Welcome. It is the year 2050, where mankind have found a way to build structures higher than ever before. But before we delve into this futuristic world, let us see what brought them here.
It all began with a sound – a tune. This tune was fabricated by the most masterful musicians the world could find. This would be used as the inspiration for the city.
You cannot help but feel a sense of serenity when as the tune is being played. Composed of different instruments, each brings a new idea and elements to the development of the city.
The team took the best elements from their individual mood boxes and placed them into the group mood box.
Zig Zag Block – The rough sounds of the zigzag block is consistent throughout the piece. To demonstrate this, we took a hard wire mesh and warped it to form a spiral through the entire frame. The rough and prickly texture was to represent the unevenness of the Zig Zag Block.
Shaker – Like above, the shaker evoked a sense of falling beads or water. To show this, we cut up pieces of blue acrylic in the shape of triangles and hung them off fishing lines to represent rain cutting through the voids.
Wooden Blocks –The wooden blocks appears several times thoughout our composition and it pierces the rhythm of the constant sound the Zig Zag Blocks make. This was represented by the penetration of the wire mesh by the wooden sticks.
Tone Bars and Void – The tone bar was a final note before silence. The sound seemed to linger in the air before dissipating. To show this, we used cotton wool and we attached it to the top of the wire mesh, outside of the entire frame. It was crucial for the cotton wool to be outside the frame as we wanted to show how it slowly fades into the air.
Moving on to the construction of our city!
The builders had many ideas for how their city would look like. As the builders of this city felt that the sound used for the inspiration had many elements of serenity and tranquility, we wanted to explore that idea.
One element that often popped up during discussions was the use of water for our city. By incorporating water into the city, we could use it as a viable means of transport.
We begin with several sketches.
After looking at the sketch, the builders decided to look for what kind of modular structures they could incorporate into their model. What better way to source for inspiration than mother nature herself.
They looked into various habitats in the sea. Coral reefs were one of the biggest inspiration for their ideas. They also looked into sea creatures which live amongst these habitats! Most notably, fishes and turtles. The scales of fishes form a unique over lapping structure which protects them from predators as well as reducing drag underwater.
Next, we have turtles! Their shell closely resembles that of fishes as they have a shape similar to a pentagon.
As the brainstorming continued, one of the builders started to get hungry and his mind started drifting off. However, as he was lost in his world, he found a eureka moment! Nagashi Somen (Bamboo noodles) came into his mind for the use of a modular structure.
Bamboo has been widely used for construction in Japan (our builder happens to also be half japanese) and we delved into researching the types of structures we could create using bamboo.
As they initially wanted to incorporate the use of water in the city, bamboo was the perfect choice as it is waterproof as well as light which made it a versatile material to use.
They also incorporated elements of coral reefs into the concept, by using the modular structures of the corals as the habitat.
The idea was to have a central canal which would run through the entire city, providing them with a highway for commuting. We would also have different levels to the city, which was inspired by Bamboo fountains.
However, as the builders brought their ideas to the Governor, she warned us that the materials required would be too expensive and it would also be difficult to construct as the material is rigid and difficult to manipulate without proper equipment. The governor generously shared her wisdom with the builders and advised them to use PVC piping instead. This would result in a easier material to work with as well as saving them money.
It was back to the drawing board with their idea as they could not execute the multi-tier city anymore as it would look out of place using bamboo. With the use of PVC piping, it evoked a more futuristic look.
As they re-imagined the city, they started to look for ideas on what would make it look like a futuristic city. When they thought of cities, extremely high-rise buildings comes into mind. This gave them the idea to create the illusion of having a ‘floating’ city with the use of mirrors.
They had many discussions on how to create such a look as there were many elements to consider such as the source for our materials and the execution as none of them have ever attempted something like this before. They came up with more sketches to try and envision how our city would look like.
There was also the problem of lighting. As light was crucial to create the illusion, they had to decide if we wanted the lighting to be on the buildings, or within the buildings.
They then settled for the lighting to be internal as it would have looked too forced if the lighting was from the outside. However, by having the lighting inside the buildings, they had to think of ways to place a strong enough light source within such a small area.
After they decided the look of the city, theystarted to source for inspiration on how our city would look like.
One of the inspirations was the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This structure has a similar form to PVC piping and is a great place to begin. However, the structure looked too uniform and the builders realized that it would not make for a interesting composition when coupled with mirrors from their installation.
Once again, the builders were back to the drawing board. They decided to turn to nature again to source for their inspiration. Little did they know, that this process of looking to nature for inspiration is called biomimicry design, as explained by this video.
