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Christian Paul Student No: 376591 Semester 1/2012 Group 9


Waterfalls – A mass of motion

So a waterfall is quite a few different processes rolled up into one little (monumental and colossal) motion. There are all kinds of things to think about from the erosion of soft rocks and soil that lead to a waterfall being formed, to the motion of water flowing over the edge, free-falling falling in random yet perfectly explainable streams, erosion again at the bottom where the water churns, the respray that occurs. Not to mention the exquisite beauty and awe striking appearance of these natural wonders.

The Beginnings of a Thought

Waterfalls - Processes Just two of the sub-processes processes involved in a waterfall. Formation (left) and motion (below below and left) left

Formation of a waterfall through erosion

Close up of bottom of waterfall, water making initial contact with surface Sketch of the motion of water over a waterfall

Waterfalls - Panellising

Some ideas for panelling: Top Left: Manipulating water droplets Top Centre: A tessellation using a shape inspired by the idea of water starting as a single form but branching out. Top Right: Streams


Righ t: A tessellation using stream like elongated drops packed closely together

The Whole Waterfall

The initial idea of joining together the three aspects of the waterfall idea; the calm, the freefall and the chaos at the bottom

This design is compelled by the entire process that occurs within a waterfall, from start to finish. I love the changes in processes and moods within a waterfall, how suddenly the water changes speed and direction; how the water disperses randomly one moment and flows together the next.

The Calm

The Freefall

The Chaos

The Churning Torrent

Trying to capture how the water moves, moves flows and changes direction at the bottom of a waterfall.

This was harder to try and physically express, as the water at the bottom of any waterfall is particularly chaotic and random, but more importantly, is more like thousands of tiny droplets rather than continuous streams. It is difficult to recreate the completely com frenzied patterns that occur. While trying to imitate the overarching shape of the raging torrent, the “streams� tend to inspire me to follow a slightly different path....

Stalagmites and Stalactites

Not strictly a waterfall, this idea was drawn from the “streams� in the previous design idea. Upon seeing them, I noticed how remarkably alike they are.

These forms are fascinating. In shape, they are blatantly simple, nothing more than picks or spikes really. But their beauty lies in HOW they are formed, and also in the hostility they can display through their form. I think I’ve finally found the “chaos” I’ve been looking for...

Putting them all together After these three possibilities, instead of choosing one and going with it, I decided to somewhat combine them. The first design The Whole Waterfall was a way of expressing the three key “moods� of a waterfall; the calm, the freefall, the chaos. I liked the principle of this design, but found it difficult to actually convey those moods. The Chaos section was proving the most difficult.

This third design, Stalagmites and Stalactites, was on its own quite formless and also quite detached from the original process of waterfalls, but the physical shape did one important thing: gave me an idea on how to convey the message of chaos the way I wanted to.

The second design, The Churning Torrent did not offer much in the way of appear (neither aesthetic nor ideally), however it did bring on the inspiration for the third design

Combining the Ideas

The Calm

The Freefall

The Chaos

The Calm Originally this section was a solid piece, but I hollowed it out after to allow light to pass through. The shape of this “section� of the overall design sign is aimed to convey the calm nature of the water before it hurtles over ov the edge of a waterfall. I picked this shape because it seems to fit two particular ideas: It is fluid and smooth, and also not static or uniform. Water flows in a distinct mathematical mathematic way, but to the normal eye it is entirely random. However, it is not in many directions or all over the place like at the bottom of a waterfall.

The Freefall This section was easy to make, just by cutting slits in a rectangular piece of clay, then folding it around to make a sort of cylinder. After, buy pushing the top and bottom together gently, I was able to make small openings all around the piece. This section is aimed at representing the free falling water of a waterfall once it has gone over the edge, but before it makes contact at the bottom. Simply put, the idea behind this shape is to demonstrate how the water separates into an infinitesimal amount of streams, which spread out in multiple directions, but ultimately all those different streams finish again in the same place.

The Chaos This was the trickiest part to bring from conception to physicality. While it’s all very good saying something is chaotic, it’s quite another thing to model it. This shape was inspired by the Stalagmites and Stalactites design shown earlier. By cutting slices and sections out of a rectangular piece of clay, I was able to make this section relatively easily. Rather than perfectly and methodically mould each spike into a conical shape, I chose to do it more crudely and quickly just using fingers. I did this specifically with the aim to replicate the random and slightly imperfect nature of stalagmites, which tend to freeze water droplets as they roll down each spike, thus creating odd and irregular surfaces.

Design Journal  

Design journal for the design and eventual construction of a lantern