Mnemosyne’s Scent: Planes and Plastic Model


A plane is an element that has surface direction and slant unaccompanied by mass. And there are two- and three-dimensional planes.

2D planes:

  • Straight axis plane
  • Bent axis plane
  • Curved axis plane
  • Complex axis planes

3D planes: 

  • Curved plane
  • Broken plane
  • Twisted plane
  • Grouped planes

The first part of this assignment requires us to make us of 3D and 2D planes to create an interesting visual composition. The planes are cut from art-board and each strips measure from 8 cm to 0.5 cm in width.

Things to note when doing the models:

  • PROPORTION & RHYTHM : Inherent, Comparative, Overall
  • VISUAL STRUCTURE: Tensional design of axes of surfaces
  • GROUP MOVEMENTS: Dependent, Independent, Precarious balance

Sketch Models

Sketch Model 1:

Front View
Side View
Top View


Sketch Model 2:

Front View
Top View
Side View

2D Sketch Analysis

Model 1


  • Conflicting SD and SO (Introduce another element: 1 D, 2 SD, 1 SO)
  • Apply tapering on strips
  • Reduce Size of SD via Tapering

Model 2


  • Extend the length of D (Make it obvious that it is the dominant)
  • Add in elements of 2D planes on both ends of D
  • Trim 1/3 width of SD
  • Taper ends of SD
  • Make SO thinner (Make it obvious that it is the Sub Ordinate)
  • Leave one end of SO dangling to create a sense of levitation

Revised Final Models

Model 1

Model 1 has 4 different elements – 1 Dominant, 2 Sub-dominant and 1 Sub-ordinate. Each planes have contrasting proportions and extends in different directions. When viewed, the dominant plane acts as a stationary while the 2 sub-dominant planes curl and warp around it creating voids between the 2 elements. The sub-ordinate is added to fill up the emptiness at the front making it look more visually interesting.

Model 2

Model 2 has 3 different elements – 1 Dominant, 1 Sub-dominant and 1 Sub-ordinate. Compared to model 1, the dominant plane in model 2 extends horizontally with both its ends touching the base. The ends of the dominant plane is folded to bent axis planes and broken planes. The sub-dominant extends vertically and creates a void between it and the dominant plane. The sub-ordinate wraps itself around the sub-dominant, like a free flowing form making the model look more interesting.



Smell and memories

Smell belongs to one of the five senses that we humans have. We use our nose to smell and by definition it means the power to perceive odors or scents by using our nose. According to science, smell is relatively more capable of triggering certain emotions and memories than our other senses.

Incoming smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and runs along the bottom of the brain. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory:  the amygdala and hippo-campus. And our visual, auditory and tactile information does not pass through these 2 brain areas hence explaining why smell is so capable of triggering certain emotions and memories.


Mnemonic devices

According to , Mnemonic devices are techniques a person can use to help them improve their ability to remember something. In other words, it’s a memory technique to help your brain better encode and recall important information.

Some of the Mnemonic techniques include:




Chunking is simply a way of breaking down larger pieces of information into smaller, organized “chunks” of more easily-managed information. 10 digits broken into 3 chunks, allowing almost everyone to remember an entire phone number with ease.


Organizing information into either objective or subjective categories also helps. If you can divide a list of items into a fewer number of categories, then all you have to remember is the categories (fewer items), which will serve as memory cues in the future.


It’s based on the assumption that you can best remember places that you are familiar with, so if you can link something you need to remember with a place that you know very well, the location will serve as a clue that will help you to remember. You go through a list of words or concepts needing memorization, and associate each word with one of your locations.


Plastic bottle models (Reference)


For this assignment, we were required to bring 2 smells that bring back both pleasant and unpleasant memories.


To me smell of trading cards brings back pleasant memories as it reminds me of the excitement of opening up new booster packs when I was young. Buying cards and collecting them were my childhood hobbies and hence the smell of these cards bring me back in time to the excitement I had when I was young.


