間 MA’s Obscure City of Voids-Modular Structure

♣ Research on Modular Structure ♣


Modular design, or ‘modularity in design’, is a design approach that creates things out of independent parts with standard interfaces, the smaller parts called modules or skids, that can be independently created and then used in different systems. This allows designs to be customized, upgraded, repaired and for parts to be reused. A well-known example of module design is LEGO plastic construction toys, the blocks are designed to fit together.



  • Creating a culture of customization
  • Reuse & sustainability
  • Incremental upgrades
  • Shorter construction time
  • Financial savings
  • Environmentally friendly

    In Nature



In nature, modularity refers to the construction of a cellular organism by joining together standardized units to form larger compositions, for example, the hexagonal cells in a honeycomb.

In Biology

 MARS (Modular Artificial Reef Structure)
MARS Modular Artificial Reef Structure by Alex Goad

In an effort to help address the decline of coral reefs around the world, Australian designer Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab has created MARS, a LEGO-inspired modular system for building artificial reefs.

In Product

Modular products are products composed of interchangeable components, that may allow customers to customize, repair and reuse products. By being able to add on to and customize products, consumers now have the ability to better control purchasing decisions and personalize every aspect of their lives. The following are some examples of modular products.

LEGO furniture

Sectional Couch

Another simple example is a sectional couch, which composed of multiple small, individual units. A sectional couch can be rearranged in a variety of ways, depending on the space and user’s preferences.


Modular Shelving


In Architecture

The modular industry includes two distinct types of modular buildings, temporary or relocatable modular and permanent modular.

Temporary modular buildings are structures that meet interim needs and come in all shapes and sizes. they are capable of being relocated and repurposed. For example, Job site trailers, temporary classrooms, and temporary offices.


Permanent modular construction is an alternative building method to conventional onsite construction.

Housing Complex in Slovenia

Related image

This stunning seaside structure is a series of honeycomb modular apartments with its dynamic array of brightly shaded cells.  The complex was constructed as a low-income residence for young families and couples in the industrial district of Izola on the Slovenian coast. It makes smart use of solar shading and natural ventilation to regulate its interiors all year-round.


  • https://simplicable.com/new/modular-design
  • http://www.shieldcasework.com/the-benefits-of-modular-products/
  • http://www.archiproducts.com/en/products/lasvit/led-handmade-blown-glass-chandelier-alice_157488
  • https://triumphmodular.com/modular-buildings/


♣ Sound Analysis ♣


Individual Mood Box


♣ Group Mood Box ♣

♣ 間 MA’s Obscure City of Voids ♣



Mnemosyne’s Scent-Plastic

Mnemosyne’s Scent – Plastic

Recycled Plastic Bottle Sculpture

“Plasticity” Sculptures by Aurora Robson7965805042_261694db87_z



Miwa Koizumi


Here is my plastic model that represents both pleasant and unpleasant scents.


Mnemosyne’s Scent-Planar

Mnemosyne’s Scent – Planar


-Greek goddess of memory, who was considered one of the most powerful goddesses of her time.

A short film to accompany Daphne Guinness’s perfume beautifully explored the visuals of scent.

“I wanted to explore how I perceive  scent visually,” says Daphne, 

“scent is directly related to memory”

“It is something of a sensory path, evoking snapshots of one’s past as you smell it.  It has the power to transport you from the room in which you stand, to a place buried within the depths of your memory.  I wanted to illustrate that scent can take you on a journey.”



Everyone has a unique “smell print”. There are no two people smell things the same way because each of us has scent blind spots, which means specific odours we can’t pick up on. For example, that room spray smells like violets to you but like herbs to your friend. You can both be right. Good smells make people happier. Smelling a fragrance you perceive as pleasant has a positive effect on the mind. SmellLike taste, smell is a chemical sense. Odorants enter the nasal cavity to stimulate 5 millionreceptors to sense smel...

Our scent cells are renewed every 28 days, so every four weeks we can get a new “nose”, but our sense of smell weakens with ageing. A woman’s nose is hypersensitive when she is pregnant, so pregnant women’s weird food cravings may be caused by their heightened sense of smell.


Smell and MemoriesSmell and Memories The brain region forsmell (in red) is closely connected with thebrain regions involved with memory (li...Smells get routed through our olfactory bulb, which is the smell-analyzing region in our brain, and it is closely connected to our amygdala and hippocampus, brain regions that handle the memory and emotion.


Smell Memory Kit (SMK)


The SMK has been invented and developed by the famous smell scientist Sissel Tolaas (SSSL) in close cooperation with SUPERSENSE. Sissel Tolaas started her work in the 1990s, and she has spent seven years collecting 7,000 scents around the world. Now, her work is helping people make memories. The concept behind the SMK:

WE THINK it is time to start creating the tools for the most effective and most emotional snapshots ever. Capturing and preserving your dearest and most important memories in a much deeper way than ever before, using your sense of smell.”


