Foundation 3D Assignment 3: For Emiko’s Kind

Figure 1

Part 1:

I first experimented using various types of pasta to emulate the images that I found on Pinterest that I found interesting. However, I was not so keen on using pasta as some of my other classmates were already using it and as a result the forms looked rather similar. I wanted to try a different type of module to explore the different possibilities.

I then found an image of a microscopic view of snow crystals, the form of which I thought was very interesting. Hence, I used pumpkin seeds to emulate this form. The result turned out better than expected and I liked the depth and multi-dimensionality of the form.

Figure 2

Part 2: Upon receiving the brief for Part 2, I came across a few images of these spiral metal sculptures by Richard Walker on Pinterest that I had actually saved as inspiration for Assignment 2B. I thought that it would be interesting to incorporate/tweak this shape to fit as an arm band.

Cooling devices were also researched to see which could fit into this spiral shape. Flat panel radiators and circular heat sinks were considered, as well as metal which could be used as a base material. (See Figure 2 for further explanation.)

In terms of the colour scheme, research was done for what colours would fit into 23rd century Bangkok. I was heavily inspired by Thai architecture and traditional garments and ended up selecting red, green and yellow/gold to be the main colours of the arm band.

Figure 3

I sketched out my original idea of the spiral, as well as a circular arm band which would be able to include the heat sink (see figure 3 for more elaboration on sketches).

I decided to settle on the spiral arm-band idea as I preferred that form more and fashioned it to fit a ‘luxury piece’ concept that Emiko, in the setting of the story, might have wanted to buy it when she had been back with her original owner.

I made a mockup using paper and wire as the base, rhinestones, bluetack as the silver beads, and pistachio shells that had a similar build to the pumpkin seeds but were much lighter (please refer to Figure 3 for details).

Figure 4

The final piece consists of aluminium wire as the base, encrusted with rhinestones that would transition to silver beads, that would transition to the pistachio shells at the end. The rhinestones used were only either red, yellow or green as per the colour scheme I had settled on.

How this would work as a cooling device:

  • Flat panel radiator, bent into a bangle around wrist
  • Spiral form that promotes air flow
  • Base made of metal, conducts heat away from body

Difficulties I encountered while creating this was that the base material, aluminium flat wire, was really soft and malleable and it would change its shape with the slightest finger indent. As a result it was difficult for me to maintain or control the shape of the spiral.

Another difficulty was finding out how to incorporate the organic modules (the pistachio shells in this case) without it looking too out of place. To attempt to solve this problem, I created the gradient of smaller items on the base to be gradually transitioning to the next item in terms of size.

Figure 4 depicts the final product. Given more time, I would have tried to find a mould to wrap the metal base around so that the lines of the form would be cleaner. On hindsight, I should have tried to find smaller seeds/shells so that the jump in size from the beads to the shells would not be so obvious and out of place, or at least paint the shells silver to make it look cohesive.




Foundation 3D Assignment 2B – En Pointe

Upon watching the second dance video, the first words that came to mind were ‘tumultuousness’ and ‘chaotic’, due to the intensity of one of the segments in the middle. I then began my research to find sculptures to refer to that would emulate these keywords.

I found an image of this sculpture, the ‘Cyclone Twist’ by Annie Aycock, which I felt accurately portrayed the explosive energy I wanted to express in my own final sculpture.

Hence, I began experimenting with wires, with the intention of adding plastic planes along the sides later.

This is the result of my first trial. The top where the wire is tangled haphazardly is meant to represent the chaos, which then spirals into the  downfall, or exile, of the character in the dance.

This is the result of the second trial, where the spirals are more disorganised.

Upon the trial of using wires as my main material, I realised that the overall result was rather boring in that there was not much to explore in terms of formal expression. I wanted something more challenging.

Going back to the video to see if there were other words I could glean from the performance, I decided to focus on the ‘isolation’ that the main dancer was facing and keep the ‘tumultuousness’, or explosive energy, from my first observation.

I continued researching for inspiration.

This is a hanging stone sculpture by Lee Jae-hyo. I decided on this as my main reference for my final model as I found it interesting how he used many smaller modules to make up the volume of the overall form, as well as the hollow in the middle, which I thought I could use to express the ‘isolation’.

This was another image I found to be quite interesting and so I included it in my references.

To show the ‘explosiveness’, I searched for images that had a gradation of big to small modules/pieces. These are what I found and referred to while making the final model:

My main materials were beads and string. Before executing the actual model, I decided to plan out the grid of strings and how each line of beads should be organised.

Options for gradation of bead sizes
Diagrams for row 1-4 of strings
Diagrams for row 5-8 of strings
Diagrams for row 9 of strings (last row at the back)

After watching the dance, I observed that the whole piece was very organised and not actually as chaotic as I had first thought – even during the energy-intense segments. To translate this organisation into my sculpture, I planned for the string to be a 9×9 grid, keeping a consistency of 11 beads per string (except for parts that would form the hollow).

My intention was to create an irregular-shaped blob as the hollow which would get smaller and smaller from the front row to the row at the back to give the effect of an ‘explosion’.