The smell of the groundsheet brings me back unpleasant memories. It has a very distinct “Plasticky” smell and the smell reminds me of my time back in the National Service. The smell of the groundsheet becomes a reminder for me to move out field and to sleep in the forest. It also reminds me of a time when I had to build a shelter with my team mate but we were unable to get it set up properly hence when it rained in the middle of the night, we were drenched and cold and were unable to sleep.


Final Model


The model is first viewed from the bottom portion of the model. As the saying goes, “bad memories are easier to remember”, therefore I wanted to create something that is striking compared to the other parts of the model. The main idea that I was trying to bring out was the idea of irritation which was the unpleasant memory I had when I smell my groundsheet. To create this, I cut out sharp edges and poked many holes and used the heat gun to make it curl to an organic shape. Hence when viewed, the Aichmophobic edges and Trypophobic holes gives out a sense of irritation, the idea that you do not even want to touch or see it.

The “unpleasant memory” is then connected to a twisted form which was created by twisting and melting 2 different plastic parts together. It acts as a bridge fusing 2 of my smells and memories together. At the other end of the form comes a thin piece of planar plastic which protrudes out from the opening.

The thin planar plastic represents the “pleasant memory”. The “pleasant memory” is represented by the smooth surface and the wavy and curvy form it has. It extends diagonally and when gives the idea of a ‘flowy’ and calming feeling which was what my object reminds me of when I smell it. The length it has represents the nostalgic and lasting memories it belongs in my mind.

The “pleasant memory” then extends and hovers above the “unpleasant memory” creating a sense of void between the 2 elements.



Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. As is true of all other arts, ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction.

Materials used:

Living branches, Grasses, Leaves and Blossoms, ANY MATERIALS

What distinguishes Ikebana from other approaches such as “flower arrangement” is its asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition. For each Ikebana, the artist’s intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece’s colour combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the implied meaning of the arrangement.


Ikebana comprises of 2 main styles, the Moribana and Heika.


Moribana uses a shallow container and a kenzan, a holder with many sharp points into which flowers are inserted. The big feature of moribana is the broad expanse of natural-looking shapes and a mound of beautiful flowers. This creates beautiful volume which can be viewed from three sides.









Heika (also called rikkashoka, or seika) is a basic style of ikebana arrangement that uses a tall vase and highlights vertical lines.  The biggest feature is the emphasis on bringing out the flowers’ natural charms and arranging them in a tasteful and elegant manner.


Different Arrangement Styles for Ikebana:

Another unorthodox style is the Jiyūka (“free style”). It is a free creative design and does not confine the materials to just flowers; every material can be used.

To compose a free style arrangement, there are basic principles of formation and some other important factors to consider. Analysis of the elements of the plant’s form, shape, colour, texture and quantity should be conducted to decide how it should be used.

These decisions will be influenced by such things as desired mass, line, point (focal point) or surface area. The composition or blend of these elements, the sense of proportion, contrasts, rhythm and harmony should be carefully considered.

This style is more closely related to our assignment with the use of free form designs and different materials to create a model.


The use of wires and free form arrangement of wire and leave.

The use of unorthodox forms and shapes.

Ikebana with fruits and vegetables.

Taste & Food

5 Basic Tastes:

Sweet – Sweetness, usually regarded as a pleasurable sensation, is produced by the presence of sugars and a few other substances.

Sourness – is the taste that detects acidity. The mouth-puckering sensation is caused by acids in lemons, yogurt and sourdough bread and other food.

Saltiness – Our brains are programmed so that a little salt tastes good, and a lot tastes bad.

Bitter – Bitterness is the most sensitive of the tastes, and many perceive it as unpleasant, sharp, or disagreeable. Bitterness is a distinctive bad taste accompanied by a reflexive “yuck” expression on the face.

Unami – Umami is an appetitive taste. It’s best described as “savory”—a taste rich in flavor released by cooking, curing or aging.