As the builders wanted to evoke the feeling and illusion of verticaility, we turned to structures which seem to be spanning upwards.
DNA’s structure has a spiral form and the spiral implies a direction. This was useful research as the builders could incorporate this into the design of the city to give it the look of ascension.
They also started to source for structures which may have similar qualities.
This is the F & F Tower located in the city of Panama. The spiral gives the illusion of the building reaching into the sky.
As the city would be located within a dark area to make full use of the illusion of an infinite building, it had to be located in a dark area. The builders set out to find a suitable location for their city.
They stumbled upon this obscure place, one that has been left untouched for ages… it almost seemed as though there used to be another civilization which lived there…
This location seemed to be in line with the theme of verticality as well as their choice of materials which made it a perfect location. The eyes are naturally drawn upwards because of all the lines the pipe creates, giving the sense of voids within the space.
With everything in place, they set forth to build the city!
They began by building a prototype based on the various inspirations which they found.
The builders wanted to incorporate the spiral into their composition. They also left holes between each module which represented a window.
With the structure in mind, they set out to purchase the needed materials to build the structure.
They first began by selecting pipes of different sizes and materials. After which, they proceeded to create the hub.
The pipes were stuck together using Blu-tac initially to ensure that the builders could still change the design if there was any additional feedback.
Slowly, the city was coming together.
One Way Mirror
Next, the builders had to source for a one way mirror. As purchasing one would be too expensive for them, they managed to find a seller which offered one way mirror films. This was much less expensive and it allowed us to work with more materials.
The mounting of the film was a tricky process, however, after the first failed attempt, our builders managed to apply the film onto the acrylic board properly, with minimal bubbles.
If you look closely at the image below, you can see that small bubbles of impurities have appeared on the surface. The team was not satisfied with this craftsmanship which was why they decided to try again, this time in a more sterile environment.
The second attempt was much more successful as we had the proper tools to do the job and we had a smooth surface. As you can see, one of our skilled builders making sure that the impurities were a thing of the past.
The film was applied masterfully thanks to the dexterity of Hannah!
After sorting out the one way mirror, the team moved on to find out what is the best way to light their structure.
Initially, the team used a wooden frame for their model. However, this distracted the audience from the full experience as the frame could be seen in the mirror.
The team then changed the frame by using flat boards instead of long pieces of wood so that the edges would be flush against each other.
The builders then spray painted the sides to be glossy so as to reflect more light from the city.
This was the biggest trouble the builders faced as the light source had to be strong enough to produce the full effect. We had a variety of sources of light, however, all of them had to be connected to a socket which was tough because there was no sockets around the obscure location.
These were some of the lights which the team found but could not use.
LED Strips from IKEA.
Strip LED lights
We had to source for battery operated lights.
Thankfully, we were able to find strong LED lights used for hiking and biking.
The team attached two of these onto both the top and bottom of the hubs to increase the intensity of the light. For greater measure, the team lined the inside of the pipes to allow the light to bounce off the walls better.
This directional light was God sent as we used it to light the habitats.
The highway was put together using straws. The team had them descending as they wanted them to join with the main structures of the city.
Putting the City together
People up working late at night in the hub. Society has found a way to do away with sleep.
Due to the height of these structures, residents are required to travel with an orb as the atmosphere is too thin, resulting in little oxygen in the air.
More close ups on the city
Overall, I’ve grown tremendously during this first semester in terms of craftsmanship as well as idealisation. I realised that no one form of art can be compartmentalised and separated from each other as they can all be interwoven with each other.
Despite my confusions at the start of this assignment, I was really glad how it all came together nicely once we took a step back to look at the results. It is amazing how such a seemingly insignificant tune of less than 30 seconds could convey such a strong message when we break it down to its individual components.
I feel that breaking down elements to their dominant, sub dominant and sub ordinate can be applied in all forms of art, design and media as we have progressed through all of the past assignments in this semester.
Thank you Cheryl for being such an inspiration to your students and to me!
After the creation of our individual mood boxes, we now move on to our group mood box.
We had several ideas for how we wanted our group mood box to look like.
Here are some of our initial sketches:
The materials represented in these sketches were ones taken from our individual mood boxes.
Hannah adopted a different approach to the sound. She made use of sharp waves to represent the sound which the Zig Zag blocks make, coupled with the ascending order to build up suspense to the next instrument.
The next instruments were the Tanggu sticks and the shaker. From here, we can see a common trend in using wooden sticks to represent the Tanggu sticks. The shaker is represented using a small piece of acrylic as its presence is less dominating in comparison with the Tanggu sticks.
