A chocolate fossil (updated)


As we revisited the narrative of Pandora’s box, we combined the usage of modules from the last assignment with our new found knowledge of various design themes. The new Pandora’s box becomes an ice tray that encases our carefully designed modules, creating our individual ice moulds.

By the blessings of Pandora, I was given the theme of “Inscription, Intersection and Array”. Inscription, becomes the concavity of the surface, a micro-perspective of inscribed carvings focused onto a small module. Intersection happens when two axis crosses one another, especially when one crosses into the surface area. Array is a pattern occurring along a curved axis, easily arranged as a modular pattern.

We explored with clay due to its malleability, creating the first drafts shown below.

First Module
First Module

The first module pays homage to the themes of inscription and array only. It resembles a melted Toblerone in a sunny day bent at an angle. The ridges are concavities that can be inscriptions if placed at a wider angle or numbers. The array is presented by the protruding ridges slanted along the curved base. The theme of intersection was deliberately missed out as I found the module to be awkwardly structured if inserted with another form.

First Module
Second Module

Unfortunately, the second module did not survive the trip home and it scattered into millions of tiny pieces. The above drawing depicts the various drawings of the second module. It is a thin arch with tiny cylindrical pointing out at three different points. It fulfils the themes of array and inscription, very similar to the first module.


Third Module
Third Module

The Third module features an arrangement of rectilinear forms placed parallel to one another, curving at the tip. There is a thicker block intersecting through the four panels. I found visual favour in this module as it was arranged parallel to one another, symmetrical when placed at the front, as if four gigantic walls penetrated by a huge pillar. It also extends perfectly into the themes of intersection, inscription and array.

Exploration of materials and forms

Using blue foam, I experimented with different forms that the rectilinear forms could possibly evolve into, for visual purposes as well as how well it fits into the themes of inscription, intersection and array. I found that a curved form is more suitable for the theme of array as it is more organic and curvilinear.

First trial of modules

I made my first round of modules using clay as I found clay to be more suitable to create the curved form than blue foam, since blue foam is more time-consuming in achieving a organic form.

However, problems surfaced as I realised that such a complex form would not be ideal for the context of an ice tray. In a theoretical situation, the area of intersection between the pillar to the curved form would interrupt the ice tray’s ability to mould into the design that I envision.

Hence, it was back to the drawing board.

Working Sketch
Orthogonal Sketches
isometric drawing of three modules

I read up on how the silicon would be used to make the ice tray. Hence, I decided to go for a peaking conical shape in exchange for the rectilinear walls, this would allow the final ice cube to be taken out quite easily. There is still a strong theme of intersection, inscription and array. With an in depth exploration of forms, I realised  that there is a resemblance of the form to a spinal structure, and this led to my decision to make the modules resemble a Nautilus spiral or a fossil spine, adding on a narrative to the ice tray.

Artist Impression
Making the Modules
Clay modules
Different Arrangement
Piling the modules

Using clay, I made the modules that would eventually be used for the moulding of the silicon ice tray. The arrangement of the clay modules were a difficult process to finalise as one of the reasons why I chose not to make the modules out of mould was to achieve different length amongst the modules, creating an organic quality in comparison to something man-made and tessellating.

Randomised arrangement
Different Arrangements
Lights shaping the curves
Lights shaping the curves
Lights shaping the curves
Making the Silicon Tray
Upright position
Silicon mixture

As mentioned above, there would be a need to design a structure that would be easily taken out when the silicon solidifies, making the ice tray serve its purpose. Hence, I arranged the clay modules upright by shaving the bottom, allowing it to stand within the tray.

I decided to curve the silicon casing for two reasons: One, to reduce the wastage of silicon as it was a precious resource. And two, to create a more organic form compared to a rectangular tray, fitting with the theme of my narrative.


Final Product

Removing the silicon mould
Removing the ice

It was a difficult process removing the ice as my module was curvilinear in nature, thus it broke easily. It took a few attempts of freezing the ice to have a module that was not broken, attempts are shown below.

First attempt
5th attempt

However, picking up the final product did not feel right as the ice was translucent and did not express the aesthetic quality that I had yearned for since the idea of nautilus fossils dawned on me. This led me on to the idea of using molten chocolate to form the cast within the silicon. This was a justifiable action as the final product is, I believe, quite similar to real fossils in terms of appearance. It was also an interesting throwback to Gaia’s Ikebana plus Pandora’s box.

Final Final Product

Difference in visual quality between ice and chocolate
Crushed cookies to give a patch of earthy tones
Final Layout


A fun fair ride- Pandora Final

Initial Idea

An opened box



In conceptualizing the theme of “Rules of Third”, I have decided to play on the idea of 3 times 3 times 3. The above photograph was an initial attempt without the idea of 3x3x3. (link as shown above) The diagram below shows the prototype, after altering the size of the subdominant and subordinate blocks labelled SD and SO, reaching the ratio of 3:3:3.

The concept is to guide the eyes of the audience to conveniently and efficiently “perceive” the rules of third, through the visual ratios
First prototype


2D Sketch of Final Model



The sketch below highlights the process of constructing the model, where i experimented with different positions of placing the blocks. This was a difficult decision as there were many positions where the rules of third intersected- this was when i thought of the idea of motion. The motion of the blocks allow it to be moved along the imaginary line of third, allowing the audience to place it anywhere they like, or anywhere they deem aesthetically balanced.  The added notion of motion adds a higher element to the sculpture, giving the sculpture a dynamic appearance and appeal.