How we taste:

The idea that the different parts of our tongue taste differently is a common misconception.

Food produces Chemicals –> Taste Buds containing sensory cells –>Nerve –> Brain

Airborne odors –> Cilia in the nose –> Receptor cells –> Nerve –> Brain

Sight and Taste:

Taste as a sense is made up of sight, smell, touch and resulting taste. What we see will directly affect how we taste. For instance, when a moldy bread is placed in front, our brain already analyse the taste or the food and made its mind up that the moldy bread is disgusting.


The appearance of the food is also important when we want to make food taste good. Below are ways we can make our food look more appealing (FOOD PRESENTATION) and appetizing and this is similar to our final model where we have to create the different sensory aspects with the use of food and other materials. Besides, in food presentation, we can see different 3D design elements like the trios of Dominant, Subdominant & Subordinate.


Garnish – Usually consisting of an edible component, garnishes brighten the plate, give a clue to the flavor of the meal, complement the taste of the dish or fill empty space on the plate.

Using right colours – Colour is often the first element noticed in the appearance of a food product. Humans begin to associate certain colors with various types of foods from birth, and equate these colors to certain tastes and flavors throughout life. For example we associate apple as sweet because it is red. Imagine we have a blue apple.

Plating – The presentation of the plating makes an impression, even a promise, with the viewer. If the foodie is intrigued by the food, the artistic plating has done its job. If it looks good, you’re gonna wanna have it.The design in plating makes the experience of food more than just eating and enjoying, but further into an expression of craftsmanship and art.


Similar to the previous assignment, we also had to pick a random season from the Pandora box and for this assignment, the season that I received was SPRING.

According to, SPRING is the season after winter and before summer. Days become longer and weather gets warmer in the temperate zone because the Earth tilts towards the Sun. In many parts of the world plants grow and flowers bloom. Often people with hay fever suffer more, because of the allergens. Many animals have their breeding seasons in spring. In many parts of the world it rains for hours. This helps the plants grow and the flowers bloom.

Colours play a huge role in terms of the appearance of our final model hence the colours that represent SPRING are important for us to take note.

Colours of SPRING – Distinct yellow undertones symbolize the new growth that is visible everywhere in grass, trees and plants. With maturity, Spring’s foliage yields its yellow-tinged spring green colour and gives way to the cool blue undertones of Summer. Spring’s colours are as daring as the first crocus that pushes its way through the frost-covered ground. Even the neutrals of Spring, like camel and champagne, have a certain zest! Spring is a time of vigoro and growth, and the colours of Spring reflect this. From:



Before forming our final FooKebana (Food + Ikebana), we were required to come up with 3 sketch models using a sphere, a cone and a cylinder that has similar elements to that of Ikebana.

Checklist for 3D models:

  1. Each model must consist of a sphere, cone and cylinder.
  2. The Dominant(D), Subdominant(SD) and Subordinate(SO) should stay consistent from all angles.
  3. The model should be interesting looking while taking into account the proportion of the object and model itself.
  4. Create a balance (Dependent, Precarious, Independent) of directional forces from every position.

#1 Sketch Model

Side View
Front View
Top View
  • Dominant – Cone , Subdominant – Sphere , Subordinate – Cylinder
  • Consistent D, SD & SO from all angles.
  • Wedging of Cone and Sphere
  • Piercing of Cylinder into Sphere
  • Axis of each volume going in different direction creating dynamic movement
  • Cone is placed in a precarious position while supporting both sphere and cylinder.
  • Shortlisted for 2D sketch Analysis


  • Cylinder could be pierce through the sphere whereby 1/3 of the cylinder is exposed on other side of the sphere.
  • The placement of the Sphere. The apex of the cone creates dynamism hence by wedging the apex with he sphere, it made the model less dynamic.
  • Perhaps pierce the apex through the Sphere.

