love and need of the artist to create beautiful forms … Ikebana is not just about flowers, it is about the person who arranges them. "

Sofu Teshigahara, Founder of Sogetsu School

Ikebana is more than simply putting flowers in a container. Ikebana is an art, in the same sense that painting and sculpture are art. It has a recorded history; it is backed up by articulate theories; and it is concerned with creativity. In Japan, flower arrangements are used as decorations on a level with paintings and other art objects. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing in which nature and humanity are brought together. It is steeped in the philosophy of developing closeness with nature.

As is true of all other arts, ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction.

Principles of Ikebana

Ikebana has become an artform that is associated with a meditative quality. Creating an arrangement is supposed to be done in silence to allow the designer to observe and meditate on the beauty of nature and gain inner peace. Ikebana is meant to be viewed in all angles, the importance of space, which is not meant to be filled, but created and preserved through the arrangements. Each view should shows a different ‘story’. This ties into other principles of Ikebana including minimalism, shape and line, form, humanity, aesthetics, and balance.

Different kinds of Ikebana


Heika is a basic style of ikebana arrangement that uses a tall vase and highlights vertical lines. The biggest feature is the emphasis on bringing out the flowers’ natural charms and arranging them in a tasteful and elegant manner.


Moribana uses a shallow container and a kenzan, a holder with many sharp points into which flowers are inserted. The big feature of moribana is the broad expanse of natural-looking shapes and a mound of beautiful flowers.

Taste Food Research

Five tastebuds operate together to give us a full picture.

1. Sweet The most elemental of taste pleasures, sweetness signals the presence of sugars, the foundation of the food chain and a source of energy. Examples: Honey, Fruits, Desserts
2. Bitter A poison alarm, bitterness is a distinctive bad taste accompanied by a reflexive “yuck” expression on the face. Examples: Bittergourd, Grapefruit
3. Sour The mouth-puckering sensation is caused by acids in lemons, yogurt and sourdough bread and other food. Examples: Lemons, Vinegar
4. Salty Our brains are programmed so that a little salt tastes good, and a lot tastes bad. Examples:Ham, Potato Chips

5. Umami Japanese for “delicious taste,” umami is produced by certain amino acids. It’s best described as “savory”—a taste rich in flavor released by cooking, curing or aging. Examples: Seared and Cured meats, Fish sauce, Green Tea, Soy Sauce

Other than these 5 different senses, food also needs to be presented in a way that is appetizing to the eye as well as to the palate.

Taste is an incredible sense, sending information to the brain as to whether what you’re eating is sweet, salty, sour, bitter or savory. Taste as a sense is made up of sight, smell, touch and resulting taste. So when you screw up your face in disgust as that moldy piece of bread is put in front of you, chances are your brain has already made its mind up before you put a bit in your mouth – which is why most people refuse the moldy offering prior to eating it.

So in fact, eating that piece of chocolate which sends a positive signal to your brain’s receptors and lets you know you’re enjoying it actually comes from a mixture of sight, touch, smell and the effect on your tastebuds.

The way we see food affect its taste!


Smell is important as it can affect our sense of taste. Researchers say 80 percent of the flavors we taste come from what we smell, which is why foods can become flavorless when you have a blocked nose.

If the smell is not appealing to us, we will not likely try it.

Smell is the only sense that affects the memory and emotion part of the brain. If we feel good when we buy a product then we are likely to continue buying it. However, if the smell is not appealing to you, you will not buy it again. This is also why many companies add fragrance to their products such as soap and washing powder. Smell has become increasing important to us and as a result the industry has responded to these demands.


We were ask to pick a season from the pandora box, the season I received was summer.

Summer is the hottest and most fun season. People often take advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending more time outdoors during the summer. Activities such as traveling to the beach and picnics occur during summer months.

Personally, I feel that summer is a fun season. summer. It is full of vibrant hues that can spark liveliness and bring energy to any space.

Season Mindmap

Summer Moodboard

This is the moodboard that I have done. Summer being colourful and vibrant. Since summer is the hottest season, icecream and desserts is a must have!

3D Analysis

We are allowed to be as creative as possible. However there are some key points that we have to that note of.

Models must consist of a cone, sphere and a cylinder. The Dominant(D), Subdominant(SD) and Subordinate(SO) should stay consistent on at least 4/6 views. We were to create a balance be is Dependent, Precarious, or Independent of directional forces in our compositions. And lastly no right angles are allowed in this assignment.

Model 1

  • Dominant (D) RED
  • Subdominant (SD) BLUE
  • Subordinate (SO) YELLOW
  • Things to improve on GREEN

All 3 elements could be seen on all views. However D, SD and SO is not consistent. D and SD have very similar length. While SO seems larger than SD too.

Model 2


All 3 elements could be seen from all angles and  D, SD and SO stayed consistent on most angles. I also tried placing the cylinder on 1/3 of the cone.

