Gaia Final Model – Flying Soba

“Flying Soba”

Why Soba you ask?

Soba is commonly associated with summer in Japan. Eating cold noodles in a hot, sunny day, who would not want that?

So why did I choose Soba when my theme was winter?

Winter in Japan falls from December to February with many festivals happening during the winter season. After some research, I found an interesting Japanese custom where they eat Toshikoshi soba noodles on New Year’s Eve. This custom derives from the belief that the thin, long noodles symbolises a long and healthy life.

Why “Flying” Soba?

Why not?

I was inspired by the recent trend of flying noodles.

After Project 1, I thought that I was overly ambitious in trying to create a dropping marble effect which proved my demise. However, I think if I am not ambitious and do not attempt to step out of my comfort zone, then I will never learn. Hence, I decided to take on the challenge but also trying not to repeat mistakes from Project 1.


I wanted to challenge myself to create the model entirely out of food. This proved to be quite a feat as most food does not resemble a cone, cylinder or a sphere. Hence, I selected my ingredients carefully and moulded this ingredients into the shapes required.

Dominant Cylinder – Soba noodles

There were plenty of videos on YouTube showing how to create flying noodles. Unfortunately, there were no videos showing how to make “slanted” flying noodles. So, I attempted this, without knowing whether it would be successful. During my experimentation, I managed to keep the noodles floating.

That was me, when the model stood on its own

I wrapped the soba noodles around the support to resemble the shape of a cylinder. In order to keep the structure standing, I had to use a clear thick straw which was poked into a potato, that acts as a sturdy base.

For the noodles, I used the dry soba noodles. I boiled the noodles and proceeded to leave the cooked soba in ice water to stop the cooking process.


Sub-dominant Cone – Ebi tempura

I thought an ebi (prawn) tempura resembled a cone. In order to ensure that the prawn remains straight instead of curling, while frying the ebi, I poked a satay stick through the prawn. Below was the tedious steps I took in order to make the ebi.

Subordinate Sphere – Quail Egg

To ensure that the egg is a subordinate, I used a quail egg instead of a normal egg. Usually quail eggs are in an oval shape. In order to shape it into a sphere, I wrapped the egg in cling wrap and moulded it into a spherical shape.

Initially, I wanted to create the soft runny egg yolk like those Japanese eggs you can find in ramen. However, I realised that in order to attach the egg to the model, I would have to poke a toothpick into the egg. Thus I did not see a point in doing so, since I would need to poke through the runny yolk.

Sub-dominant Something else – Wooden Chopsticks

Since I was creating flying soba, I thought the addition of the wooden chopsticks will give it a nice touch as now the chopsticks also appears to be floating in the air. I chose a wooden chopsticks to blend it together with the branch and acts as an extension of the branch. However, I think I could have made this more apparent by painting the wooden chopsticks the same colour as the branch.

Dominant Branch – Upright Branch

The flying soba created a vertical extension. I chose to utilize the upright Ikebana style and use an even longer branch to challenge the verticality of the flying soba. The height of the branch was around 2.5 times higher than the flying soba.

To suit the idea of winter, I chose a barren branch with no leaves. I added the cotton balls on the branch to represent the snow in winter. 

2D Sketch Analysis of Final Model


I am super glad that my model manage to stand. To be completely honest, I thought Murphy’s Law would strike me, and my model would topple during the presentation. I think I was (still am) traumatised by what happened in Project 1. Learning from my mistake, I secured it properly. And, Yay it worked! All in all, it was an enjoyable experience being a chef and a florist!

Links to previous post

Research –

2D Sketch Models –

Gaia 2 Sketch Models – 2D Sketch Analysis

PS. One more final post to come

1st Sketch Model

For this sketch model, I decided to challenge myself by using the sphere as my dominant. My sub-dominant being my cone and subordinate being my cylinder. I pierced the subordinate (cylinder) through my dominant at an angle. After which, I placed my sub-dominant at another angle facing away from the subordinate.

2nd Sketch Model

For the second sketch model, I used a cylinder as my dominant with the cone as a sub-dominant and sphere as a subordinate. I wedged the dominant (cylinder) into the subordinate (sphere). I think I could have made the subordinate even smaller to differentiate it against the subdominant. Nonetheless, I decided to work with this sketch model for my final model.

Links to previous post

Research –

Gaia Research – Ikebana, Taste/Food, Seasons

PS. More posts to come.

Ikebana Research

Ikebana means flower kept alive. The flower arrangement in Ikebana can be a lot more complex than the Western way of arranging flowers. Ikebana dates back to 7th century when floral offerings were made at altars to the spirits of the dead. Later they were placed in the tokonoma alcove of a home. By the middle of the 15th century, Ikebana achieved the status of an art form independent of its religious origin.

Ikebana is a process of creating a flower arrangement in silence, allowing the designer to meditate on the beauty of nature and gain inner peace. Space is also an integral part of Ikebana, where space is not meant to be filled, but created and preserved through the arrangements. This ties into other principles of Ikebana including minimalism, shape and line, form, humanity, aesthetics, and balance.

Below are examples of 2 types of Moribana styles, upright and slanting.

I just have to say, the minimalism is just on point. Personally, I prefer the slanting style because it is completely different from any other flower arrangement styles you see. As much as I love flowers, I feel that some Western flower arrangements are just overloaded with flowers. Ikebana has a perfect balance between the flower pot, branches and flowers. It just exudes it’s own gracefulness and minimalism in each arrangement.

Taste/Food Research

I decided to explore some Japanese food since my overall concept that I was going for was Japanese.

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, some of the food that comes into mind are: sushi, curry, ramen, tempura, takoyaki, mochi, sashimi, seafood, soba, etc.

Warning: Photos below might make you hungry. You have been warned.

In a lot of this Japanese food, you often see the use of soy sauce which adds a salty flavour to each dish. For example, dipping sushi into soy sauce or seasoning for ramen. Soy sauce is an important part of the Japanese cuisine.

Also, Japan is known for its green tea. They have created countless renditions of green tea such as, matcha ice cream, matcha coffee, matcha mochi and many more. Green tea is also usually served before or after a meal in Japanese culture.

Japanese Winter cuisine

Some food that Japanese eat during winter are oden, yosenabe, ramen and sweet potato. Because of the cold season, the Japanese tend to prefer hot, soupy dishes and avoid cold dishes. I believe this is probably to warm them up. During winter, some seasonal fruits that also becomes popular are apples and citrus fruits (yuzu, oranges).


In yosenabe, you see a lot of different ingredient in one bowl. To me, I feel like the dominant could be the prawns because of its bright colour and size. Another possible dominant could be the vegetables. The other ingredients could be the sub-dominant. The subordinate could be that pink ingredient.



The dominant in this udon would have to be the noodles. The sub-dominant being the brown sauce and subordinate is the green onion sprinkled on top.

Season Mind-map