#2 Sketch Model

Top View
Back View
Side View
  • Dominant – Cylinder , Subdominant – Cone , Subordinate – Sphere
  • Consistent D, SD & SO from all angles.
  • Axis of each volume going in different directions. Zig-Zag Axis in play.
  • The use of a small Sphere and an exaggerated cylinder creates a form of dynamism in the overall proportion.
  • The use of a small Sphere creates a feel of levitation to the whole model.


  • Make Sphere slightly bigger
  • Wedge in cylinder into cone

#3 Sketch Model 

Front View
Top View
Side View
Side View
  • Dominant – Cylinder , Subdominant – Cone , Subordinate – Sphere
  • Consistent D, SD & SO from all angles.
  • Axis of cone and cylinder going in different directions. The addition of sphere brings out the X, Y and Z element.
  • Changed the inherent proportions of the cylinder by making the diameter of it’s circumference longer than its thickness.
  • Audience should view the model from the top first then view the model from the front. From the top, the model looks overwhelming because of the circumference of the cylinder and the cone as it covers a lot of surface. However when looked at a lower angle there is actually a lot of space hence creating a form of illusion with the use of the void below the cylinder and cone.
  • Shortlisted for 2D sketch Analysis.


  • Make Sphere slightly bigger
  • Wedge in cylinder into cone

2D Sketch Analysis

Analysis for Sketch Model #1
Analysis for Sketch Model #3

Sketch Model 3 to be used for reference for final product.

Final Product

Final Product (Side View)
Final Product (Front View)
Close up (Strawberries + Candle + White Base)
Close up (Tree Branch + Cotton Candy Balls)
Bottom up view of Tree Branch

Materials used for final product: 

  • Branch
  • Cotton Candy
  • Candle
  • White Bathtub (BASE)
  • Strawberries

Colour Concept:

  • Pink
  • White
  • Red
  • Light Brown

Dominant: Tree Branch

Sub-Dominant: Candle, Strawberries, White Base

Sub-Ordinate: Cotton candy balls

Idea Concept:

When I think of spring the first time that popped up to my mind was Cherry Blossom. Hence my color concept that I chose for this final product comprises of pink, white and red which resembles that of Cherry Blossom.

Spring represents growth, vigor and blossoming, thus I intentionally chose a dynamic looking branch so that it can instantly capture the audience attention and bring out the ideas of spring. The branch is dynamic looking as it extends from a branch from the base to many branches and curls back, making it look interesting.

For me, I feel that Spring encompasses the taste of sweetness as it represents a sweet new beginning and spring break. Therefore, I used foods that are sweet like Strawberries and Cotton candy. I rolled the cotton candy into balls and placed them randomly on the tree branch as it bear resemblance to the cherry blossoms.

The candle symbolizes the warm of Spring and also the longer day time during spring. As the flame burns through the wax, it releases a fragrant floral smell that you will normally smell when flower blossoms during spring.

Analysis of Final Product

Ikebana emphasizes aesthetics in minimalism, therefore I tried to keep my final product as simple looking as possible while making it look interesting and encompasses the ideas of Spring.

Front View (Lines showing the Axis going different directions)

Initially the placement of my branch in line with the base but after that I shifted and tilted it towards the side  and placed my candle diagonally on the other side of the base to make the whole composition look more interesting and dynamic.


  • Lesser strawberries (Too many strawberries made the base looked very messy and overwhelming)
  • Wedge Strawberry with candle (Connection between the objects in the model)
Carving a gap on strawberry
Wedging of strawberry on candle
Minus one strawberry and wedging of strawberry and candle


This assignment is really cool as it allows us to express our creativity and ideas through the arrangement and combination of random objects like food and tree branches. Because it has no limitations and restrictions, it enables us to explore the different means and ways we can use to arrange our objects. It was really cool to see the different interpretation of the seasons everyone was given and the different ways they approach the Ikebana.

