As we discussed last week during consultation, we have combined the candy furniture with the patterned rubber mulch flooring to create a fun and vibrant space for public gatherings. Additionally, this space and furniture is thoughtfully and deliberately designed according to the proxemics matrics to enhance the comfort level of the users who gather here, alone or in groups.
We felt like the space still needed another element to enhance the mood and tried adding fairy lights.
We also thought about how we can redesign some of the furniture. Here are the variations we came up with
Also after consulting, we changed the rubber mulch flooring to colored concrete to create a more sophisticated, laid back atmosphere.
Indicative of intimate space. By entering through the narrow opening, the user creates a personal space within this shared area.
An s-shaped bench that features a divider in the middle creating some degree of privacy for users who share the bench.
These chairs are rotable on an axis to allow users to create private spaces for themselves or in pairs for conversations.
Long benches for social gatherings/groups to convene and hang out together. These benches move along an rail to create longer benches accommodating larger groups.
Similarly this bench moves along a rail to accommodate larger groups in the space.
From last week’s consultation we started exploring how we could arrange the furniture so that they would make sense together and apart. We also thought of the location and how these sculptural furniture pieces could be contextualized in the space through the application of different materials
Our chosen location is this corner surrounded by lush foliage outside the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering along the North Spine.
We went down to take some measurements and tried to place the furniture pieces in to imagine how they would fill the space.
The rings are used as a guide to inform the proxemics matrics.
Dark blue: Intimate space (45cm)
Shaped as such to show the space it creates if an individual uses it or even the slight discomfort of needing to share this space with another.
Previously the forms we used didn’t have an appropriate hierarchical representation and caused the user to stick out quite drastically. Hopefully this form expresses the matrics in a more suitable way.
White: Personal space (120cm)
We intend for these seats to be rotatable all around allowing users to define their own personal space even within a public setting.
Pink: Social space (370cm)
These longer benches are able to move along a rail installed at the bottom allowing different configurations as groups gather together.
Next we thought of incorporating the proxemics matrics subtly into the design of the space by creating a motif on the surface of the ground. By using another material it also helps to separate this rest area from the bustling traffic around.
The pink route indicates a pathway to invite the public into the space.
Tried experimenting with a pebble pavement. This would affect how the furniture rotates though.
Another version using rubber mulch, similar to the sort used in playgrounds and communal exercise areas commonly found within HDB estates.
Top view of the layout. We also tried simplifying the forms to resemble flowers and leaves to harmonize with the foliage in the area.
Lastly we tried using astroturf to create a different atmosphere (hopefully exuding a more chill vibe like a good place for picnics!) This time we also experimented with the height to represent the different zones and used wood as it plays well with the nature theme.
Considerations & developments for this week:
Track 1: Are the concentric circles are really necessary?
Explore a mediation between the organic shape and the candies
Smaller organic items that are colorful and re-arrangeable?
Track2: Looking at how we can reimagine and repurpose the queue poles
After consulting with KS & feedback from Fabrizio we decided to see how we could make this set of public furniture more fun and delightful for users while still retaining the proxemics matric.
Our exploration lead us to the Memphis design movement.
The Memphis movement was initiated by Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass in the early 1980s, who gathered a group of fellow designers with a vision to start a revolution against the sober and functional era of modernist design.
Characteristics of Memphis designs often include geometric shapes, bright colors and loud patterns.
The Dune Bench
We were inspired by how the negative space informs the user how to attach the modular pieces together.
Sketches & Renders
Exploring different candy forms
Initial renders of a fun and vibrant public space oozing happy vibes.
The tubular seats are designed to be rearranged and reconnected into different permutations so that groups could also create their own private spaces.
On the idea of making the furniture movable yet retaining its ideal distance. We also thought of using a rail and ball bearing to limit and direct movements.
We found this project, Playne which aimed to create a playful form of public seating which greatly resembled our queue pole idea. Having the stretchy fabric would also mean that this set of furniture would be unobtrusive in public spaces.
Sketches & Renders
Furthering our discussion with KS, we worked on reworking the queue poles into something familiar for Singaporeans. This could look like incorporating the retractable dividers into a frame of a chair to indicate that these structures can be used for seating.
To follow up from last week’s progress, we asked ourselves these questions to further our explorations in the new frontier of proxemics.
What materials are we considering ?
How can it be fabricated?
Does it require electricity? And if so, how can we generate it sustainably?
Foam mockups of the installation?
Which locations are we considering? Does it accomodate the scale?
Geometric or organic?
We also wanted to justify and showcase the use of proxemics so how we communicated the distance without text was important.
