Here are my end results for this project! Featuring: the mouse, the elephant, the banana, and the turtle.

1. The Mouse

Me, facing a problem + Faith = Problem solved!


I represent myself as a mouse because (I think) my Chinese zodiac is a rat, so my family at home sometimes refers to me as the “mouse” in the family.

The story is that the mouse wanted to get the cheese but was hindered by the presence of the cat. So the mouse began going to church and gained a pair of wings, which enabled her to overcome the problem.

This is the representation of me when I face a hindrance or problem in doing something. The “faith” here is represented by going to church, but actually it’s not necessarily a religious faith. It can also represent faith in my own abilities, since I tend to think that I can’t do things before I actually try them. By having faith, I can actually overcome my troubles in achieving what I want.

I chose to use colored pencils and markers because I wanted to work with something simple, and I wanted to give a child-like vibe. I used markers for the important objects in the panels as emphasis. As for the colors, I used similar colors (shades of brown) for the first panel except for the mouse and cheese because I wanted to emphasize their significance. The background of the second panel also has brown color to create some connection between the panels. From the second to the third panel, the mouse wore the same habit (apparently the uniform that nuns wear is called a “habit”) to create a connection.


2. The Elephant

Me, an introvert + Party = I “disappear”


I used an elephant because of the phrase “elephant in the room” – it’s there, but people don’t talk about it.

The story is that the elephant is so introverted that when she went to a party, she blended in right away with the surrounding and became unnoticed. It was as if she became a furniture, a part of the background.

The elephant represents my introverted and awkward side. I’m not good around strangers, and even within my circle of friends, I’m not good at interacting with people in big groups. In a sense, I’m physically there, but it feels like I “disappear”.

I used the color blue for the elephant because blue is my favorite color. The sofa in the first panel is orange to complement the blue elephant. I used yellow for the floor since yellow and orange are analogous colors. The background (the wall) is supposed to be pale blue, but the color came out a little differently than I expected. I used blue background to emphasize the feeling of the blue elephant “blending” into the environment.


3. The Banana

I have a dream! + Hard work = Success (?)


Banana is one of my favorite fruits. That’s why.

The story is that the banana wanted to become an acrobat. To achieve that dream, the banana worked hard to practice circus acrobat. In the end, the banana became banana split instead. (It’s a pun, because split is kind of a gymnastic movement, and gymnastic is usually related to acrobat.)

To me, it is a good representation of me when I set a goal for myself. Sometimes we dream high and work hard for it, but the end result is not exactly as we want. However that doesn’t mean you’re not successful – you still succeed, although the success might be different from your initial intention. That’s how I feel sometimes when the end result of my work is not exactly like how I want it to be, but I know I worked hard for it, and thus the journey still makes a success in the end.

I used purple background for the first and third panel to complement the yellow banana. As for the second panel, I used the red-and-white background to show that it’s a circus. I used purple juggling pins to make some sort of connection between the panels.


4. The Turtle

Me + Anxiety = Overthinking


Turtle, in my opinion, is a very chill animal. I like it because I’m a chill person (most of the time), so I feel that I can relate to it.

The story is that the turtle, a very chill animal, was just chilling. But then the turtle ate a mysterious black pill and turned into an ink-spewing sotong. (This story sounds more reasonable in my head, but now that I wrote it down, I understand why my friend – to whom I showed my sketches – looked extremely confused.)

The turtle represents me as a person. Usually I’m very chill and somehow normal, but when I’m anxious (I represent anxiety with the black pill), I tend to overthink trivial things until they muddle my thoughts. I represent the state of overthinking with the black ink muddling the seawater. In a sense too, the sea represents my thoughts. It’s usually very calm and clear before I start getting anxious.

I used mainly cool colors like green and blue for this one since I want to give the calm vibe to represent my thoughts. I used some yellow and orange also for the seabed and the inside of the shell as green-yellow are nice analogous pair and blue-orange are complementary.



I had trouble deciding what style to go with, so in the end, I told myself, why not just try different styles?

Since I didn’t really do art before studying here, I didn’t have an idea what my style would be like. I’m not even sure what technique I’m good at. So I decided that this project can be a good opportunity to explore my options more, and see what technique or style I’m more comfortable with. It’s really fun, and it’s a really good learning experience for me. I realize that working digitally ensures a “cleaner” result (and there’s undo button as well), but it requires a lot of time (or maybe just because I’m not used to it). I spent a lot of time tracing the outline of the banana split. Also, I learned some illustrator techniques, which I find to be really fun.