The newly opened Smell Memory Lab at the SUPERSENSE palace in Vienna.


  • http://awhitecarousel.com/2011/mnemosyne-greek-goddess-of-memory/
  • https://www.slideshare.net/tinamedley/mod-15-the-other-senses
  • https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/06/smells-trigger-memories.aspx
  • http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-smell-memory-kit-that-can-transport-you-back-to-life-changing-moments-sissel-tolaas-a7449471.html


Planar Composition

2D Planes (fit in a box):

  • Straight axis
  • Bent axis
  • Curved axis
  • Complex axis

3D Planes (does not fit in a box):

  • Curved
  • Broken
  • Twisted
  • Grouped

Here are the 2 sketch models that I created by using 2D and 3D planes.

Sketch Model 1:

2D Analysis:

Sketch Model 1.1:

This is the final model after modifying


Sketch Model 2:

2D Analysis:

Sketch Model 2.1:

This is the final model after modifying


Gaia’s Ikebana


Ikebana (生け花, “arranging flowers”) is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō (華道, the “way of flowers”). The history of ikebana dates back to the 6th century when Buddhism reached Japan, the floral offerings were used to worship at Buddhist altars. A tradition over 600 years old, it is still alive and well, and continues to be practised as a cultural Japanese art form in modern days.

Different from Western floral arrangements which put flowers in the centres to make round shapes, and everything well-arranged without any spaces. Ikebana uses empty space and asymmetrical forms, simplicity and graceful lines are the most important keys. In order to create a sense of harmony, the choices of container and space around the arrangement are crucial as well.

Ikebana makes use of natural materials, bringing the beauty of nature indoors, and helping us to calm the soul. Therefore, the practice of ikebana can also be a meditative process by taking the time to carefully look at the materials and focus on the arrangement to express ourselves. The time spent in communication with the leaves, branches and flowers provides a respite from the stressful and busy lives in nowadays. In addition, some of the modern styles of ikebana (avant-garde ikebana) have evolved with using glass, iron and other materials instead of flowers.


There are two main styles of Ikebana: Moribana(piled-up flowers) and Heika(standing flowers)

Moribana-uses a shallow, flat container and a kenzan. There are three common styles which are upright, slanting, and water-reflecting.


Heika-(also called rikkashoka, or seika) is a basic style of Ikebana arrangement that uses a tall vase and highlights vertical lines.


The word I got from the box was SPRING, so I searched online for ideas of spring style Ikebana.

  • https://www.japan-zone.com/culture/ikebana.shtml
  • https://www.ftd.com/blog/design/ikebana
  • http://www.stephencoler.com/ikebana_history_en.htm
  • http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat20/sub129/item2782.html


If you look at your tongue in the mirror, you can see it’s covered in little bumps. And in those bumps are taste buds. When you put something in your mouth, they send a message to your brain to give you information about whether the food is salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami (a meaty, savoury taste).

The sensation of taste can be categorized into five basic tastes:

Sweetness-is a basic taste most commonly perceived when we are eating foods rich in sugars; always regarded as a pleasurable experience.

Sourness-is something with an acidic taste, such as lemon juice, vinegar, green fruit; or someone who is resentful or angry.

Saltiness-is a taste produced primarily by the presence of sodium ions; tastes bitter with an excessive amount.

Bitterness-is the most sensitive of the tastes, such as black coffee, or Chinese herbal medicine; and always be perceived as an unpleasant experience.

Umami– a word from Japanese. It is a pleasant savoury taste and has been described as brothy or meaty.

However, taste is a product of more than just buds on your tongue. It’s a combination of the look, smell, sound, texture as well as the heat or coolness of the food.

Smell and taste are intimately linked, and the smell also provides us with the specific information on the flavour of food. So that is the reason why it is hard to enjoy our meals when we have a cold.

By the way, fat has become our sixth sense of taste. And hot and spicy feelings are not actually a taste, they are pain signals sent by the touch and temperature receptors in the brain.


In addition, I also did research online for dishes that create a taste of spring.

  • https://www.scienceabc.com/humans/how-do-we-taste-things.html
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072592/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste#Basic_tastes



sketch model 1
sketch model 2

sketch model 3


Sketch Model 2
Sketch Model 3





I chose the second sketch model as my final model. At first, I had no idea about the material for the cone. After searching online for spring fruits and veggies, I decided to use banana, strawberry and broccoli to compose a cone shape. And I also wanted to use their scents to show the sweetness and freshness of spring. However, it made the whole model too complex. Less is more, according to the principle of Ikebana which is about minimalism, Cheryl helped me to simplify my model by removing the ‘cone’ part, and placing the asparagus(cylinder) and shuttlecock(cone) at the corner of the chipboard to create a void and put everything in a diagonal arrangement (can be seen from the top view). And the branch also became a part of the model as the dominant.

Here is the final model, it looks much better! Thank you, Cheryl!