Story/ dimensions / places
SO FIRST OFF!
After consulting with KS, he left us to continue developing both our ideas:
1.. A shared working space/table
2. The queue pole divisions
We started working on foam models of our clay mockup just to have a better feel of the scale and form.
After trying really really hard to model this out in Rhino, we felt our hearts getting less satisfied with how this looked AND less convinced this could work.
SO we decided to re-think on how we could express proxemics with sculptural furnitures and this was our first iteration.
So this sitting area was informed by Intimate Space, Personal Space and Social Space deliberately leaving out the Public Space as thats the location where the installation would be placed. The distance from each area is measured according to the matrics.
The innermost platform was designed to be elevated thus separating the person (or persons) who would be using that space from other users. It can be used leaning, perched or seated (High enough for swinging legs, score!!!).
The second ring is personal space, also good for a person for the ~alone~time, or for two people who prefer to have private conversations. Each mini bench is situated an appropriate distance apart that conversations can be had comfortably. Most notably, the back rest was designed so that whatever is happening in the surrounding environment would not be too much of a distraction.
Lastly the outermost ring- the decreasing height of these pieces were intentional to demarcate the varying levels of privacy. These low benches were designed for pairs or groups of people to share or use seated or straddled (or even on the floor cross legged using it as a backrest).
Possible material considerations: Fibreglass plastic + fun vinyl prints!
SECOND TRACK-Queue poles!!!
Expansion of the queue pole idea to do a pyramidal representation of the space.
Spaces marked out by color to give a feeling of the space, different blinds to also give function to the space (i.e: they can be extended to provide seating) . Cross blinds that acts as both seats and backrests.
Possible material considerations: Rope or nylon (for the bands), plastic poles.
Looking forward to see how we can further refine these ideas.
Working thesis: Rethinking existing study spaces in South Spine, and how the re-division of that space could facilitate different activities better for various groups of people. (Eg: mugging alone vs group meetings alongside people having lunch and taking a nap.)
From last week:
Q1: How do you contextualize such structure?
Q2: What kind of qualities are you looking for in your place selection?
A: We are looking at shared spaces in school that are frequently congested which limits usership.
(Eg: study benches outside the lecture theaters in North Spine. )
Q3: what do you expect the people to behave? Sitting and relaxing like the “superfurniture” or forcing into a path like in Serra installation?
A: A “Superfurniture” with divisions that maximizes limited space ie: allow more people to use it, and at the same time ensure that these shared spaces would not result in an uncomfortable experience for everyone.
This week we are going to focus on testing the mechanics of our installation before the form.
Following the proxemics matrix:
Intimate Space: 45 cm
Private Space: 120cm
Social Space: 370cm
Public Space: 760 cm
If we let the Intimate Space =x, the approximate ratio of the distance between these spaces would be about
Social Space= 9x
(This ratio is a radial comparison, because very rarely do people congregate linearly spontaneously. Linear congregations are usually intentional & directive (eg: queueing up for food, seating on a train))
How this could look like:
Test 1: Having modular, customizable “queue poles” as divisions
We tried modelling some prototypes of how we envisioned it to be. Poles that could be erected in spaces allowing users to customize the space for their own needs.
Observations: We felt that although it gave us the freedom to place it in any location, it looked rather awkward and counter intuitive. more like a foreign object than an installation.
We tried imagining the same mechanism within a context and it felt rather unnatural and linear. Almost look like a human parking lot. Also we couldn’t imagine how the sharing of furniture could take place unless we redesigned all the furniture as well.
Briefly inspired by: 4Habitats @ Seoul, South Korea
” After two years of research, we decided to tell one story at a time. Spunbond was our material of choice. Printed off the roll and hung, 160 layers of Spunbond create 4 ‘habitats’ of repeated human profiles that evolve and transform, one person at a time. Each explores the range of selves we inhabit as solitary and social beings. These habitats are transportable and reconfigurable, designed to adapt to its host venue”
Test 2: We tried thinking of doing a commentary on the proxemics matrix by testing the scale of the ratio to see how much space this would take.
The placement of sticks represents the number of people within each category and how they affected each group.
Conclusion: Though it works in theory, the scale proved to be too big. For example, the Public Space would take up the size of 2 rooms and we couldn’t see how this could pan out in NTU. Also since proxemics is an observation of a (somewhat) unseen phenomenon, it has to be made very, very obvious for the audience to get it and the large scale might come in the way of communicating that.
3. Trying to make an interpret the idea of shared spaces in our version of a “Superfurniture”
(V rough test!!!)