Working traditionally is faster, yet since I’m a messy person, there’s bound to be some mess. Moreover, there’s no undo button, so I have to be extra careful. I think the mouse story is really messy since the colored pencils smudged a little. As for the watercolor, I actually had a lot of fun doing it. I’ve always liked watercolor, although I’ve never really worked with them. I just tried putting layers of colors and smudging them with more water. Although they’re very messy (I didn’t expect the pen lines to smudge that much), in fact, I really like how they turn out.

Coming up with ideas isn’t the hardest part – the hardest part is realizing the ideas. I realize that it’s not enough to just have a good idea; I have to consider the feasibility and the aesthetics as well.

I also learn that doing projects is not a show of skills. I’m worried at first because I feel that I’m lacking in skills and experience, and thus my work might turn out “less” compared to other people. I’m scared that my work may be too simple, too child-like – what if I look like I don’t put in enough thought or effort into this?

But then again, why should I compare myself to other people? This is my project, and I’m proud of what I have done. Looking back, I have definitely improved – from someone who never used Photoshop to someone who can create a story using Illustrator. You see, when you’re at the bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up.

All in all, this project has been a really fun and enlightening ride.

For this final project, I think I have a lot of difficulties trying to figure out what style I should go for. There are so many choices, but of course I have to choose rationally, considering the amount of time I have and my skills as well.

Research: Style

As for the style, at first I was thinking of doing some “watercolor”-ish style because I like soft colors and lines, but then I realized that it might be difficult (especially since I don’t really use watercolor).

Image result for watercolor styles

Something like this. [taken from]


So I turned to other simpler styles and from Instagram, I found some comic artists whose style I really enjoy because they’re simple, yet they can convey the intended messages effectively. Here are some of my references;


Image result for dorrismccomics (Artist: Alex Norris)


Image result for thesquarecomics (Artist: Alvin Juano)


Image result for safely endangered comic (Artist: Chris McCoy)


In general, the three artists use thick outlines, simple art style, and bright colors. I’ll need some time, but I think I can make something with that style using Adobe Illustrator.

I’m also thinking of combining “realistic” photos and plain digital color background. That idea is inspired by movies that mix animation and real actors in one frame, like Space Jam.


Image result for space jam

A scene from the movie Space Jam (1996)


Research: Color

I found a website where they provide color palettes to download, and from there I found a lot of analogous color palettes that I think can work, like this one:

Image result for analogous color palettes

[taken from]

But I will look at other types of color palettes as well, like the triadic color scheme, for example. I’ll see which one can bring out my ideas best.
Image result for triadic color palettes

[taken from]



Here are my concepts.


In the end, since I couldn’t decide on one style, I ended up using four different styles.

The first one I did is just a combination of various things, such as colored pencil and copic marker.


Colored pencil, pen, and marker


I wanted it to have a cartoon-ish, childish look. I also didn’t give an outline because I think it will look less cute if I did. I used the markers only for the important figures, such as the cheese, the mouse, and the cross. For the wings, I used gold pen (which I used for the “shiny” effects as well). I used minimal coloring for the background because I feel that too much color would distract viewers from the actual point.

For the second one, I used Photoshop to merge pictures.


Photoshop trial


I showed that one to my friend and he said that my “contemporary art is on point”. I feel like the end result is interesting, although it is plainer than I expected. I chose purple background to complement the yellow banana.

The third style that I tried is watercolor.


Watercolor experiment

End results (mirrored image)


They actually turned out better than I expected. I never really tried watercolor before, so I watched a couple of YouTube videos before trying it out. It was messy and there was some smudges, but overall, I actually love the end result. I think I would do more watercolor in the future. I especially like how the background turned out. I used mainly calm colors like green and blue, which made the color black stood out even more.

Lastly, I used Illustrator.


Illustrator trial


This is my first time actually using Adobe Illustrator, so I needed a really long time just to create those three panels. I used blue elephant because blue is my favorite color, and pale blue background to emphasize the idea of “blending in”. The sofa and floor are orange and yellow to complement the blue.


All in all, I actually enjoy making all of those. Although they take a lot of time to create, I had fun experimenting with different tools and styles. I just hope they turn out well in the end.

For the group mood box, we decided to use the other recording (the one I didn’t use). For that sound, we used rhythm sticks, triangle, and zig zag board.