At the end, we have a sharp drop. This is to represent the sound which the tone bars makes. This sudden contrast in composition would make sense only when the audience has heard of the sound. As you can see, the wire fades into the frame which accurately captures the essence of the sound dissipating into the air.
Ying Hui cleverly represented the dominant by using paper folded into a zig zag pattern as seen from above to create the texture of the sound which was rough.
The sub dominants can be seen from the use of tooth picks as well as the curved paper to represent the Tanggu sticks and the shaker respectively. As you can see, the toothpicks pierce the papers, similar to what Fendi depicted.
At the bottom, there is a subtle hint of the tone bars sound which is represented by the cotton wool.
For Fendi’s mood box, he played around with different compositions of the sounds.
The rough sounds of the zigzag block is consistent throughout the piece, thus it runs across diagonally across the box, creating a sense of dominance.
Like above, the shaker evoked a sense of falling beads or water. Thus he used a gentle curved plane that goes downwards to represent an organic flow.
Fendi felt the wooden blocks were an element that seem to be a hard, short sound that comes out in the distance as a sort of echo. Thus he placed it almost piercing out of the box, as though a man was in a distance, clapping his hands.
The tone bars was a final note before a long silence. He showed this by piercing the void with a piece of acrylic to show how the note seemed to echo in a void space.
Making the components for the Mood Box!
As you can see, there are some consistencies with what materials we use. These include the wooden sticks to represent the Tanggu’s, cotton wool to represent the tone bar at the end of sound 2 and the Zig Zag pattern for the dominant zig zag blocks.
However, we wanted to try a different approach to the dominant which was the zig zag sound. Instead of using crumpled paper or plastic to represent the rough sounds of the zig zag blocks, we used hard wire mesh instead!
Making of the dominant:
Here you can see Hannah and I struggling to get the wire mesh into the form we wanted. We had to use a heat gun to mold it into shape.
We vaguely look like modern sushi chefs trying to make a maki roll….
Making of the Sub Dominant:
As we agreed that the shaker sound seemed to resemble the idea of a rain drops or water droplets, we went ahead and cut blue acrylic to small triangles, to show it piercing the sound, similar to the Tanggu wooden sticks.
Hannah and I used the soldering rod to pierce holes into the acrylic pieces and the warped wire mesh respectively.
Making of the Sub Ordinate:
The making of the sub ordinate was a tedious process as we had to gingerly fluff up the cotton wool while try and hold it in place with glue at the same time. We spent a tremendous amount of time pulling apart the cotton wool to make it look like a cloud – I really thought it would be easier.
Putting it altogether!
Zig Zag Block – The rough sounds of the zigzag block is consistent
throughout the piece. To demonstrate this, we took a hard wire mesh and warped it to form a spiral through the entire frame. The rough and prickly texture was to represent the unevenness of the Zig Zag Block.
Shaker – Like above, the shaker evoked a sense of falling beads of water. To show this, we cut up pieces of blue acrylic in the shape of triangles and hung them off fishing lines to represent rain cutting through the voids.
Wooden Blocks – We wanted to give the idea of the sound of the sticks piercing through the constant sound of the Zig Zag blocks. The sound also appears twice before the sound of the tone bars which was why we repeated the effect.
Cotton Wool – The group enjoyed the idea of the sound fading into the distance, which is why we wanted the cotton wool to protrude out of the frame, dissipating into thin air. As the cotton wool blends in well with the background we, it was an apt choice of material to encapsulate the idea.
It has come to our final assignment! I am not going to lie, but this was one of the most confusing assignments to work on from the beginning, when Cheryl asked us to make music in class.
We learned a little about music and its scales, after which, we had to create 2 sounds using a variety of instruments Cheryl brought for us. These were the ones we picked.
The instruments include:
- Tone Bars in Dominant 7 Scale
- Zig Zag Blocks
- A shaker in the shape of a banana
- 2 wooden sticks used to play the Tanggu Drums
Thankfully, we had 2 musically inclined students, Hannah and Ying Hui to help us compose the various sounds as the dominant 7 Scale is not one which is easy to work with.
Dominant: Tanggu Sticks form the beat of the sound, while the
tone bars provided the tune for the sound.
Sub Dominant: The shaker came in after every fourth beat,
making it evenly spread out, making it the sub dominant.
Sub Ordinate: The Zig Zag Blocks made only came in at the
end of the tune which formed the sub ordinate.
