DR3005 – Week 13 (Final)

Week 13 (Final Presentation)

The Nest

Our design is inspired by bird nests found in nature. A bird’s nest is a symbol of the home, an abode where we grow and prosper. A good luck symbol, the bird’s nest represents love and warmth, providing protection and concealment. Nests in nature are built in a random fashion using carefully selected twigs and leaves, they embody dedication, patience and a certain

The seemingly random arrangement of the ropes and the open, unconcealed nature of the structure attempt to embody these attributes. The use of warm coloured natural materials like wood and hemp rope pay homage to mother nature as well, in appearance and texture. The intertwined ropes provide support for creeping plants and epiphytes, while creating spaces where real
birds can roost and build their nests. By combining the man-made with the natural, we create a multitude of nests, one for humans to gather and another for animals to build their home.

Thisnest within a nest attempts to bring humans and mother nature closer together, while embodying positive qualities that represent NTU and her students.

Link to Presentation Slide:

Click here!

The structure is wrapped in an intertwining weave of ropes, mimicking the random arrangement of twigs that make up a nest.

The intersecting ropes have both an aesthetic and functional purpose, the latter being to create supports on which birds can build their nests in.

The open structure allows the flow of air and light, while the irregular arrangement of the ropes mimics the randomness of nests in nature.

Presentation Board

DR3005 – Week 12

Week 12

Behind the scene; Making of ‘Nest’


Tools & Materials

Short field trip to HDB Hub
During the weekends, we went on a short field trip to HDB Hub with aims as stated below;
– To check out how the professional build architecture mock-up models.
– To bring these inspiration to our mock-up model


The making of ‘Nest’
Inspired by the building models, we start working on the final mock-up model

Final model? Stay Tuned!

DR3005 – Week 10 – 11

Combined post for week 10 & 11

Moving on from Week 9,
We went off to study existing ‘playground’ design to understand the engineering behind it.
Based on the study, we explored the way in which the structure is design, methods of assembly and how the ropes are arranged so that it can support the pressure/weight/tension introduced by the users.

Here are some pictures that we took during the field trip,

On the side note, we are also looking at vines on ropes/metal

The following are some of the design refinements we have over the past weeks.

Installation design with Solidworks

Technical drawing of installation design

DR3005 – Week 8

After last week’s consultation, we’ve decided to narrow down our concept to focus on the curved bench idea. Building upon the original concept, we developed a new form for the seating installation.

Here are the issues that were brought up in the previous model:
– Exterior design doesn’t feel like a bird nest because it is too neat
– Open door design destroys the form of the nest
– PV needed for lighting at the bottom edge of the pod

Previous Model

Hence, we set out to address these issues in our new form.


In the new design, we added a roof over the top of the seating. The roof is not fully closed as it has a circular opening which mimics the structure of the bird nest, allowing light to pass through and designed to feel more open. There is a criss-cross design on the roof, accentuated by the tangle of ropes intertwining to mimic the irregularity of the twigs and branches arranged to form a bird’s nest.


The support structure that connects the bench with the roof is designed in a curved shape. The diminishing design as seen from the top, from big to small, allows people to feel a sense of airiness and breathing space, while being inside this cosy setting. The curviness of the structure is designed to make people feel welcomed and this will replicate the feeling of hatchlings safe and sound in their home nest.


For the seats, we kept the circular design, but we changed it from a pod-like, closed structure to a more open, outward facing design to encourage more free-style, loose seating as chosen by the students themselves (some may choose to sit on top, others at the bottom), which can promote more closeness and interaction while they are enjoying the space.


The ropes encircling the structure are connected from the top to the bottom, in a criss-cross pattern. Some parts are denser with more rope, whereas there are some parts which are less denser. Our vision is for students to pull apart the rope while stepping into the structure, so this creates a playful form of interaction between the people and the structure.


This structure is not powered by electricity. It uses natural sunlight to cast shadows of the criss-cross ropes onto the seats beneath the roof. The shadow is for people to visualize themselves in the midst of a bird nest as the irregularity of the shadows cast will form an interesting and conversational topic among the people.


  • The spacious open roof presents a possibility for birds to actually build their nest there. Hopefully this structure will capture their attention and makes them feel secure enough to build their own nests there. This will further add attraction to the structure and might make people more aware of birds and the nature surrounding us. (How to clean the bird poop tho??)



First Draft Design


DR3005 – Week 7

DR3005 – Week 7

Expanding on the previous week’s proposition of ideas, we explored the possibility of creating shapes which could cast shadows based on sunlight and artificial lighting.

Shadow casting sketched concept

We wanted to mimic the irregularity and randomness of the nest in nature and as such the arrangement and length of the branches or twigs is at random.

Mockup explorations of nest forms.

The effects of cast shadows using the above mockups.

We were also looking into existing lamp post for a rough idea on the dimensions of the design.

Lamp post outside NIE 

Here is another variation of the cast shadows concept, showing a 3d web of interconnected lines around an angular frame.

We wanted to juxtapose the irregularity of the web with the regularity of the cuboid frame to show a greater contrast. Also the thicker lines of the frame further contrast the thinner lines of the web.

We felt that this design would be more feasible as the lines can be woven onto the box frame. Notice that the shadows are different when the source of light is coming from a different direction, this is to take advantage of the movement of the sun throughout the day moving from East to West, causing a constant gradual change in the shadow.

Lighting can also be placed at different positions around the installation to project different shadows at once.

Irregularity of the web with the regularity of the cuboid frame

Next, is a simplified version of the nest pod concept proposed 2 weeks ago. The form is a semicircle seat in which one person can sit.

