Form & Viz Architecture

Pinterest board for inspiration

Pinterest ideas

Some keywords to guide concepts

  • organic vs hard
  • pivots
  • open, airy
  • facades
  • tie in with east/west concept, directions dictate function of space
  • slim, tall
  • acoustically sound open-space for concerts

Final idea, rough isometric drawing with scale

I first started off with some scribbling. I also drew a pretty detailed model of what I imagined after the paper prototypes.

Paper prototypes!

Concept 1 paper prototype

Concept 2 paper prototype

Then I proceed to explore shapes using paper prototypes, more tactile in my opinion. My main design inspiration is in the shape of a bonsai plant. It will be a 40+ stories skyscraper with outdoor platforms and semi-translucent flowy shelters.

Base structure construction

Raw wood is sized up to rough proportions. Then they are shaped with a wood rasp, files and sandpaper. Dowels are used as pins to allow for easy re-assembling.

Platforms and shelters construction

First, mockup is done with paper, then sheet aluminium is cut using paper templates. Shelters are made from tracing paper and supported by thin wire.

Final photos


Overall, I managed to try a few new things for this project:

– Using raw wood from roadside fallen trees to make the base structure. I left one of the pieces in a box for a few days and mould grew on it. I managed to remove most of it, but some of it is still visible in the final.

– Use thin sheet metal, it was a little tricky to work with as its pretty sharp, but the advantages are that it holds its shape very well without any support, unlike paper

– Converting complicated isometric drawing to physical model. It was challenging to draw, build and revise the model back and forth. The organic shapes and having the parts pointing in many different directions does not make it any easier. The shelters were kinda made impromptu, so translating them into drawing is also challenging. I try to keep the essence intact whenever possible.


Form Making


Wood, though harder to cut, is quite conducive for shaping forms, both organic and hard.

One of the main takeaways is on paper, designing an ergonomic grip can be quite idealistic. When trying to sculpt a shape that feels great in your hand, it is quite a different matter all together and I feel that it probably takes more just one try to get it right.

Here I can see the strengths of a physical model. It can inform the designer the pitfalls that are simply hard to see when everything is just a concept on paper.

Also, precise curves are hard to imagine and draw coherently without going back and forth with a physical model. That said, I must admit that I did adjust the drawing design of the handle after completing the wood sculpt.

Ideation Sketches for drill design

Ideation Sketches for drill design

Legos are fast, easy and fun for making scale prototypes. The blocky shapes forces me to focus more on big shapes and form too. Big picture stuff. Perfect for ideation. Building these help me to get a general sense of the scale of grip in proportion to my hands. You can also mix and match with other materials.

Sketch phase

Time to do some real work. At first it felt like it was really hard to come up with 40 sketches, but I got down to it anyway. After the 10th sketch, it felt much better. After a while I realized that it was really all about fitting a few components in different ways to; motor, vents, lights, grip, battery, chuck etc.

I try to think in terms of ease of use, functionality and overcoming issues with existing designs. Then I try to let myself go wild. You can see some of the designs are pretty rad. Also, I try to think in terms of different market segments: domestic, industrial, serious hobbyist and even some high precision designs too.

Sketches Pg1

Sketches Pg2