  • Dominant: Branch
  • Subdominant: Asparagus & Shuttlecock
  • Subordinate: Bird nest & Yellow flower


White, green, yellow, brown


  • A branch with some tender leaves (broccoli) and a bird nest(dried grass)-birth of new life;
  • Asparagus-Spring vegetable;
  • Shuttlecock- people start playing outside to enjoy the warmer weather as well as the new look that Spring brings;
  • Yellow flower-represent Jasminum Nudiflorum, as a decoration to show the vitality of Spring;
  • Chipboard-use the earth tone base to act as the ground.



Pandora Box-Cantilever

Foundation 3D: Pandora Box-Cantilever

The word I got from the Pandora’s Box was Cantilever. I have searched on Wikipedia about this word: A cantilever is a rigid structural element, such as a beam or a plate, anchored at only one end to a (usually vertical) support from which it is protruding. Cantilevers are widely used in construction, such as in bridges and buildings. After a preliminary understanding of what is cantilever, I composed 2 sketch models on week 2.

  • D: Dominant
  • SD: Sub-dominant
  • SO: Sub-ordinate

3 views of Model 1:

Front view-the sizes of SD&SO are quite similar.

Side view-the widths of D, SD&SO are similar……

Top view-SD cannot be seen; the size of SO is too big.

3 views of Model 2:

Front view-the sizes of SD&SO are similar; the length of SD is longer than 1/2 length of D; the left side of the model is too flat.

Side view-the sizes of SD&SO are similar; the width of SD is longer than 1/2 width of D; everything is centralized.

Top view-SO cannot be seen; D&SD are shifted.

The feedback I got on week 2:

  • Keep rotating 3D sketch model while assembling it, make sure D, SD & SO can be seen from all angles;
  • Avoid similar sizes of SD&SO, and SD&SO won’t be shifted from different views;
  • No flushing, avoid flat looking of the 3D sketch model

With these points in mind, I tried to improve the two models above and explore some more different composition of Cantilever on week 3.

3D Sketch Model 1:

2D Analysis of Model 1:


3D Sketch Model 2:

2D Analysis of Model 2:


3D Sketch Model 3:

2D Analysis of Model 3: 

3D Sketch Model 4:


2D Analysis of Model 4:

The feedback I got on week 4:

  • Avoid putting everything along the central axis, try to make the model more interesting
  • Think about the materials that I am going to use

I decided to choose Model 4 as my final model.

Final sketch model:

Final adjustment:

  • The thickness of SD&SO are quite similar, SO should be cut in half. And after that, I decided to place the SO along the principal axis of SD.
  • Shift SO&SD to the left 1/3 point of the length of D.


  • Dominant: Chipboard
  • Sub-dominant: PVC sheet
  • Sub-ordinate: Rectangular ring

Considering the future application of this model, I decided to use chipboard(D), glass(SD), and metal wire(SO) as my materials at first. However, during the final model making process, I wanted the SD to be double layers, so I used transparent PVC sheet to replace the glass as it was in lighter weight and easier to cut.

My idea was inspired by Mash Bar. Mash is one of the smallest bars in Amsterdam, the designer used chipboard all around for the interior to create a cozy and warm atmosphere.


The main materials I can see from the bar’s interior are chipboard, metal, glass, and fabric.



1. Note board with a LED glass clock

The control buttons are placed at the edge of the note board. As the glass board is double layered, the user can put a paper in between and then write notes on the glass board.

2. Table

When you are not using the table, you can lift it up for more space. And now, it becomes a glass note board again…

2D Analysis

2D Analysis of a key chain with a little monkey.

The interesting 3D object I brought for the first 3D lesson was a keychain with a little monkey. From the picture, we can see that the proportion of the length of the chain is about 1:1 to the height of the monkey. The little red monkey is really eye-catching, as it creates a weight down there. For the chain part, it creates a negative balance.

Now, let’s take a close look of the monkey. Here are 3 views of the little monkey.

Front view

Picture shown is the front view of the monkey. We can see that he is in symmetry completely. (except the black spot on its left foot…)

For the colour of the monkey, vibrant red as the main colour which attracts our eyes first is the dominant, and the light yellow of its skin acts as the subdominant. Black is the subordinate, although it is quite less which is only applied for eyes and nose, it can be seen clearly as well from the light colour face. I think it is also a pairing of contrasting colours.

A character with bigger head, shorter and smaller arms and legs is definitely very cute and interesting. Comparing sizes of the head of the monkey with its ears, arms and legs, it shows the pairing of contrasting volumes. And the head of the monkey is almost half the size of its whole body, which makes the proportion of the head to the lower body part is about 1:1.

Side view

Different from other views, the side view of the monkey is asymmetrical. The interesting point of the side view is that its ear, arm and leg are all placed along the principle axis.

Top view

Same as the front view, everything is symmetrical. Ears and nose of the monkey are on the principle axes and, it is obvious to see that the nose and ears create an isosceles triangle over there.


Another interesting point is that all the three different colours of the monkey can be seen at the same time from the views above.