Preparatory Sketches

Shown in the above diagram, I drew out different ideas of movement, and ultimately went with the above settings. The selection was based on the functionality of the sculpture, which would be a fun fair ride that moves in all direction. The diagram is a series of 2D sketches that highlights the different movement the sculpture is capable of, a series of photographs and GIFS will be provided below for more visual aid.

GIF 1. SO block rotating at one point
GIF 2. SO moving on SDGIF 3. SD moving up and down along D



I have chosen the functionality of a fun fair ride as I found the movement of the blocks along each other to be intriguing. The concept of movement on movement is unique and it would be difficult to locate an effective function, other than a fun fair ride, like the Double Shot Ride in Georgia, Wild Adventures. This functionality is also effective in using all three blocks in different ways, the SO being the 360 degrees rotating/ moving seat, the SD being the main block that moves up and down, while the D being the main sturdy block that holds everything together

Double Shot Georgia, Wild Adventures

Here are a few positions of the final model:

Front View A

Front View B

Horizontal View 

Top ViewSide View


Material and Technique

I have chosen to use wood in creating this design as wood is sturdy and reliable, especially in creating architectural designs like buildings and hard structures, such as my final product. Wood can be easily manipulated and put together, especially in creating the movement I intent to create. Shown in the bottom right side of the sketch, I have a rough design of how to enable the movement of the blocks, using the sliding mechanisms of the T-structure of the blocks.

Preparatory Sketches


Close up on Sketch


In the process of creating this product, the problem that I encountered was the added movement of rotation of the SO on SD, shown in GIF 1. It was only resolved through the usage of a smaller T-shaped structure within the hook, shown by the sketch shown above. I also enlarged the perpendicular corner of two interacting hooks, allowing the T-Shape structure of the SO to rotate around freely.

Also, the variety of material used in this model is limited to wood. This is due to an attempt of achieving an unified look. However, in any situation where there is a need to recreate a prototype of the fun fair ride, etc, I would explore a larger variety of materials, shown below in the sketch model of the Pandora’s Box funfair ride, mainly metal and wood.

Sketch of Funfair Ride

An artist reference I have under this assignment would be Kengo Kuma, Japanese architect. I found his works to be interesting due to the spatial quality created by the criss cross of wooden planks, especially in the design of the Prostho Musuem Research Centre in Kasugai Japan. I found the criss cross to amplify the negative space within the building, creating an almighty effect. Hence, I decided to decorate the final model with criss cross wooden pieces to pay tribute to Kengo Kuma’s works. In my sketch design for my fun fair ride, I decided to eliminate the criss cross wooden plank and use metal wiring instead due to the practicality of the object. The metal cage would be sustainable due to its location being outdoors and susceptible to rain and wind. The decorative nature of the final model would be a pointer to look out for.

GC Prostho Museum Centre, Kengo Kuma

An interesting point raised up by Cheryl was how the model parallels to the Glass Elevator in Willy Wonka’s factory. The link provided below shows a video highlighting the extend to which the Glass Elevator can move, much like how I envision my model to be. An interesting point to note would be the usage of glass as a material for the model, bringing to life a fantastical theme, a tribute to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a cult classic. This would be a great link especially for the main functionality as a fun fair ride.

The Glass Elevator


Alternate Functionality

Another function that this product is capable of would be a tool for cleaning tall buildings. With the rotating and moving mechanics mentioned above, cleaners would be able to clean the windows of tall buildings with convenience, moving side by side, as well as reaching different corners- solving the issues of right-left hand inconveniences. The problem with this functionality would be the inconvenience of moving such a big structure. However, to resolve this issue, adding wheels to the base would allow the user to move the structure around freely, like a Forklift Machine.


Alternate Functionality
Horizontal View of Model


Sketch of the Convenient Chair

Another function that I had came up was an idea created when I laid the model horizontal. The function of the model moving at all direction, with the SO being able to touch every corner of the model, allowed me to idealize the Convenient Chair. The SO being the chair will allow the user to move to any corner of the room without moving. The intentions of this product is to create a convenient environment of work for paraplegic users, such that movement to grab items or getting more space for office work is much more convenient, as the name suggests. The user just has to use a remote to access the direction at which they want the chair to move, be it the left side corner of the room or the opposite end; the usage of two rectilinear planes inter-moving will allow an extensive access to a wide direction of space.

The Convenient Chair can also be an upgrade and used in various forms. With its horizontal plane, it could be used for filming, the ability to capture vantage points from various angles.

An opened box

Pandora’s box research

Attempt 1.

Front View

Side View

Back View

Top View

This is my first attempt at creating my sculpture based on the theme of “Rules of 3rd”. It is a L sized box used as the main body, with a M sized box used as a base and a S sized box angled at the side of the L sized Box. In the spirit of rules of third, each box is placed at the 1/3 or 2/3 mark of the other box it is in contact with, as highlighted by the masking tape. In further attempt of showcasing the theme, i used the inherent design of the boxes, which are the circular design present on the box, leading the eye to divide the sculpture naturally into three parts.

Attempt 2.

Front View

Side View

Side View

Back View

This is another attempt at recreating the theme of “Rules of 3rd”. This sculpture uses a M sized box as a base and supports 2 S sized box on top, at X and Y directions. The range at which i placed the 2 smaller box was purposefully angled at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark on the M sized box to highlight the theme mentioned. The width at which the smaller boxes touches the base are also at the 1/3 and 2/3 unit, indicated by the placement of the masking tape.