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Readings: Another scale of Architecture & Atmospheres

Another scale of Architecture 

by Junya Ishigami

Observing the scales in nature and in manmade will be able to spot the differences in a pattern like the repetitiveness and form. The current trend of merging design with nature for an organic look has slowly convert the geometry design into more streamlined, flowy designs like Zaha Hadid’s architectures. Mostly when looking into nature, we were intrigued by the form. Looking at scales is a very interesting point of view and does bring the environment into the architecture, forming a closer relationship with the surroundings.


by Peter Zumthor

The atmosphere is an architecture quality that makes me stay in a certain place longer to immerse in the good vibes. However, it is a vague quality that differs from individuals’ emotional sensibilities. To me, music has the effect of being a portable atmosphere zone; good vibes follow the music. In environment space, how do we manipulate people’s emotions, to guide users through an engaging spatial experience?

The secrets to the atmosphere are body architecture, material compatibility, the sound in space, the temperature of a space and surround objects. All these engage with human’s senses to immerse ourselves in the environment and architecture.




Readings: Design Noir & Prototyping Takram

Design Noir 

I feel that art and design can be merged sometimes. Design can be provocative and challenge our perception of the norm, just like art. Critical design is the avant-garde of design.  It pushes the cultural and aesthetics potential and role of electronic products and services to its limit. It stimulates discussion and debate among designers, industry and the public. Design can be philosophical too.

Etoy, a corporation, is a very interesting concept that aims to create a purely digital identity and break out of the narrow art world constraints. It parodies the corporate culture of internet with art exists solely in the form of stocks.  Commodity and art have always been inseparable. In this case, where art has taken the form of a fictitious yet real company, it raises questions on many levels.


Prototyping Takram 

In design methodology, prototyping exist throughout the whole ideation journey. The purpose of creating it is to facilitate a meaningful, productive discussion through experiencing a sense of the product. It is understandable that most of us can be fearful of spending a lot of time on prototyping to realise it’s a dead end due to the wrong hypothesis or other reasons. It can be frustrating but it’s a necessary stage that I slowly learn to embrace it. There are 3 stages of prototyping. Cold mock-up -> technical prototyping-> Hot mock-up. I think most of us are stuck in cold mock up. We should learn more to have skills for technical prototyping and not just focusing on having digital skills.



Reading: Fukasawa Embodiment

Do we really have “collective unconscious” aesthetics taste? I disagree. The design is influenced by trends, cultures, time, environments and one’s memories and experiences. We could have a majority vote on a particular design form but there will always be the minority that goes against the trend. There are many designs out in the market for a reason. Do chairs have to be L-shaped with 4 sticks? Bean bags also make the cut. I think designers challenge the norm and break the archetypes. Some were a success and some flopped.  However, failures do not mean it is a bad embodiment. Maybe the society is not ready for the “evince”?

Reading: The Infra-Ordinary

The Infra-Ordinary


This article points out the little things in life that we have taken for granted or ignore because it exists in our daily cycle and cultural environment.  It challenges our perception and observation. Is everything appears as it seems or informs? How could we better understand the trivial things around us?

By questioning, it brings us deeper and closer to uncover the “true scandal”. “What is scandalous isn’t the pit explosion, it’s working in coal mines.” Although the article started with negative notes, it highlighted the numerous accidents and exclaimed that we only become aware because of these unfortunate events. However, is it really that case? The accidents are mostly man driven. We could potentially be part of the statistics in the media if we are not aware of the danger. This doesn’t mean we are immune to daily things, but we do question them less. The skills to discern and question the seemingly negligible objects or lifestyle habits is useful in understanding human/ consumer behavior.







Week 4: Reflection

Clara and I discuss more on our project from the feedback on our presentation.

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” —Pablo Picasso


  • Solitude connected to serendipity


In The Art of Thought by Graham Wallas, he attempted to define how does the creative process works. There are four stages: Preparation, Incubation, illumination and Verification. For illumination (Serendipity) to happen, there is a period of unconscious processing where thoughts wander and random ideas coalesce. It is done mostly by blocking out external world and letting inner thoughts flow more freely.




  • Different means of walking with tech – mobility vehicle, moving workstation like baby walker, wearable gadget
  • Digital VR maze where it is split up into zones of different entertainment/scenes as user venture in the mobility vehicle.
  • Returning back to childhood as it connected deeply into us.
  • Science center field trip


Unique Take Away from Science Center Field Trip

  • Central area that splits into different zones
  • Retro sci-fi deco and sets, many small activity stations with buttons to press (interesting behavioural patterns as all the kids and also us were compelled to mash the buttons and see what effect they had)
  • Mirror maze – infinity space
  • Fun nostalgia trip for us because we haven’t been for many years, but we also noted that as kids we got very bored of the place because school took us there so often– brings up the question of what kind of installations can you place in a space without novelty wearing off?


Mirror maze

  • Interior configuration can rearrange into different routes after each round; the person navigating will not end up memorizing the route
  • The walls could have different displays– what displays? Scenery? Information?
  • Steppable buttons on the ground for the particular mirror to have special pop up – performance? Info?