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Allyson Patterson & Madeleine Eyre Student Numbers: 649269 & 587528 Semester 2/2013 Tutorial 9 Virtual Environments M2: Design

Personal Space: Personal Space is a heteropic space created by the physical and mental perceptions of an environment in which only you can exist. This heteropic space evolves and responds to the body’s movement and environment. Design: spatial and emotional effect Influential Design = Content + Form John Maeda, RISD President

Precedent Studies

Aleksandra Kasuba “Cocoon Dwelling” Whiz-Bang City, East Woodstock, NY 1972 Aleksandra Kasuba’s “Cocoon Dwelling” creates a personal space within a space. Structures within the space push its parameters outwards, thus creating volume from internal pressures. This can relate to the concept of a personal space as that which defines the parameters of a personal space, come from within. Aleksandra states that “the approach was spontaneous throughout”, hence fitting in with the surrounding environment. The structure is also influenced by what it can hold on to in its external environment. The fabric is attached to branches to create abnormalities within its structure. In a practical sense, this space works due to tension in the lyrca creating flat, curved surfaces. These are kept in place by harder, well-defined structures. It is unclear however, what is actually extruding from within, however this could essentially be anything due to the flexibility of the defining material of this space. This can also reflect the way that a personal space is prone to abnormalities depending on the environment, socially or physically. For this object, a smaller environmental space would result in a smaller personal space. This structure presents itself as very bold and yet it is made of a very flexible material creating a contrast between appearance and physical reality. It is unknown whom or what is in this space as it is sheltered from the external views. It creates for itself; its own ambience and those inside only need experience whatever is internal. It is therefore a heterotopia as its existence is defined by the person experiencing the space and may have varying layers of meaning. It may be considered a utopia, given the serene and isolated location that produces a sense of bliss. Yet as this exists in reality, it may not in fact be perceived in this way, as the experience of this space is determined by the viewer.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Cacatua galerita is a large white parrot from Tasmania, Australia, New Guinea and Aru Islands. This crested bird can raise or lower its crested feathers on demand. Primarily used for communication, the Sulphur-crested Cocatoo raises its feathers as a form of defense on other species that invade its personal space. This physical manipulation of its appeared shape will frighten approaching species to protect the bird. The physical manipulation of its “skin” through movement of its feathers to communicate or display the parrot’s personal space is most applicable to our idea of a Second Skin that evolves depending on the physical and mental state of the wearer. Ideally, we could create a collapsible and inflatable profile/ section aspect of our Second Skin.


Second Skin Developments: Design I

Personal Space: Defend Vulerability + Showcase Self Importance of visibility both outward and inward

Rhino Developments:

This Second Skin encapsulates the individual’s personal space and enables them to feel like they have a space that is only for them, but allows them to view the external world through lines of vision, as well as allows the external world to view them. The Extrusions will have clear inflatable platic with internal lighting to showcase the internal personal space. Dora Kelemen

Second Skin Developments: Design II

Shells have influenced my design idea as they provide a shelter for their inhabitant which is an actual part of the organism and which they carry on them at all times for protection, shelter and is also a personal display. The organism can also emerge from the shell when it has been outgrown, My design will incorporate this by enveloping and conceling the body while still being something one can move around in or event partly emerge from.

I have created a dome hand held kite to enclose the body. it forms a shell from which one can emerge to portray perceptions of personal spcae which is circusmtantial. It shows the viewer a concept they are familiar with but do not often put boundaries onto by defiining this soace as a small area around the person. One is especially susceptible to feelings of discomform when a person is close behind therefore the back is completely shut of from the outer world to protect the wearer. limits to personal space are more vague when sight comes into play as depending on what is coming closer feelings of invasion may vary. hence the front of the object is like a net, and woven together to create an airy aura infront of the person which may make people cautious of coming too close.

Prototyping Experimentation I Constructing a rough prototype of the shell model with duct tape and opaque plastic, we experimented how the movement of the body affected the Second Skin’s form in relation to the body. As personal space is dynamic and evolves with the movement of the body, so should our Second Skin. Madeleine tested various body movements, and Allyson photographed and diagrammed how the Second Skin prototype moves. We discovered in our prototype testing that the design was only able to truly inflate with excessive forceful movement of the body. Otherwise it just hung like a cape. The incorporation of section and profile allowed straps to encase the body, but often the inflatable structure would fully envelop the head and shoulders, disabling all vision to the external world for the wearer.

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Experimentation Sketches

These sketches came from ideas of a movable environment to portray personal space. An important issue was structure and so systems similar to bones were looked at and incorporated. The armadillo was also a source of inspiration due to its ability to roll into a ball and create its own personal space. Spines that curl then became a central idea as well as the enclosure of the body which expands outwards like ribs. The support system looked at was using section and profileing to create a sort of scaffold across the shoulders and front of body to which the spine could connect.