Dominant: Zig Zag blocks as it formed the rhythm of the sound.
Sub Dominant: Both the shaker as well as the wooden blocks make
up the sub dominant as they came in after every fourth beat.
Sub-Ordinate: The tone bars only comes in right at the end of
the sound when no other instrument is playing, making it the sub-ordinate.
After analyzing the sounds, I proceeded to create my individual mood box based on sound 1.
I went with creating a mood box for sound 1. As the dominant for this sound was the tone bars, I wanted to use metal in most of the composition of this mood box, bringing out the dominant nature of the sound. The wooden blocks acts as steps for the tune to follow, similar to how tunes have to follow the timing of the beat in a song. The silver wire spans through the entire frame as it is constantly playing.
The pieces of blue acrylic depicts the shaker sounds, showing how they pierce the flow of the sound.
We have the sub ordinate which is the cotton wool. This is to represent the nature of the zig zag blocks as the texture and look of cotton wool is non-uniform, and as the sub ordinate, I didn’t want to fill too much of the composition with it.
The elements are floating as I feel that sound does not have a physical presence which is why it should not be resting on anything. If we had an instrument with more bass I may have chose a base for the model to rest on.
Moving on to our group mood box!!
For this project, I was lucky enough to have Hannah as my group mate!!! We share many similar interests, one of them being our love for water.
Hannah and I decided the good scent to be the smell of chlorine as we both enjoy being in the waters. Me swimming, and her surfing at Wavehouse. You can refer to my previous Mnemosyne post to read more about my relationship with chlorine!
We started to break down the elements of chlorine, and what we would use to represent them.
We start off with the scent of chlorine. It has a very sterile scent to it and you would often associate it with cleanness. Therefore, we wanted to use a material which was translucent.
Secondly, the smell of chlorine is distinct as the top note pierces your nostrils. This is also accompanied by the pain you feel when you open your eyes underwater and the chlorine stings your eyes. This was why we wanted to have sharp edges in our composition.
In contrast, our bad scent was the smell of rain, especially when it hits pavements and roads which gives off that humid and musty smell. We also associate this smell to bad experiences in our lives.
Back in secondary 2, I broke my arm riding a skateboard. This resulted in my arm being in a cast for about 6 months (sadly, I do not have any photos of it). Every time it rained, the bones in my left arm would ache, causing me distress.
We also started to think of how rain interacts with its surrounding, cascading off buildings and cleaning its impurities, which makes rain murky.
To replicate this feeling, we wanted to have dull/dirty colours to represent rain, as well as a more matte finish for the object representing rain to show a contrast between the smooth surface of acrylic and the gritty feeling of the plastic bottles.
We set out on our project with the idea of a wave form in mind. As we wanted the wave to be translucent, acrylic was the material of choice. I started to search for wave forms made out of glass or acrylic so that we could emulate a similar effect onto our accessory piece.
We also searched for various types of masks and we really liked the look of the mask from phantom of the opera as you could still see the wearer’s face.
The reason why we chose a mask was because how we look like is a large part of our identity, to have a mask covering a part of your face would also mean that the object has great significance to us.
We really liked the idea of a wave sprouting out of the mask to show the dynamism of a wave.
Throughout the process, I will be going into detail on the reasons behind our various decision makings. Let us begin!
Planning how the pieces would fit together. Initially I went with a more flat approach of sticking the pieces by just following the contours of the mask. However, Hannah pointed out that this would not make the piece dynamic and interesting to look at.
We then went with the approach of having the pieces jut out. To hold them in place, we used blue-tac initially. However, this soon became a problem when more pieces were added. We moved on to masking tape after that and it managed to hold its form much better.
Yay! This was the structure we settled on after trying to fit the pieces of acrylic to form a good composition!
Little did we know, that it was the beginning of our nightmare.
We began to glue the pieces of acrylic together. However, because there were so many individual pieces, it became apparent that this would be a very long process because we had to hold each piece in place till the glue dried (it took forever).
We even went to the extent of using a heat gun to try and speed up the process. However, that didn’t work which is why we went back to using acrylic glue. It also smelled really bad which explains Hannah’s face.
We incorporated composition elements such as the golden ratio to form the wave so as to make it more pleasing to look at. We used white shards to represent goggles as it allows you to see underwater.
We also made some adjustments to the mask by cutting away the forehead segment of it as we realised that the white portion of the mask was distracting and took attention away from the wave.
We also used a heat gun to bend the acrylic tube to fit on Hannah’s shoulder. Unfortunately, we did not take any process shots for this part as Hannah was busy working on the Jig-Saw cutting up the acrylic pieces while I was bending the acrylic tube.