Trying to use the form of the furniture to inform users of how they can best share this space. The idea was to make a huge piece of furniture that can accommodate multiple users creating a vibrant hub, reducing awkwardness of sharing tight spaces.
Observation: We realized that it didn’t achieve our goal of maximizing space and realistically, this scale might not work out. Also taking into consideration the way Asians use shared spaces, this might not work out so well.
We felt that although it was good to be testing all these different outputs and strains of thoughts, we really need to recalibrate and looked through all the developments we’ve gone through and see which ones have the most potential with the given limitations.
Perhaps we have drifted a bit too far from our initial idea of creating spaces of serenity as we explored how we could include the proxemics matrix.
Direction: Using proxemics to create quiet enclaves within public spaces
What is proxemics?
Proxemics—”the study of the spatial requirements of humans and the effects of population density on behavior, communication, and social interaction” (Proxemics 2016)
It could be a linear division, just like the matrix above or it could be a carefully designed installation to provide multiple areas to experience the full spectrum of intimate space to public space (of course this would depend on the location).
It also can also be seen in public furniture eg: armrest on benches, a cup holder in cinemas, chairs with desk arms, indents on the mrt seats etc.
on personal spaces: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/16/fashion/16space.html
A study of how proxemics can be applied to public transport systems to improve the quality of how people commute.
Reference & Inspiration
1. Richard Serra
His sculptural pieces have a way of dominating places and separating spaces.
Particularly the last installation at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the way the form directs how people experience the space is something we hope to achieve with our installation as well.
2. Luna, Superfurniture by Claesson Koivisto Rune/
b. Above Nanyang Auditorium
c. North Spine
Creating nooks and a pathway
Exploring a division of space, sheltered + unsheltered, for groups and individuals.
Sizes of entrances to direct crowds. Also a fully enclosed spaces would have louder acoustics or may be too claustrophobic?
A bridge like structure to divide space vertically
Sketches from last week’s presentation.
Moving forward, we decided that we will drop the water feature as it wouldn’t be something feasible in terms of maintainence.
This week we focused on:
1. First we tried video projections of water into the space
This was done to see how light would be reflected and how the shadows would be cast in space.
softness of cotton with rattan
Currently we are exploring three options to replace the water feature
-To build it around an existing water body
-To use projections
-To use shadows from the exterior facade
Q: How to make it look unobtrusive in the environment
^ our current consideration for form and material selection
From last week
What is it?
It is a space for quite respite. The form is a cave-like structure with a water feature ceiling allowing dappled shadows to dance within the interior surface.
a. Opposite School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Can you include nature in it?
Yes! With the use of the water feature it would bring about the sense of serenity that comes from a gentle breeze
-Research on materials that reduces noise
-Forms that encourage resting positions
-How can we maintain the water feature?
-How do we create a meditative pathway
Concept: The internal noise we hear in our heads are relentless, especially in a buzzing environment such as NTU. We wanted to create a place of quiet reflection that can be a place to withdraw to for a moment of silence.
Elements to build the environment
Thinking with our hands
Exploring spaces, forms and textures from our first moodboard (A)
Reflection: After looking at our first mock-up, we made a few observations. Mainly the elements were too disparate and were not in harmony with one another, we then decided to move forward by grouping them in different areas to create areas of attractions.
We wanted to group the different elements into specific focus groups and then to see how did it actually make us feel.
1.Translucent linen cloths with decorations hung around it.
We tested different shades of blues and different colors to see which is the most inviting and what seemed jarring.
The dark deep shade of navy blue felt too overwhelming as
The presence of light blues also should not be the main focus, but only as a secondary element to the main white colour.
2. Plastic plates to represent a tactile surface that mimics corals,
The tactile surfaces seemed interesting as well as the transparent quality of the surfaces. Light as well as touch would be and interesting blend to the form, combining both mood lighting as well as a soft tactile array of such forms.
3. Using the draping of the mesh fabric, we tried to recreate a dappling light adding softness to the space, this is combined with plastics sheets to see if the effect it might bring.
4. Plastic mesh and paper strips to create interactive flowing surfaces and object. This felt more like an anchor to the space as it stood out more as compared to the rest of the zones.
More “main attraction” like as compared to the other features.
6. Egg cartons to represent sound foam boards that can be arranged to form the inner cladding on the walls. Playing with the gradation of the color that was used also to provide a certain amount of visual effect.
7. Protruding surfaces and uneven surfaces on the sides of the wall and ground for interaction, at different heights to sit as well.
8. Different tactile surfaces as you enter the tunnel area