Instruments used

This is the sound.

Here is my waveform analysis for the sound.

Mood Box

Here is our final group mood box.


We put the model in a circular arrangement to represent repetition, although there is some kind of starting point indicated by the positioning of the wire (wrapped with aluminium foil) and the ball of wire and thread.

Zoomed in


The wooden sticks represent the dominant, constant sound of rhythm sticks. They sound very stable and straightforward, hence we placed wooden sticks in the straight directions. The up-and-down positioning suggests that the sound is all over the place.

The wires wrapped with aluminium foil represent the subordinate, which is the zig zag board. The texture of crumpled foil suggested the rough, edgy sound of the friction. The sharp cuts of the sound is represented by the sharp edge of the wires.

The subdominant sound, which is the triangle, is represented by the ball made of wire and thread. The thread tangled all over the place since the sound of the triangle kind of “melted” into the entire recording and enveloped the other sounds.

Top view


We also tried to make the frame “invisible” by using transparent acrylic and tubes to frame.

We put black as the base and thread color to give a darker, more mysterious mood; but it is the calming kind of darkness.



The challenges when creating this model:

One, the positioning of the up-and-down wooden sticks. We couldn’t get the positions right although we tried using several different methods; they always ended up a bit off.

Two, using the right amount of glue. If we used too much (especially on the transparent acrylic), it would look very messy. If we used too little, they wouldn’t stick very stably.

In the end, we required more time than we actually predicted due to those challenges. However I think our end result is good as our intention is clearly expressed in the model.

Modular design, or “modularity in design”, is a design approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts called modules or skids, that can be independently created and then used in different systems.

Examples of naturally-formed modular structure:

Image result for modular nature

Bee hives

Related image

Human tissue cell

As I was searching for examples of buildings with modular design, I stumbled upon this building.
Image result for modular architecture

Tower 2.0 by Adam Wiercinski

This building is initially a water tower, but Polish architect Adam Wiercinski had proposed to revive the historical building into a multipurpose venue.

Here’s the concept project. [Taken from]

I think it’s interesting because the revamp, which consisted of adding the “rings” at the outside of the centric tower, essentially kept the core intact and preserved its history – but at the same time, not only would the building look much more dynamic after the changes, it would also be multi-functional. Somehow, to me, it kind of looks like a city (which is what this assignment is about in the end!).


Individual Mood Box

My group consists of me, Nok Wan, and Jing Yi. The sound that I represented into a mood box is created by playing rhythm sticks, resonating tone bars, and a triangle.

This is the sound.

My waveform analysis


Here is my individual mood box.

Side view

Top view


To me, the dominant (rhythm sticks) sounds like something that is constantly hitting an invisible wall, hence the broken arrangement. Since the sound is constant throughout the recording, I feel as if it’s taking all the space inside the box.

The subdominant (resonating tone bars) sounds very clear to me, but also very heavy. I feel like a marble is a perfect representation for it (although I should have put four of them). They are put in an arrangement such that you don’t know where they start to represent its repetitive nature.

Lastly, the subordinate (triangle) is the almost-unnoticeable cotton. I wanted to make it more spread out, but it was hard to arrange cotton. For me, the triangle sound is very light and airy, hence the cotton. Since it’s always on beat with the rhythm sticks, I stuck the cotton to the dominant.

For this project, I worked together with Sabrina and Pei Wen. We decided to make a head gear and a pair of shoes.

Here are some of the sketches.

Shoes sketch

Head gear sketch










The head gear is supposed to represent our pleasant scents, while the shoes represent our unpleasant scents. Our pleasant smells are tea, candles, and hay; our unpleasant smells are carrot juice, damp clothes, and toothpaste.

Head Gear



For the head gear, the idea is to go “up”, so we made the components pointing upwards as much as possible. We used wire wrapped in black craft foam as the base to make it strong yet comfortable for the head. To keep the upper parts light, we used art card and thin wire wrapped in gold paper for the other elements.

The idea of going “up” represents tea and candle, which usually produce steam (which floats up). The strong head gear, which grounded the elements to the head, represents hay.




We tried it first using art card.

As for the shoes, we tried to incorporate the same idea, that is, to go “up”. Hence we made the corrugated board strips go high until they touch around the leg area.