The next step was to create the object which represented rain. This was made using plastic bottle scraps. I cut long strips of plastic bottles and I used the heat gun to get them into a more organic and random shape, resembling the cascading of water.
I used the soldering rod to melt the plastic bottles together instead of using a hot glue gun to stick them together as the glue gun would be too hot and further distort the shape of the plastics.
After joining substantial pieces of acrylic together, we began to paint the plastic with grey and brown to represent impurities found in rain.
All we had left to do was attach all the pieces together and polish the acrylic pieces! In the following compositions, you would be able to see a strip of reflective metal. This is to show the universality of water and how it takes up form as well as the elements in its surrounding, therefore a perfect reflection of its environment.
Initially, it was a wide piece of metal sheet i wanted to use. However, as it was meant to be our Sub Ordinate, I had to trim it down till it was just a thin strip.
We will be updating our final costume on the day of the final fashion runway! Do stay tuned for that!
Mnemosyne Scent! What a difficult assignment to pronounce! In this assignment, we are made to think of how certain scents can evoke different memories or emotions in our lives. I depend on my sense of smell greatly as I can tell a person by what scents they have (In the least creepy way possible).
As my mother changes laundry detergent often, as well as body soaps and shampoo, whenever I catch a hint of the scent of an old shower gel or detergent I used to apply, it overwhelms me with nostalgia as I think back to the memories I had during that period of time.
I love smelling wooden furniture as well! (This is the part where I go off topic) I get weird looks from friends when I sniff furniture! Especially if the furniture is oak, teak or rosewood because it provides a very homely and natural feel to it.
Good scent: Chlorine. I love the smell of chlorine because its the first thing I smell before I enter the pool. I used to swim about 3 times a week when I had much more time on my hands. I haven’t been able to find the time to swim recently, which is why i treasure that scent even more so.
The pool envelops me and gives me much needed alone time. The faint sound of pool water crashing into the sides and flowing into the drain, the complete absence of sound when I plunge my head into the water for a stroke. All these play apart in my relation to the scent. Swimming is an intimate sport as you can feel it in so many senses – from its smell, to water caressing across your body, to the taste of chlorine as you expel water from your mouth, the rushing and the silence of water. It never fails to make me happy.
My initial bad scent was the smell of alcohol swabs. This is due to the countless times I’ve been in the hospital for surgeries, broken bones, seeing loved ones, medical check-ups…. most of these experiences are associated with pain, be it physical or emotional. However I decided not to use alcohol swabs as it resembles chlorine in a sense that it cleanses, sterilizes objects. They both have a sharp scent to them which would be difficult to tell them apart when forming my scent sculpture.
Thus, I went ahead with the use of seawater. In contrast to the water in swimming pools, seawater is murky, uncontrolled, there are so many different scents I would associate seawater to. Being in seawater is unpleasant as it leaves you feeling dirty, it smells incredibly salty, you are uncertain to where your next step or stroke would put you as it is such a chaos in the sea.
Artist References and Inspiration
Future world exhibition at Art Science Museum –
I have been to this exhibition several times as they constantly update their installations. I came across this projector display and I really loved the tones of this installation. This installation is set in a room with a panoramic screen projecting an illustrated sea. Beanbags can be found around this area for people to sit and soak in the projection. You can also hear the soft sound of crashing waves in the distance.
I feel like this picture represents the calm I have amidst the chaos that is going on around me, clearly drowning me, which is also an accurate description of how I feel when I’m in the sea.
Es Devlin –
One of the most established set designers in the industry – I decided to research on her work, to see how she makes use of the sense of smell to make her work exciting.
She was commissioned by Chanel to release a new line of their perfume. She created an exhibition with different rooms to it. In each room, guests are faced with difficulty navigating through her disorientating maze. However, when they are at the end of the maze, they are treated to the new scent of Chanel’s perfume, as well as a beautiful and vibrant backdrop for guests to associate it with the new scent.
She makes use of the emotions her guests feel to tie it with different scents. Guests will now attribute the scent to the feeling of accomplishment, relief and satisfaction after completing the arduous maze. I want to evoke similar emotions through my model, which is why I felt that her work was compelling.
Process and experimentation
To begin, I decided to make my model look like the sea. Yes it is a very literal representation of my scent but I wanted to also replicate how I felt with association to the scent.