Experimentation Sketches An issue in creating our design was a support system for our space. This is one option which instead of going around the neck and shoulders could sit on the waist/hips. The space could then operate using a system similar to a fan, causing fabric, covering metal curves to inflate over the body to create a shell-like environment. Bolts could attach the metal poles to the body by piercing through a thick (plastic) band. The metal poles could then wrap around the bolts to enable movement.

Second Skin: Week 4 Rhino Developments

SUPPORT The support system wil be lazer cut and made of thin wood sheet. It will rest on the shoulders of the wearer and each piece will slot together.


Second Skin: Week 4 Rhino Developments


The spine and rib cage was developped on rhino and attaches to the support on previous page through slots.





Second Skin: Week 4 Rhino Developments


HINGES: these will enable the ribs to move as the person moves.

SLOTS: will keep the model together

Second Skin: Week 4 Rhino Developments




The design represent personal space by giving it a form which relates to the anatomy of the wearer but enlarges it and creates a shell. Its movement shows how flexible this space is and reveals what is within when opening. While the outside it defensive, the inside is sesitive.

Reading Response: Allyson Patterson Thomas Heatherwick TED Talk and ‘Abstraction’ & ‘Reduction’ in Lost in Parameter Space? What would happen if our design ideas sprouted from the seeds of a problem? Through focused inquiry, one seedling may grow into a beautiful, natural, and strong design. English designer Thomas Heatherwick founded the London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio and helped design the Seed Cathedral as the UK pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai using this principle of focused inquiry. Heatherwick was confronted with a problem: with little funding, stand out in the chaos of an expo to represent Britain. Rather than constructing a traditional pavilion that encompassed the entire space given, Heatherwick focused on creating an effect that represented the future integration of nature into cities: an atmosphere of texture. Through trapping 66,000 seeds into acrylic rods, he created an optic to bring light into the focus on the center of the design, allowing the outside environment to be sensed. The effect of an atmosphere of texture allowed the Seed Cathedral to become a precious jewel drawing in the public from the larger open external space. Abstraction is a reduction of the complexity of something as a model containing as little information to describe all properties of an object. Abstraction can take place in shape, material, and detail. We abstracted our material system and material logic through the application of Miralles’ How to Layout a Croissant, and in the reconfiguration of our object into a physical model explored in our Second Skin design sketches. Reduction is the optimal way to transport information without altering the content. Not like abstraction in that it is reducing information, reduction efficiently communicates information without redundancies through optimization of descriptions and processes. While the low-level reduction happens within the CAD system itself, designers are focused on higher-level reduction through Normalization, or eliminating anomalies of redundancies through parametric models, and Refactoring, or cleaning up the model and optimizing descriptions and processes. We used reduction in our measured drawing sets of our material system, and by learning how to use Rhino to digitally model our material systems.

Thomas Heatherwick’s Seed Cathedral

Reading response: Madeleine Eyre Thomas Heatherwick TED Talk and ‘Abstraction’ & ‘Reduction’ in Lost in Parameter Space? Architect, Thomas Heatheriwck has created design effects by examining the reasons for his design and by extracting creative ideas from his brief that has enabled him to reach beyond conventional ideas. As discussed in the lecture, design effects create an environment where the viewer is immersed, and can escape the city such as the cinematography in Leister Square in 1800. Thomas’s architecture of the ‘Seed Pavilion’ enabled viewers to be immersed in a landscape, which was not directly about the pavilion, but about a concept and by using effects. Firstly, his response to the brief that it was for England to represent itself as an expo on the future of cities. By reflecting on this, the concept of the seed being incorporated arose, thus creating a psychological effect as the viewer is then able to see these seeds, which represent future of life in cities. Secondly, he then considers the display of this concept and manages to make the most of the opportunities and limitations of the site. The budget meant that his project became a public space with only a small pavilion, thus making it an accessible space to enjoy. More effective however, was his use of light. His innovative use of optic lenses with the seeds inside made use of all light falling on the pavilion and drawing it inwards to light it from within while also enabling people to actually see the seeds, which had been preserved for the future. A striking display was created, looking like a dandelion about to have its seeds blown away in the wind. The importance of these effects is that although they defy the norm and stand out, are still staying true to the brief and concepts explored within the design. The differences between abstraction and reduction have to do with information displayed of a design and how. Abstractions show as little information as necessary to describe properties of an object ambiguously to avoid impeding on comprehensibility. Thus complexity of a design can also be defined by its simplest description, as only the vital information relevant to construction is needed. It differed from reduction it uses a flexible set of rules to accommodate every occurring case whereas reduction is about finding the optimal way to transport this information. The description is rewritten without altering content to eliminate redundancies and optimize descriptions and processes. This related to the tasks undertaken in module 1 as ideas on how an object both was formed and functioned needed to be understood. The object was firstly shown in its most simply way, abstraction being the method with which an understanding was gained in its most simple form. To show how it worked, reduction methods were used to show more specifically what the object did, why it did and how but in an optimal way.


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