The jaggy texture of corrugated board looks like flow of water, which represents damp clothes, and also looks like toothpaste when put on toothbrush. Meanwhile, the shoes are shaped with pointy end, which represent the shape of carrots. The plastic shoes were also kept together by strings to show tension and discomfort.


End Result


Although I feel that there is very little time, I am quite satisfied with the end product. It was challenging to combine different ideas into one and incorporate them into a product with interesting yet reasonable design, but it was a fun challenge to conquer. Here’s Sabrina modeling our accessories!


Lastly, thanks to Pei Wen and Sabrina for being great people to work with!

Bottle Sculpture


How is smell related to memories?

Our memory is triggered by a lot of things; what we see, what we touch, what we feel. What we smell can also trigger memories. In fact, scent is one of the greatest trigger of memory. The concept of recollecting memories with the use of scent is also called olfactory memory.

Image result for scent memory
My pleasant smell is the smell of Chinese tea…


…while my unpleasant smell is the smell of carrot juice.



Here is my bottle sculpture.

Front view

Top view

The base (dominant part) is supposed to represent a cup. The rest of the sculpture has the idea of going “up” because I want to portray a “steaming cup”, which represents my pleasant smell. At the top there is just a whole chunk of wrinkled bottle, which shows something very “cringy” and unpleasant for me, and even almost nauseating.

At first I wanted to make the wrinkly part by cutting some holes in the bottle and then heating it, but it didn’t turn out as expected.


Planar Model


A plane is an element with surface direction without mass.

There are two types of plane, 2D and 3D. The difference is, if you look from above, 2D planes fit in a rectilinear shape, whereas 3D planes don’t.

Types of planes

Here are my planar models.


2D analysis of my models

Model 1

I used a grouped plane for the dominant, broken plane for the subdominant, and bent plane for the subordinate. I tried to make the curves for the dominant at two-thirds and one-third of the total height respectively. I filled the void above the shorter curve using the subdominant. I put the subordinate at the same area as the subdominant to leave the bigger curve area empty, to contrast with the “crowd” at the other side. In a sense, it is also a form of counter-balancing.

From top view, I made the subdominant point away to kind of fill in the empty area at the top corner.


Model 2

For this one, I used twisted plane for the dominant, grouped plane for the subdominant, and a straight plane for the subordinate. I just realized that actually both of my models are similar in a sense that I made the subdominant go up and leave the rest of the area above empty.

From top view, the corners are generally empty while the center part is fully covered by the dominant and even the subdominant.

To me, this model looks like a snake in a playground for some reason. That was my initial idea for that, but I don’t think I convey it well enough.


I feel like I should have explored more with the ideas I want to convey, because although I did use different types of planes and different arrangements, they have similar vibes.

I tried to find the keywords from the quotes and find elements to represent them.

Quote 1

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)



Light, happiness = light bulb, a little girl (represents hope), intricate background

Dark times = dark surroundings


At first I wanted to use daffodils to represent happiness, because in the flower language, daffodil means happiness. However my first draft turned out awful; there are just too many things going on, but they are not interacting with each other.

In the end, things are kept simple. The light bulb acts as a source of light or “hope”. Hope is also represented by the face of a little girl. As for the part “happiness can be found”, it implies that happiness is actually there, but we just can’t see it because it’s obscured by the darkness. Hence happiness can be represented by the intricate background that is slowly revealed by the light. In further distance, it looks all black and dark due to the absence of light.

I put the light bulb off the center so it won’t be symmetrical. Also, the face of the girl inside the light bulb is facing to the right side, to lead our eyes into the dark void all around the canvas.






Quote 2

“A paper girl for a paper town.” -Paper Towns (2015)



Paper = fake, mask, mirror


I used a lot of masks to represent a lot of “fake” people, which represent a “paper town”. As for the girl, I used a broken mirror as a face. It represents the idea of fakeness as a broken mirror can’t show exactly what’s reflected there.

At first I wanted to use the mirror as a background and use human figures looming at the girl to show a “paper town” but it didn’t turn out very nicely. Actually I even wanted to use the figure of Cara Delevigne (the main actress in the movie Paper Towns) as the girl but I couldn’t find a perfect picture of her. To save time tracing path, I purposely searched for pictures of girls with straight hair.

The whole canvas actually looked pretty symmetrical if not for the broken mirror. At first I considered adding something else, but I liked the idea of using the broken mirror to “break” the symmetry. I also didn’t want to make the canvas more jam-packed since there were a lot of masks as the background.