The first type of string I used was the nylon fishing wire. However, I immediately came upon a few problems.

Firstly, the holes in each bead were too big to support themselves and stay in place when I threaded them through the fishing wire. Hence, to ensure that every bead stays in place, I put a bit of blue tack into each hole and threaded the string through it. For the beads with smaller holes, I simply threaded them through, then attached blue tack at the bottom.

Another problem I encountered was that the nylon string kept curving no matter what I tried to straighten them (soaking in hot water, taping them down over a flat surface, ironing). Only when I added a heavy ball of blue tack at the bottom of each string, would it be weighed down enough to stay straight. However, that would lead to each ball of blue tack sticking to each other which would cause even more problems.

My rationale for using the nylon string in the first place was because it was transparent and would therefore give the illusion that the beads were ‘floating’, but due to the many problems I had with it, I decided to switch to pale beige thread instead, which I felt also served this purpose and did not have any of the problems the nylon string did.

Top view of sculpture

I kept the strings secure by threading one side through the holes at the top so that both sides would have little chance of slipping through the holes and dropping off. I taped down the strings for extra security.

Front view of sculpture with irregular-shaped hollow gradually becoming smaller towards the back
Back view of sculpture with irregular-shaped hollow gradually becoming smaller towards the back

After I had arranged all the beads into the irregular-shaped hollow, I realised that due to the beads not being very densely packed together, as well as the strings in between, the hollow was altogether quite invisible. Hence, I decided to keep the hollow’s shape to a regular circle instead. This would still help me obtain my objective of expressing ‘isolation’.

Front view of sculpture
Back view of sculpture
Left view of sculpture
Right view of sculpture

This is the final model from all 4 angles. While I think I have been successful in expressing the keywords I chose (‘tumultuousness’ and ‘isolation’), improvement could have been made in adding more rows of beads for a more pronounced effect. However, I ran out of time and this was the best I could do. In conclusion, I think the final model suffices with regards to my intentions.


Foundation 3D Assignment 2A – Polyhedron Dreams (Research)

My chosen polyhedron is a tetrahedron.

I had the intention of making the final model hollow inwards and have it appear as though it was collapsing within itself. However, it was a little tough to find exact reference photos of how I imagined the planes and inner surfaces of the model should look. Below are some reference photos I sourced from Pinterest to help me envision how to marry the planes and lines, even if the models themselves were not necessarily “hollowing” inwards.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5

Referring mostly to the architectural model by Suo Fujimoto (Figure 4), I decided to proceed with incorporating some of his arrangement techniques into my own final model.



Foundation 3D Assignment 2A – Polyhedron Dreams (Development)

With my reference photos and array of materials at the ready, I began experimenting to see which would fit my final model best.

My first prototype consisted of thin and flimsy wire, which was difficult to control and shape precisely into the form that I envisioned. I had to use masking tape to hold the wire in the position I wanted. Hence, I moved on to try a thicker wire.

The thicker wire was more sturdy and gave me the cleaner lines I desired, but was not wieldy enough. As I intended to use thread in amounts dense enough to form the planes in my model, I used the same type of thread to temporarily hold the wire in position. This also proved mostly ineffective as the thread was not strong enough. Furthermore, I realised that the use of thread to form planes was an extremely inefficient use of time and effort, and that it was difficult to control as well.

After that, I reverted back to using sticks as they gave me the clean lines I envisioned for my final model. Instead of using chopsticks as I did for my first tetrahedron model, I used skewers instead as I felt that thinner sticks could better give the impression of flimsiness which would add to my concept of the final model hollowing inwards. While the material fit my requirements, I still thought that the model was too small to properly show enough details to have an impactful impression of “caving in”.

Hence, I made another prototype that was twice the size of the original model. As this was only a prototype, I used tape to temporarily hold the lines together. For the inner lines, I used the same material (skewers) as the outer form as opposed to a different material like thread or wires because I wanted the whole model to look cohesive and for the collapsing parts to not look dissociated from the outer lines.


Finally, I added inner planes made of cardboard. It was the same colour as the model which would tie in with the cohesive look I wanted. Also, adding planes that faced inwards provided a stable surface for the lines to connect to and gave a more realistic impression of “caving inwards”.

I intentionally excluded any planes on the outer surface as I wanted the model to have the hollowed effect from all angles. I felt that if I had put a couple of planes on the outer surfaces, it would obstruct the view of the inside from some of the angles, or look like the hollowed effect was occurring from the underside, which would not make sense structurally.

I also intentionally left some of the lines disconnected to express the absence of form, enhancing the impression that the model is caving in on itself.

As such, I completed my final model after much experimenting with materials and positioning.



Foundation 3D Assignment 2A – Polyhedron Dreams (Final)

This is the final model of the tetrahedron.

This is the final planar model, which I did not choose to be my reference point for my final model as it was too unstable in itself to attempt a shift in form. My main inspiration was for it to be asymmetrical and include both curves and straight lines. I incorporated unconventional shapes to make it look more engaging and dynamic from all angles.

These are photos of my final model, taken from different angles. I feel that I have successfully achieved emulating the hollowed effect from most, if not all, angles.