I used blue trash bags to get the colour of the waves. Interestingly, as you pulled the trash bags, when they are stretched they tend to have a lighter colour. This gave my waves greater tone variation and they would resemble the top of the wave. For the smell of chlorine, I cut up plastic bottles into shards. The sharp edges would represent the stinging of your nose and eyes when you are in the water.
To begin, I had to make wire frames to hold up the structure of the waves in the shape of a ‘t’. I used a thick wire for the main curve, followed by a series of thinner wires to allow the spreading of the ‘wave’.
After forming the frame, I then layered the blue garbage bags over the frame and used heat gun to get the garbage bag to hug the frame for a smoother curve. I made several frames, each varying in length to make sure that they do not look similar to each other, giving variation in my composition.
Next, I attached them to the board to figure out what would make an interesting composition.
After figuring out the composition of the waves, I had to add in the plastic shards into the overall composition. The reason why the shards are transparent is to show a contrast between the purity of sea water and the water from swimming pools.
After a few touch-ups, I came up with my final composition.
I was really pleased at how it turned out as it was able to represent the chaos of how it feels like to be in the sea.
This is how it looks like under dramatic lighting.
However, this could be represented better as pointed out by Cheryl. It would be more interesting and less literal if i had a ‘vortex of water’ sprouting out, with the two scents intertwining each other. This would have created a cleaner composition as well as one that is more dynamic.
“To make a good sculpture, you must first be one with the materials.”
– Joel Lee, 2017, ADM Y1
In this assignment, we were tasked to make use of strips of paper to form different type of planes.
These planes include:
2D Flat Plane – Straight Plane without Curves
2D Curved Plane – Curved straight plane, similar to sine curve
Broken/Bent Plane – Sharp Change in direction of Plane on a 2D Plane
Twisted Plane – Dynamic curve
3D Curved Plane –
Frank Gehry – One of the greatest Architectural minds of our century. After Cheryl showed us his work, I was intrigued and I went to research more of his works and was amazed at the form of his structures. The composition of his buildings are definitely eye catching and the use of planes with various volumes help keep the composition interesting.
(I can’t help but wonder how disorientating it must feel looking through those windows, let alone living in such a building…)
Ole Scheeren – The mind behind the CCTV headquarters in China (Broken plane picture) , as well as the Interlace in Singapore. Ole Scheeren fights the conventional thinking of “Form is function”, and argues with the term “Form is fiction”. Of course form has to include function, however, we should also strive to convey stories though our work. A narrative, a purpose, etc. This building gave me great inspiration for the use of bent planes.
It also ties in with many of our projects as we aim to deliver a story or try to express emotions though our work, not only for 3D but for other modules. In my first model, I tried to incorporate bent planes similar to how Ole Screeren did for this building.
(ITS ALL THE SAMEE!!!!! PANICS!!)
Working on my models
To start off, I initially used smaller strips of paper to craft a mini version of what I wanted to create. However, as I progressed, as I was using regular A4 paper, I realised that the paper structure would not hold up its own weight, unlike the Artcard. Thus I gathered a few elements which I liked about the smaller models and I tried to adapt them to the art card.
This is the first model I came up with! I liked how the SO (the thin strip) envelopes the structure and seems to keep the composition together. However, in this model, I did not explore the use of broken planes or flat planes.
For the second model, I wanted to have a plane piercing another, which is why the 2D curved plane pierces itself. This was vaguely inspired by overlapping cloth. I explored the use of broken planes in this composition which can be seen from the strip of paper piercing through the loop.
Some of the elements I decided to keep was the broken plane from the second model, the 2D plane that pierces itself as well as the SO in the first model.
As you can see, I managed to incorporate my various inspirations into my first model. From the use of a thin strip as an SO to tie my composition together, coupled with Ole Sheeren’s use of bent planes in the China’s CCTV Headquarters.
In my second model, I wanted to incorporate the piercing of planes as well as having planes weave in between each other. This composition was more of trying to play around with the forms as opposed to creating something aesthetically pleasing.
After Cheryl’s comments, I realised that my planes did not offer an interesting composition as my 2D curved plane did not intersect each other at an angle which would have made my model more Dynamic. Most of my strips of paper were also of similar length which made it difficult to differentiate between D, SD and SO.
I was intrigued when Cheryl presented the next assignment which we would be working on, which was Ikebana.
Ikebana is japanese for floral arrangements. It is an exquisite form of art and requires maticulous handiwork. In addition to this theme, we were tasked to try and incoporate food into our composition to increase the complexity of our compositions.
This addition is exciting as it adds another dimension to our model as the element of taste and smell is introduced.