The symmetry also represented uniformity, which can be caused by herd mentality. Usually people tend to follow popular beliefs although that go against their own convictions. For me, that is the idea of “fakeness”.




Quote 3

“Even miracles take a little time.” -Cinderella (1950)



Miracle = butterfly

Time = hourglass, clocks


I represented miracles with a butterfly, since just like Cinderella who turned from rags to riches, beautiful butterflies were once ugly caterpillars too. The change or the rebirth is representative of the “miracle”.

As for the time, I used two things; hourglass and clocks. Hourglass indicates more about a time that is running out. In a way, it is implying that in the end, if you wait long enough, something (in this case, a miracle) will happen.

The clocks leading to the butterfly were supposed to represent time passing and to lead us to the result of a miracle, which is the butterfly.

I wanted to put magical elements in it at first such as a magical wand or glittery effect, but it looked very childish, so I scrapped it off.

To make the picture looks more dynamic, I tilted the hourglass and put it slightly off the canvas. The clocks were also placed in a curve and were getting smaller to lead our eyes to the butterfly.





Quote 4

“It’s not like there isn’t air inside.” -Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)



Inside = a confined space

Air = atmosphere, wind, sky


I used a jar to represent “inside”. I made it look transparent to make it the overall look more cohesive. Moreover, the transparency also suggests that there is actually a very thin line between “inside” and “outside” – it’s only the confines of walls. To emphasize the idea of “inside”, which is contrasting with “outside”, I put a scenery as a background.

The jar is slightly open and clouds are coming out from it. For me, the quote is saying that things that usually can be found outside can be found inside as well. Talking about air, I connect it with the sky, and hence the clouds.

Actually I did a pretty positive interpretation of this quote although it was meant to be mocking. Edmund, the character who said that quote, was arguing with his siblings. They told him to go play outside with them to get some air and he countered with that quote sarcastically.

I made the jar disproportionately bigger to make the comparison between the inside and the outside easier. I also put more things at the lower half (the jar and the scenery) to balance out the void at the top. I filled around two-thirds of the top part with clouds, leaving a completely empty void above the jar area, which should be roughly one-ninth of the canvas.








Somehow my gifs are not moving and I don’t know why.

I have no experience using Photoshop before, so it was a challenge (especially the tracing part – I am not patient enough sometimes). Moreover I had troubles interpreting the quotes and turning them into a cohesive picture. My interpretations are bits and pieces that did not speak to each other at all, resulting in a very disconnected picture. I have to admit, I really have a lot of problems with this project.

Even with these finalized pictures, although I am happy with them, I realize they’re far from perfect.

I hope I can use this as a stepping stone and for me to learn so I don’t repeat the same mistakes again.

For this assignment, we are supposed to make a story about long-lost friend using still images and audio. To be honest, I’m bad at this. Extremely bad. But well, I tried.

Our group’s story is based on my story about my long-lost friend. Back in Indonesia, I had a childhood friend – her name is Smita. She was my best friend, but because I left for Singapore, we didn’t keep in touch. We still follow each other’s social media, but we rarely talk or meet even when I go back for holiday. (Typical modern friendship.)

We try to imagine what my childhood friend has become now, and since I really don’t know what’s happening in her life right now, there are literally countless possibilities.

She might have become a spy for all I know.

And that’s our story idea.

What if she really become a spy, and I happen to stumble upon her one day?


Process and Research

The four of us took a lot of time brainstorming the storyboards, and even a lot more time shooting. At first we didn’t have a clear storyboard, hence we just took pictures and realized afterwards that a lot of key scenes were missing. We did fix it afterwards, though.

Here is a part of our first storyboards. Thanks Christina for your awesome drawing.


Since our story is about a spy (kind of), the genre is roughly thriller/mystery. After we conducted research (I ended up reading a manga of which the movie Old Boy was based on) (we looked at some of Alfred Hitchcock’s work as well), we could see that the scenes in those types of movies usually have dark tones, so we try to give off similar feelings. The spy character usually dressed in dark colors with obscured faces, so our “spy”, Esther, was dressed similarly in dark-colored attire and even wearing a black cap to obscure her face.

We encountered a problem with the lack of resources; since it is a spy movie, the presence of a gun is almost like a given. However we don’t have a gun. We used glue gun instead, and apparently it was so obvious it became hilarious. In the end, we edited the pictures.