What  I can improve on?

I can increase the diameter of the cylinder. So that the SD and SO would not be so similar in terms of the diameter. Next, the side view has a right angle. What I could do is to tilt the cone.

Model 3


All 3 elements could be seen from all sides. SD and SO are too similar. Everything is symmetrical fro the side view, which makes the composition looks boring. However, I do like the front view, it shows different degree of angles.

What  I can improve on?

I could increase the size of SD and reduce the size of SO, so that SD and SO will be more obvious. I feeling that the composition do not look as interesting as compared to the front view.

Final Model


My theme was Summer. I wanted to create a more playful and youthful composition. I tried to swirl the branch around my cone, to create the liveness. Summer is also filled with colours and brightness. Therefore, I use colours to create a fun and joyful composition.

Summer is the hottest season of the year, desserts are the must have, therefore i used cold and refreshing desserts/ fruits to represent summer.

The dominant in my composition is the cone and branch. While the Sub dominant is the straw and blue pebbles to represent the sea, lastly bubble tea pearl is subordinate.

I also tired to play with the scent, I used lemon as it has a refreshing smell. Which represents summer.

Since ikebana is made to be able to be viewed in all angles, I tired to make all angles different and interesting. I made used of asymmetry and voids to create the composition. My favourite view is the front view. As the branch frames up the subject in the composition.

Forrest Gump-Research

When we first receive this assignment, I was excited. Since young, I enjoy watching movie. I am a big fan of disney movies.

First, I research on different movie that I like and I select quotes from those movies. I had a hard time choosing the movies quotes, as I cannot decide which to pick. At last, I managed to reduce it to 6 movie quotes.


“Im the king of the world”

Beauty and the Beast

 “Beauty is found within”

Alice in the wonderland

“It’s always tea time”


“When will my reflection show who I am inside”

Finding Nemo

“Fish are friends, not food”

Little Mermaid

“The human world is a mess”

Next i research on artist’s works to give me inspiration, mainly Surrealism and Dadaism.


Dadais, was an artistic and literary movement that arose a reaction to World World I and the nationalism that many thought had led to the war. Dadaists believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday society; its works were characterized by a deliberate irrationality and the rejection of the prevailing standards of art. It influenced later movements including Surrealism.

Hannah Hoch

Hannah Hoch was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage. She replaces facial feature and she exaggerates it. Which makes it more interesting and audience will spend more time looking at it.


Surrealism is a cultural movement and artistic style that was founded in 1924 by Andre Breton. Surrealism style uses visual imagery from the subconscious mind to create art without the intention of logical comprehensibility.

Surrealism works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur. I feel that surrealism is very interesting as it involves many things that I wouldn’t thought you could combine them together to form a surreal picture.

Andre Breton

I really love the unnerving effort of Surrealism. The dreamlike/ surprise works is a very powerful too to attract people’s attention and I think is very important in design.

For example, unlike the traditional way of work, that shows human eating food. The artwork shows a headless lady eating her on head. It makes me very curious and wonder why she will do that.

Dan Hillier

One artist that I really like is Dan Hillier. He has an unique style, combining Victorian sensibilities with a fascination for animal attributes. I like how his work is characterized by depictions of fantastical human/animal hybrids, spliced together with late-1800s imagery. Most of his works are symmetrical, however he is still able to create interesting and unique style.

I also like how Dan Hillter uses the positive and negative space to create focus on the subject. By using the white spaces, it helps to draw attention to the main subject.

Vania Zouravliov

Vania Zouravlio was inspired from an early age by influences as diverse. His elaborate illustrations are a mix of innocence, brutality, beauty and decadence, mixed with the colors and styles of communism in Eastern Europe.

Vania Zouravlio uses black and white in all his work. He uses the white spaces to draw attention to the subject.

Vincent Van Gogh

Another artist that I research on was Vincent Van Gogh, he uses swirls at the background to create texture and bring life to the work. By adding these textures, is really help to add more emotions and feelings to the work.

Pandora Box: Asymmetry

The theme I got was Asymmetry.

Asymmetry means uneven in distribution or lack of equality.

We can exploit asymmetry, using it to draw attention to areas in the design or to convey dynamism or movement. Having asymmetry in our work, it helps lit up the artwork.

In this Pandora Box assignment, we were to use 3 boxes to represent our theme in our composition. There are some things that we have to be aware of is all the three boxes must be able to be seen on all views. The dominant (D), subdominant (SD) and subordinate (SO)  volumes should stay constant on at least 4 different views.

Process and Development 

Process model 1

  • Dominant (D) RED
  • Subdominant (SD) BLUE
  • Subordinate (SO) YELLOW
  • Principle Axis GREEN DOTTED LINES

For my first model, I make sure that all the 3 boxes can be seen from all 6 the views. I placed my SO and SD at the mid point of D. However, some of the sides do not show the consistent D,SD and SO.