She showed us a variety of different styles of floral layouts and this particular one below caught my eye.
I really liked the composition of this arrangement as it draws your eyes to the center and makes you wonder what plant that is. The ‘floating’ leaf ties the whole composition together and it was something i would want to incorporate into my piece.
This has composition has the use of a ‘floating’ spiral, however, it draws your attention upwards instead of towards the center.
I started to brainstorm on the things I would relate to summer.
Greenery, sunshine, tall grass, insects, full of life, orange, the sun, heat
Seasonal fruits: Peaches, watermelon, cherries, strawberries
Colours I could consider: Vibrant tones such as orange and green. Even tropical colours such as yellow and pink.
To gain further inspiration, I searched for photos of Japan in Summer to get a better feel of the colour palate I could make use of.
As you can see in the pictures above, there are very warm tones of red and orange, with a hint of pink.
I also looked through my recent trip to Japan for references I could use. Although I went to Japan when it was early spring, there were some photos I could make use of!
Here we have the bamboo forest located in Arashiyama, Kyoto. The towering bamboo sprouts constantly draws your eyes upwards, where the sky is covered by a canopy of bamboo leaves.
I came across this pillar supporting a tree on one of our hikes. This trail lead to a shrine deep within the hills or mountains located in Arashiyama, dedicated to those lives which were lost while constructing the lake which runs through the town, known as the Katsura River. I liked the shape and look of this particular tree trunk and I wanted to incorporate it into my composition to show life.
If you have time and want to check out my trip to Japan, here’s my travel journal!
I also wanted to explore the usage of drift wood to as a base as it ties into the theme of having life sprouting from it. Drift wood also have many interesting compositions and it is different from every angle which makes it dynamic.
I managed to get a hold of several pieces of driftwood which I have used before in previous projects.
The objects I really wanted to be represented in my composition were: the Sun, peaches to represent summer, drift wood, greenery to represent life. These were my building blocks for my model.
During these Sketches, I was trying to figure out the composition of the leaves and what to place at the end. My idea was to form a sphere out of cones to use as the sun, then I would have a protruding cone to represent a ray of light. However, I realised that it would create a confusing composition as your eyes are not drawn to anywhere in particular. Therefore, I decided to use something simpler such as a painted ping pong ball to represent the sun.
I also had an idea to use the Gestalt in my composition as I wanted to cut up the peach and lay it on the wood to form an implied sphere, where the sum of its parts is less than its presence.
However, it was difficult for me to do that as peaches have a large seed which would be difficult to cut through and I would not have any proper surface to lay the peach slices on. This would be touched on later in my process.
Choosing my dominant:
I decided to choose the first piece (I forgot to take process pictures) as it has a protruding body, which would resemble a cylinder and it has a more elegant shape to it. This piece also had a curvature upwards which helped give the model a certain ‘flow’ to it. The second piece of drift wood was immensely big and I found that many of my elements would be overpowered by it.
To have the ‘floating’ look, I had to use a spool of thick wire to form the structure. After which, I etched grooves into the drift wood to enable the wire to have some support. I also had to file down the wood as there were a ton of splinters on it.
I also sanded down the acrylic board as it initially had very straight and inorganic edges. I wanted it to have a more natural shape which would resemble a tree bark.
For the next step, I had to glue the leaves around the wire. The initial idea was to roll the leaves around the wire but i realised that the shape would not be as interesting. So i went with gluing the leaves flat.
Going back to the idea of using peaches as my main object of Summer after I realised that it was difficult for me to plate my peach as well as create an attractive SO out of peach slices, I tried to form a flower out of peach slices. This would represent the blossoming life in Summer.
I also experimented with banana peel, however it was too flimsy to be crafted into a flower. As bananas had a strong yellow presence, I felt it would have been a good fruit to represent summer.
Alas! I finally crafted a flower out of a peach! Huraaah!! It took me about 45 minutes to carefully cut the slices and gingerly fold them. However, things were not as rosy as it seemed as the peach started to oxidise and lose its form, turning into this dull mess below.
I looked to my right and lo and behold! My classmate was working with carrots which were also a summer food and it is vibrant orange! Carrots also wouldn’t easily lose its structure and colour if left out for long. I decided to use carrot strips instead and put a peach as a base for the carrot to rest on.
Thank god for supportive classmates! The carrot was much more manageable to work with because it could be bent easily.
After that, all that was left was to plate the model!
As you can see, the spiral forms an implied cone which draws your eyes towards the branch with leaves. This would show the life of spring and how vibrant it is! After which, you would be drawn to the orange sphere which forms the sun, and after that the flower which is made of carrots, with a hint of peachiness at the bottom.