Before edit

After edit


Moreover, we couldn’t really find a good setting. Spy movies usually have very specific backgrounds such as industrial buildings or underground buildings to make secret conversations, but we just tried our best to make do with what we have. Living quarters may look unlikely as death scene settings, but I’m sure there are thriller movies where the victims are killed in their own houses. It is not weird because house, or rather home, is where people usually put their guard down, even professionals. Hence actually I feel that it’s very reasonable for someone to be killed in their living quarters.

I feel that our story portrays more of the conflicts that are happening between people (Smita and I, Smita and the kidnapper, Smita and the victim) than the internal conflicts (e.g. someone’s personal struggle in achieving something), hence making the story seem simplistic. I thought simple, straight-forward stories will be easier to deliver, but apparently it’s just as hard. It’s especially hard to portray the people’s expressions since neither Esther nor I could act. We kept on laughing during the takes.


Final Conclusion

This task is, again, a challenge for me. However because of this, I become more conscious of what makes a movie good, and I don’t think I can watch a movie the same way again. Movies have proven to be more complicated than a mere entertainment.

Before I give you the video, let me give the summary of the story (spoiler alert):

Vania and Smita (played by Esther) were childhood friends. One day, they had to separate as Smita was accepted into the University of London (fictional place). They said goodbye and went their own ways. However, on the way, Smita was kidnapped by an unknown person and drugged. Due to the effect of the drug, Smita lost her memories and she was made into a spy by that unknown person.
One day, a long time after that, Smita was receiving instructions from the unknown person to kill someone when Vania accidentally saw her. Excited to find her old friend, Vania said hi, but Smita ignored her. Curious to prove that the person really was Smita, Vania followed her and found out that she really was Smita. At that moment, Smita was about to kill her target. Vania saw that and tried to stop her. They struggled for a while, resulting in Smita bumping her head and regaining her memories. However, due to their struggle before, Smita accidentally killed Vania.


Special thanks to my group mates who have put up with me; Esther (thanks for the acting), Christina (thanks for the storyboard and editing), Yan Ran (thanks for the pictures). Here’s the video.

(I don’t know why I can’t upload the video here.)

After we tackled rectilinear shapes, now we’re moving to curvilinear stuffs like cones, cylinders, and spheres. Cutting foams into those shapes isn’t easy at first (and it still isn’t until now, actually) but it gets better with practice.

Here are some of the models I created. Pardon the masking tapes, since all of them unexpectedly crumbled down after I brought them to class, probably due to me swinging the plastic bag they were in.

[Red – dominant, yellow – subdominant, blue – subordinate, green – correction]

Model 1

This model doesn’t actually have a story, I just tried putting things together. I like the proportion, since the roles are very clearly defined, although I could work with the presentation. I used a lot of masking tape since the tip of the cone came off unexpectedly.

The cylinder looks almost perpendicular to the base, and it couldn’t be seen from some angles due to the sphere as well. So the cylinder probably needs to be moved up and angled more to make the overall look more dynamic.

The apex of the cone also looks hidden by the sphere which is not good, since the apex is supposed to be the cone’s main appeal. The cone may need to be angled more so less of the apex is “hidden” by the sphere. As for now, the balance looks precarious, but maybe independent angle will work better.

Model 2

The idea for this model is “falling”. I wanted to make the whole thing looked like the sphere is going to fall and the cone is trying to catch it, and the cone now is going to fall too, so the cylinder is trying to catch it. The angle of the cylinder is independent, and the cone is just slightly floating.

As for the sizes, the sphere could be smaller. The cone could be longer and bigger to give it more weight. The cylinder could have a slightly smaller diameter, and maybe be thinner.

In order to incorporate more of the “falling” idea, the cone should be put at a more “dangerous” angle.

Model 3

For this one, the most important point is the cradled sphere. It looks somewhat like a child being “protected” and “cradled” (of course) by the “parents”, or the obviously bigger cylinder and cone in this situation. Moreover, the cone and cylinder are dependent while the sphere is nicely cradled in the middle, which emphasizes the idea of the two “parents” working together for the sake of the “child”.

Of course, the sphere needs to be slightly bigger because now it couldn’t be seen properly from some angles. But other than that, I feel that the proportions are quite okay. I just need to make sure that the cone and the cylinder don’t look like they’re perpendicular to each other.



As for my final model, I based it off model 3. My word is “autumn” (which is what I wanted!) and I have done some research about that. Autumn is usually associated with maturity, and to me, autumn can also represent transition as it is somehow the transition season between the bright summer to cool winter.