However, doing the Ikebana was really frustrating because I was unable to achieve what I initially planned out to do for my Ikebana. My idea for my Ikebana was rather different from what I originally planned because I was unable to source for the materials I wanted. Hence I had to consistently improvise to make my model look as close to what I had planned. It was just frustrating because no matter how hard you try, you are still unable to get what you want…

But overall, it was really enjoyable 😀

Pandora Box: Counter Balance

Counter balance

According to the dictionary, a counterbalance is a weight that balances another weight or a force or influence that offsets or checks an opposing force.

Checklist for 3D models:

  • Models should achieve the idea of counter-balance
  • All boxes must be able to be seen when rotated around.
  • Model should comprise of a dominant (D), sub-dominant (SD) and sub-ordinate (SO) and they should stay consistent on different sides.
  • The model should not be flat looking. Try to make model look interesting with varying boxes. 360-degree interesting.

During week 1, I only focused on getting the counter balance idea and making sure the 3 boxes are visible from different sides. However, I did not take note with the dominant, sub-dominant and subordinate concept.

Failed compositions from week 2:

Model 1:

Model 1 failed because I was unable to achieve the groups of D, SD and SO consistently from different view.

Model 2:

Same goes for model 2, I was unable to achieve the groups of D, SD and SO consistently.

Model 3:

For model 3, it looks too flat and was not interesting looking.

Although I tried applying the counter balance idea into the models, all 3 models looked like one another and was not visually interesting.


Week 3

For week 3, I tried to play with more different combinations to achieve the idea of counter balance while trying my best to apply the groups of D, SD and SO into my models. I placed my boxes without taping them together first and tried to play with counter balancing the acting forces or the weights so that I could get as close as possible to the idea of counter balance.

Red – Dominant

Green – Sub Dominant

Blue – Sub Ordinate

Sketch Model 1:

Bottom View
Side View
Front View
  • For the first model, the D is placed in a way that it is tipping towards the right as seen from the side view. To counter against the force and achieve balance, the SO is placed on the top left.
  • All sides have consistent D, SD and SO.
  • Length and width of D and SD too similar from front view.
  • SD and SO similar in size when looking from side view.
  • Have the X,Y and Z plane elements.
  • Shortlisted for 2D analysis.

Sketch Model 2:

Side View
Front View


Top View
  • For model 2, the SO is tipping over towards the left as seen from the side view. The SD is placed in such a way to counter against the force so that it achieves a balance.
  • Visual hierarchy of D, SD and SO not consistent from all sides.
  • Length of SO is too long hence making it hard to differentiate between SD and SO from the side.
  •  Unable to differentiate the D, SD and SO from the top view.
  • I tried to make the model more interesting by making the SO as thin as possible hence when you look from the front, it also presents the idea of levitation.

Sketch Model 3:

Top view
Front View
Side View
  • For model 3, the D tipping over to the right side as seen from the front view. The SD is placed on the left to counter against the force so that it achieves balance.
  • Unable to get the consistent D, SD and SO.
  • SD became the SO from the side view.
  • SO became the D from the top view.
  • I had the toughest time thinking for model 3 on how to make it different from the other 2 and make it interesting. I tried to play with length by using longer boxes but the result was satisfying.

After considering all 3 different sketch models, I decided to use sketch model 1 as my final model.

2D Sketch Analysis

Key points to note:

  • Decrease size of SO to 80% of original size or decrease size of SO so that it can be differentiated from SD
  • Shifted SO’s position to create a more dynamic composition
  • Increase width of SD to differentiate from SO
  • Decrease size of SD so that height of SO is 2/3 to the width of D from front view.
  • Moved and extended SD to balance D after shifting position of SO
  • Materials for D = Lighter wood + Light colour
  • Materials for SD = Harder and tougher wood + Dark Colour
  • Materials for SO = Light and transparent (Plastic/ Transparency/ Acrylic)
  • Not using techniques like wedging or piercing because these techniques will make the model firm which I do not want. In order to present the idea of counter balance, I want my model to present some form of unbalance and unsteadiness.
  • The use of contrasting volumes is needed to create the idea of counter balance as it requires the use of small and big volumes of different mass.
  • Adding weights to SO to make it interactive.