Process model 2

In this composition, the boxes are all position at the mid point of D. I tried using a smaller SO box in this composition. So that SD and SO will not be so similar when it is being viewed in other sides. However, SD and SO still looks quite smaller on the left and right view. And SO box could not be seen at the bottom view

Process model 3

I tried placing all the boxes at a side to create lack of equality . I also applied rule of third technique, SD and SO boxes are placed at one third of the fraction.  This composition has more depth and D, SD and SO are more cosistent in this layout.

Process model 4

In this composition, I placed the boxes perpendicular to each other. SO and SD are consistent at 4 views. However, the SO could not seen on the right view. I like this composition most, it has more interesting views as compared to the previous compositions.

Final Model

If i were to remove the SO in this layout, it will be symmetric. Which creates a  very balance, very expected composition. However once I add in the SO box, the whole composition lits up. The first thing that we will notice is the SO. Our eyes will naturally be drawn at the focus and then goes around to see the biggest boxes later on. In which it also creates hierarchy.

Since the focus is on the SO box, it is the magic to my composition. I use gold to emphasis on it. While I use a more neutral colour material for my D and SD material. D is concrete while SD is glass.


A large application could be a submarine. Dominant being the main body. While the Subdominant could be the masts with cameras mounted, replacing the traditional optical periscopes. And the Subordinate is the control room, where people could enter.

A smaller application could be a stationary holder and a digital clock. The Dominant is to hold larger items, such as pens or ruler. Sub dominant is to store slightly smaller items like glue or eraser, it also acts as a digital clock. And lastly the subordinate is to store small items such as paper clips and rubber bands. It is very important to have a stationary holder on the desk, it helps to keep the table neat and tidy. Having a clock also helps to keep track of the time.


When I started this assignment, I was very confused and I had trouble trying to differentiate the Sub- dominant and Subordinate.

I learn from my friends work and consultation, which allows me to look more closely at shapes. And understand how the sizes complement as Dominant, Sub- dominant and Subordinate.

After this assignment, I am able to apply the design principles and to identify them. I also realised that the things around us all had design elements. The final model allowed me to look at model not just as it is, but to imagine it as an application. I had to be creative and think out of the box.

2D Project- My Line is Emo


For each emotion, I think of times when I am feeling that way. And I tried to relate and express my emotions into the work.

Love (Material Used : Cotton Wool)

First emotion is love. Love is a feeling of strong and constant affection for a person. I define love as a soft and never ending. Reason why I use cotton pad is because it has a soft and fluffy texture. It has no hard edges.

The black reflects his imperfections in other peoples eyes. While the white reflects on how perfect he is in my eyes; how flawless and wonderful he is. Love has its ups and down but ultimately, it will go back the same. I work beyond the boundary as love has no ending, there is a start, but there will no have a end.

Eagerness (Material Used : Soap, Chinese Ink and Straw)

The next emotion is eagerness. I remember the first time I watched a soccer match. The eager and tensed feelings. The eager emotion just build up as the time goes by. Every time the player gets closer to the goalpost, my heart just beats fast. And whenever they miss the goal, my heart just burst.

The bursting bubbles represent the emotions I’m feeling during the match.

Surprise (Material Used : Straw and Chinese Ink)

Surprise is something that happen very sudden, be it good or bad surprise.  The emotions cannot be controlled. During my 21st birthday last year,  my family held a surprise birthday party for me. When I first stepped into the house, I was shocked that my relatives are all here to celebrate with me. Throughout the whole party, there are many little surprises, such as birthday wishes and gifts. And halfway through the party, I heard a group of people singing the birthday song, I turned and to my surprise, my group of secondary school classmates came. I was really  surprise and happy.

The lines here represents the surprise I get. From small surprise to big surprises.

Anger (Material Used : Ink and Marker)

Feeling angry made me use hard pressure on the paper.  I held my marker in my fist to create more harsh lines. I also created some concentrated patches to represent the outburst of anger.


Hurt (Paper)

Forgiving some one is easy, but there will always be a scar left behind. I translate this emotion into my work. If you look perfectly straight, you can barely see the black areas but after a closer look, you could see the ‘scars’ that are left behind.

Fear (Material Used : Brush and Chinese Ink)

Fear is an unpleasant emotion when you feel like you are in danger. I used chinese ink and the hard bristles of a brush. I dilute some part of the work with water, so that when it smudges it create a very soft and helpless feeling.


What I learn from this project, is not be afraid to ask for help. When you are lost, go on google or pinterest or even ask friends for help. I am sure they will give their honest opinions. Next, is try and experiment, the more you try out, we get more ideas and a better understanding of what we are supposed to do. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

I started out being lost, but i managed to complete this project successful!