Rough mindmap


At first I was thinking of using model 2 due to the idea of falling (and autumn = falling leaves, right?), but model 3 has a more interesting look and the story can somehow fit as well. Since model 3 has the idea of a “child being cradled“, I think we can relate that to “transition to maturity“. A child that needs to be taken care of at first before it can transition to maturity, to become like the parents.

Autumn can also represent “serenity” and “calmness“, and I think that can add to the story. The fact that the child/sphere is still being cradled despite the idea of wanting to mature shows that the parents/cone and sphere are not in a rush to push the child/sphere to mature.

As for the food, I haven’t thought of any yet. I did gather ideas about autumnal foods (such as persimmon, chestnut, apple, pear, mushroom, and pumpkin) but I still have no idea how I want to incorporate them into my model. I was thinking of using sturdy foods as the “parents” and soft one for the “child”.

In addition, as for the branch, since there is a void behind the sphere, maybe the branch should be behind and piercing through the cylinder, pointing fairly low. It can incorporate the idea of falling and strengthen the hold of the cylinder to the model, symbolizing the sturdiness of the cylinder. (I think the cylinder can be the dad, since it’s the dominant shape and looks sturdier, so the cone can be the mom.)


Final Model (Fail)


For me, this task is really challenging.

At first I had the idea of using pumpkin as the cylinder. That sounded good to me since pumpkin is sturdy, and it would represent my idea well. Besides, pumpkin has a vibrant orange color and is one of the most popular autumn fruit (because of Halloween).

Pumpkin (before cut). I marked the outline and I still messed up.

However, the pumpkin turned out to be harder than I expected. I cut myself by accident while cutting it. After I did cut it, I kept on making mistakes, so I kept trying to cut a little bit more to save the shape. In the end, it turned out to be really, really small that it might as well be the subdominant. Because of this unpredictability, I didn’t manage to complete my project in time. I was so disappointed.





It’s too flabby to be dependent.

Moreover, I planned to use apple crisps as the cone. I wanted to put them into a bowl and microwave them, but again, it didn’t turn out as expected. I guess I should’ve used an oven. The heat from the microwave wasn’t enough, so the apples just turned to be really flabby instead.

Flabby apple and pumpkin (after cut). Sigh.



I tried it again, but there wasn’t enough ingredients, time, nor patience. Hence I decided to just scrap the whole thing and come up with a new idea.





Final Model (Final)



This time, instead of focusing on the food, I changed my perspective and focused on the other aspects of autumn and on my original story idea (the family thing).

For the dominant (cylinder), I actually cut a cork board. The color and texture of the cork board made it look like a piece of ground, which fits the branch very well since the branch is piercing through the cylinder. Ground can represent the sturdiness of the “father”.

For the subdominant (cone), my idea came from the Latin word “cornucopia” which means “horn of plenty”. It is used to represent abundance in the old times, as it would be overflowed with flowers, fruits, and corn, which are the things usually harvested. The idea of “abundance” linked with “harvest”, and autumn is known as the season of harvest.

The cornucopia idea is implemented by making the cone looked like a basket (dark brown color) and things are spilling out of it (pumpkin seeds and chestnut). Both are autumnal food, and they also act as subordinates.

Cradled between the cone and the cylinder is the subordinate (sphere). I made it by putting together two chewy candies. I think candies are representative of Halloween. The candies are red in color since they are apple-flavored, and apple is one of the popular autumnal fruits. The red color gives highlight to the mainly brown look.

In relation to my “family” idea, I think chewy candy can represent children well since they still can be shaped (i.e. not stiff). Children still have the capacity to grow and change. That contrasted the cylinder/”dad” and the cone/”mom” which have fixed, sturdy shapes and more “mature” colors.

There is a huge void on top of the cylinder to counter the subordinates near the cone. I added a few dried leaves which could act as subdominants in order not to make the void too much. My idea is to combine the branch and dried leaves as one entity, so it looked as if the leaves fell to the ground from the branch.

Since most of my things are on the “plate”, I made the branch point upwards to balance the visual.

I learned a lot from this project, mainly because I have failed on the final model. I learned to be more flexible and not to dwell on mistakes for too long. It was a great learning experience.

The phrase that I got from the Pandora’s box was “the golden rule”, or probably better known as the golden ratio.