For dominant, I am going to be using lighter wood to create a box that is hollow. The colour of the box is light brown so that I can divert the attention to D as it is where the central of the idea of counter balance occurs at.


For SD, I am going to be using hard wood that is dark in colour. Dark colour conveys the idea of firmness and stability which is what I wanted for the SD which serves as a base for the D and SO. Besides I chose dark colour so that I can shift the attention towards the D and SO which are the main focus of the model.


For my SO, I decided to use a light and transparent material. I wanted it to be transparent to convey the idea of lightness. Besides, it helps to create a perceived illusion of making the SO look transparent and dispensable when weights are not added in, and in contrast makes the SO become important when weights are added in as the attention shift to the SO. I got the idea of using transparent materials from a Japanese architecture called Kazuyo Sejima.

Kazuyo Sejima is a Japanese Architecture whose style is very simple but able to create a very powerful . She emphasizes on the idea of immateriality as seen from her work in the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. The use of glass and the colour white makes the whole building feels simple and weightless at the same time. The use of transparent vs opaque materials can create different kinds of idea in our models. Hence, I try to use the idea of transparent vs opaque to create different perception of weight and mass on my model. Since my word is counterbalance, mass and weight is important to the design of the model.

Final model

Side View (Without weights)


Front View (Without weights)
Top view (Without weights)

When weights are not added into the subordinate, the model becomes unsteady and causes the dominant to tilt to one side. Therefore, weights are added to counterbalance against the force that is acting on the dominant which causes it to tilt.

Side View (With weights)
Front View (With weights)
Top View (With weights)

When weights are added, the model achieves a balance.

Future Applications

Cantilever house


After doing this project, I was able to learn more on different design principles and how we can apply them in real life. As i slowly work on my project, I found that all these design principles like, rule of thirds, visual hierarchy, mass and voids and so on are everywhere around us and we can always relate to our surroundings. I also learnt the idea of materiality vs immateriality, the idea of using different materials and textures to create different perceptions and ideas. This is interesting as it opens up our simple mind and allow us to observe things like we never had.

The project also help me to create an eye when looking at things and also develop a critical mind when analyzing objects. It challenges my mind to think of the different methods and ways to make my model and on how to improve them. Besides, I learnt that craftsmanship and patience are both important for 3D and both of which I do not have and I need to work on them.

Foundation 3D (2D analysis)

Coconut Water is good for Health

One interesting 3D object I brought to share with the class was a Coconut Water bottle.

The first thing that caught my eyes was it unique shape, which is different than the typical packet drinks we find. Instead of being flat and rectangular, the edges are rounded thus making it different and provides a better grip.

Next is the colour of the bottle as it draws the most attention because of the bright colours on the bottle. The 2 main colours on the bottle are white and bright green. The colour Green is the colour of life, it brings out the idea of nature, energy and freshness. Hence it compliments to the benefits and properties of coconut water which is a source of hydration and provides essential nutrients. Besides, green also supports the idea of the product being all natural, Non-GMO. The white colour helps to reinforce the colour green making it more eye-catching.

The object is not entirely symmetrical. The object is symmetrical when viewed from the front and back but asymmetrical when viewed from certain angles from the side, top and bottom. It is asymmetrical from the top and the side because of the placement of the bottle cap which is placed closer to the front of the bottle. By placing the bottle cap slightly out of placed instead of the middle makes it even more 3 dimensionally appealing.

The proportion of the height of the bottle cap is approximately 1/7 to that of the bottle. In comparison with the size of bottle, the cap is relative small while the bottle is large. The pairing of contrasting volume of the cap and the bottle also makes the bottle looks more visually interesting. Besides, smaller cap also makes it easier for people to drink the coconut water.

That should be it, I hope!! 🙂 Drink more coconut water, its good for your health.