It is intended to give a feeling of being enveloped or cocooned by a nest, and is also a reference to the shape of an egg which hatches within the nest.

One version can be propped up by wooden rods, or it can be just resting on the ground. The ground version can potentially be a rocking chair as well.

Nesting pod sketched concepts

Simplified version of the nest pod concept

Lastly, we have a curved bench seating installation that is inspired by the shape of the nest.

The design is simplified to geometric circles and arcs, but we attempted to keep and maintain the form and essence of a nest in the sense that it gives a feeling of closeness and security.

Also, the structure is skeletal and unconcealed, echoing a sense of honesty because of its revealing quality. In nature, bird nests are built with carefully chosen branches and twigs, they represent a certain dedication, sincerity and honesty.

The curved shape of the bench also encourages social interaction between the people sitting there. Unlike straight benches, where the people sitting on it face a single direction, the curved shape creates a setting where people sit facing each other and opposite of each other, increasing the likelihood of them having eye contact and wanting to talk to each other.

In a sense, this is a social setting that is created merely by the shape of the arc. Warm cove lighting can be placed at the bottom edge of the pod, shining upwards, to accentuate each ring or arc, and create a further contrast between light and shadow, while giving the feeling of warmth and comfort enveloped within the ‘nest’.

Curved bench seating installation

For further development, we would like to consider the structural design in terms of ergonomics and weaving pattern for the possible resemblance of the bird nest (texture).

Weaving design


During the weekends, we headed down to school in search for the location for the placement of our installation. Below are some places that we think possible.

Outside Centre of Research and Development Office

NTU, North Spine

NTU, Wave Lobby Area



DR3005 – Week 2

‘Victor Papanek- design for the real world’

Our interpretation of Flusser (The beautiful and the nice)

Concrete experience cannot be substituted for a communicated idea or concept because they are not equivalent, because when the concrete is transcribed into another medium for means of communicability, it loses its ‘essence’ so to speak. It is a personal and unique endeavour because each person views it and by extension their life and environment, through a film or a veil, a pair of ‘glasses’ if you will, that has been tinted and coloured by their inherent predispositions and the sum of events from birth up till said point, that have shaped their worldview. As such we believe it is an issue of nature and nurture. Both come into play to colour and flavour our experiences and this is the reason why no two concrete experiences are identical. The nurture refers to the social and cultural environment and atmosphere that one exists within, and our thoughts, opinions, perceptions and actions are arguably shaped by both nature and nurture which are inextricably intertwined.

Art and design are reflections and indicators of the environment they are borne of, they reflect the values and sensibilities of a culture or society at a point in time and space. Art is simultaneously a reflection of the individual, and as such is not a “generalisation of the artist’s experience”. The extent to which something is beautiful is defined by Flusser as how much it deviates or differs from that which came before it, by how unique and dissimilar and innovative it is. “Increasing the parameters of experience of the real” perhaps refers to how, with a new model or proposition, the number of possibilities in which we can experience our reality increase. Notions of beauty are based off previous works, in the sense that what is traditional is conventional and therefore not beautiful because it does not provoke. Conversely what deviates too profoundly from tradition is inaccessible because it does not contain enough of what is conventionally understood, resulting in only the artist and a handful of intellectuals privy to the essence of the creation. As such there exists the endeavour of a balancing act between accessibility and exclusivity. Kitsch art and consumable media is used as a tool to control the masses, because what is conventional is familiar and thus relatable. Conversely, ‘high art’ attempts to challenge our perceptions of reality, galvanising us to question convention. This is perceived as dangerous and threatening, especially by arbiters of certain ideologies that rely on a set pattern of beliefs to exist.

As such, the takeaway is that neither us or that which we create exist within a vacuum, we are predisposed by biology and nurtured by culture and society. Art is an extension of ourselves, it is an attempt to document the state of the times and the state of the mind.


Sculpture based on the project brief and the Perec reading

Materials: 3mm Clear Acrylic, Oil, Water, Marbles

Title: Journey of learning and self-improvement

We came up with the idea of representing ‘the journey of learning and self-improvement’ through the use of metaphorical representation. We created a model, which comprised an acrylic container, oil, water and marbles. The container has 7 alternating downward angled steps, each representing a milestone. Each marble represents an NTU student, while the mediums of oil and water represent the ‘thick and thin’ the students go through.

As soon as a ‘marble’ is released from the top of the acrylic container, it travels through the different steps before eventually reaching the end. The steps represent the various stages and milestones that the students achieve during their time in NTU. In addition, there are imprints engraved onto the surface of the steps. These imprints increase in number from one to seven sequentially as the steps descend. The intention is to convey the gradual increase in difficulty as the students progress through their years in NTU, while also showing their increased capacity to deal with said challenges, as well as representing their realised potential.

In addition to the stresses and difficulties faced in their schooling journey, students also experience the ‘thick and thin’ of life, or the everyday ups and downs in their journey of life. As represented by the different mediums of oil and water, they have different viscosities and densities. The marble travels faster in water, representing a path of lower resistance, and slower in oil, the path of greater resistance. Education is not just about memorizing facts and figures or book knowledge but understanding oneself through personal-discovery. Students learn to understand more about perseverance; the continued effort to do or achieve something despite facing countless difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Increase imprints engraved onto the surface of the steps.

30/1/18 In-Class Activity

For the in-class activity, we were told to create sculptures within 10cm x 10cm  Single-Wall corrugated cardboard. These were the 3 different expressions that we made during class.
1) Rain,
2) Angry Wind and
3) Pinocchio flys out of the whale’s spout.