From the top view, my model forms a peach as well!
After week 4’s tutorial, I had to source for blocks to form my 2 models. I decided to go with 2 models which parts can be interchangeable and reusable. This was influenced by Lego and also because I didn’t not want to waste my foam blocks. Because the blocks had to be interchangeable, I ensured that certain blocks from different models were of similar dimensions. The two models revolve around a main block which also happens to be the SD.
I wanted to use acrylic for my blocks which would be closely related to Lego, however, the material would be difficult to carve and be precise without proper tools.
As a replacement, I wrapped my foam blocks in papers of basic colours to give it the representation of Lego as these blocks mostly come in basic colours.
As I wanted to make my pieces interchangeable, I had to precisely measure out the dimensions I wanted the groove to have. I was unable to take the process photos because I was too absorbed into the task at hand! But it all turned out well as the fit is really tight. I had to use a penknife to etch out the foam, little by little till I had a perfect fit. I made sure to remove more foam to make space for the paper when it would be wrapped around the blocks.
A snug fit for both pieces!!! Yay!
Applications for my models: for my first model, as it is not symmetrical, it resembles the USS destroyer with the control tower flushed to the side of the dominant. For my application however, I would want something less violent.
I sketched out different perspectives of my object.
After pondering for awhile, I realised that my figure could be used as a Book end.
For my larger application, I decided to model it to something similar to the new Mediacorp building. The new Mediacorp campus at Portstown road boasts an elevated plane which has a lush green landscape, below which is a carpark.
This was one of the few images I could find which featured the elevated green field.
For my large scale application, I also placed two ponds and trees to add to the landscape.
This final model is different as compared to my initial model as I decided to reduce the length of the SO so as to make it more distinguishable from the SD. However, the downside to this would be that there would be only 2 objects visible from the bottom view.
Model 2 was a little trickier as I did not want a flush fit for my SD so much so that when viewed from the side, it would just be a diagonal line. To tackle this problem, I cut a new piece of foam with access at the top to enable it to be wedged into the D. This would result in more dimensions when looked at from different perspectives. I had issues with my SO as well as it would often be too big which would confuse the viewer from SO and SD. To tackle this, I drastically shortened the SO (with recommendation from Cheryl) and I managed to make it distinguishable.
For the application of my object, I saw use for it in the toilet. It would make for a very fancy faucet. The SO and SD would be made out of polished metal while the D would have a rusted look to compliment the wooden panel behind. I could see this being used in showrooms already!
We were exposed to various architects and their usage of different terms such as void, rule of thirds, harmony and discord. Several of them include:
I enjoy the use of voids here to create the bulk of the structure. After looking up on this architect, I decided to search further into the history of the Serpentine Gallery and found a few interesting names which I will be talking about further on.
I have been to Japan several times and every time I visit, I am constantly in awe of their architecture. I feel that they are able to push the boundaries of modern architecture. When I laid my eyes on Kazuyo Sejima work, I could instantly recognize her style as I recall seeing a structure similar to her use of large circles in her architecture. I visited Kanazawa in Spring of 2016 and I visited the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. The structure of the museum is a large circle, accompanied by tall glass walls and very wide interiors which intrigued me, as the structure did not seem so large from the outside. Unfortunately I did not take many photos of the structure itself, more of the attraction which was the pool which you could go ‘underneath’ of. The structure also consists of these glass walkways which connected different segments of the building together. Needless to say, I am in awe of her work, so much so that it left such a lasting impression in my head.
Kuma Kengo – Chokkura Plaza
Yet another Japanese Architect? This may be one of the reasons why I find Japan so appealing! When I go back to Japan, I will make sure to pay more attention to their buildings and architects now that I have been exposed to several of these masters works. It is amazing how much they are influenced by their culture to create something so majestic.
This is the architect which I found during my research on the Serpentine Pavillion. The Serpentine Pavillion is a museum which houses Modern and Contemporary Art. Most recently, I watched this documentary following a Swedish architect by the name of Bjarke Ingels. He was chosen to create the main display at the serpentine gallery in 2016 and his structure consisted of empty boxes which formed a covered walkway to the entrance of the Serpentine Gallery. The usage of such simple and somewhat rigid shape to create something with such motion and form really impressed me and left me in awe. The clever use of hollow rectangles enabled sunlight to pass through, giving the structure its vast interior look. He is known as one of the prodigy architects in Denmark as his architecture has reshaped the landscape of Denmark.