It was hard for me to illustrate that since I had no idea about it before, so I conducted a research and tried to make something based on my interpretation.  In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. So basically the fraction of the length of object A compared to object B should be similar to the fraction of the length of object B compared to object C – the golden rule is all about fractions.

Taken from


Based on that interpretation, I have made a few models. I tried to use all similarly-looking boxes in a model, so I can emphasize the comparison of the fractions more easily.


Model 1

[Red – dominant, blue – subdominant, yellow – subordinate, green line – principle axis]

I used all the slender, lean-looking boxes for this model.The sizes of the boxes were quite good in my opinion, since I can tell the different roles clearly.

The application of golden rule here is that the ratio between A to B is roughly the same compared to the ratio between B to C (refer to the picture), which is roughly 0.55.

However, the fraction is too great since now the length of B is more than half of C. Ideally B should be around one-third to half of C. Similar idea needs to be applied to A as well in regards to B.

At first, I feel that the positioning is okay since I can see all three boxes from every different angles. However, the placement is actually a mess; I completely disregard the rule of thirds . Ideally, the subdominant should be shifted a little bit more to the right and up so it is placed at the intersection of the imaginary grids. As for the subordinate, I should either move it to the left more or to the right.



Model 2

[Red – dominant, blue – subdominant, yellow – subordinate, green line – principle axis]

For this one, I used the slightly bulkier types of boxes. The roles of the boxes are quite clear although the subdominant and subordinate can be made smaller.

I used a slightly different calculation for this one. Instead of comparing the same length (i.e. longest axis for all), I compared the longer side of the dominant box to the shorter side of the subdominant box. Basically, instead of comparing B with D (see the picture above), I compared A with B instead. In this model, A and B roughly have the same length, and C and D also roughly have the same length.

However, due to that calculation, the non-dominant boxes become too big, so that comparison cannot work.

Again, I ignored the rule of thirds in the placement; they are almost there, but not quite. The subdominant box needs to be shifted up a little and the subordinate needs to be shifted left or right – preferably left, so it would be “protruding” out and easier to see from other angles.



Final Model

For the final model, I based it off the first model since the proportions for the second one don’t work well.

I was excited to make the final model with the actual materials because of the idea I had.

My idea is to make a puzzle box. To put it simply, in order to open the dominant box, the whole entity needs to be disassembled first (the non-dominant boxes have to be taken out first).

Material used: wood (covered with black paper and black marker), semi-transparent paper, wood (covered with bronze paper)


From one side, the subordinate box is hidden. The idea is that since the subordinate box acts as the “key” to unlocking the whole thing, I feel like it will give a more mysterious effect if the key isn’t immediately spotted.

The subdominant is semi-transparent to balance the opacity of the wooden boxes.

At first I wasn’t sure I could make an actual, working puzzle box (although technically, this one can’t work too…) so I was thinking of just using plain solid wood box as the dominant, then I would just wedge the other two boxes in. However by chance I found the required materials, so I just needed to do some sawing and covering-up (they still took me hours and they still don’t come out perfect. Sorry for bad crafting skills).

The so-called mechanism is just attaching things to the boxes. For the subdominant box not to be able to come out, I put a piece of wood as stopper. For the subordinate box to act like the key, I attach a hook to lock it with the subdominant box.

This is roughly how it works.

When the dominant box is opened, you can see reflective paper at the bottom of the box. I thought it was a great idea because the exterior of the box is all black (which gives a mysterious feeling), and reflective paper is somehow contrasting the all-black idea.


It’s not very obvious, but it’s reflective paper. Ignore the bad crafting skills.


It’s like human life! Life is mysterious and full of “puzzles” (pun intended) to solve. When you solve those “puzzles”, you can learn more about yourself… you can do some “self-reflection” (again, pun intended)!


Real-Life Application (besides a punny puzzle box): accessory box and fitting room.



In hindsight, I really enjoyed the process of doing this project (although it stressed me out as well). I learned a lot more about design, about how to keep things visually interesting and eye-catching. Instead of playing around with size and mass, the use of different materials or colors can also shift people’s attention.

I also learned that planning is an important part in designing in order not to waste time and material, although even when you finish designing something, that doesn’t mean you can’t make amendments to it. (Like my idea at first; I just made the basic parts first. I added the holes in the SD and the hook in the SO afterwards.)

I do realize that my crafting skill is very lacking, so I hope in the next assignments I can improve on that. Nevertheless, it had been a fun ride.