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Virtual Environments (ENVS 10008) Module Four: Reflection - Student Journal Catherine Mei Min Woo 562729 Semester 2/2012 Group 13


Ideation How do forms and contextx (of use and resources) influence each other?

Death

In the exploration of the selected theme in relation to the brief presented [namely the theme of Death in relation to the creation of a wearable lantern], the form and context of which the project is based on greatly influenced each others development, resulting in the selected focus features: curvature, headpiece and shadows.

What is death?

Is death a looming shadow?

Or a process of enlightenment?


Ideation How do forms and contextx (of use and resources) influence each

Death

other?

Natural Process Curvature Death occurs when a living organism/cell permanently terminates the biological functions that sustain the living organism The process whereby biological changes occur after reaching maturity is known as senescence/biological aging Structural rigidity of plants reduce and cause them to appear limp/wilt due to structural changes caused by aging Humans experience the same structural changes to their bone and muscle structure When an organism dies and lose structural control, gravity pulls them towards the earths surface, forcing cantileveing organisms to ‘bend’ downwards

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.2

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2

Figure 2.3

Figure 1.1-1.2: Diagram of a wilting plant and the curvature that is found to exist in the organisms death, which is also seen in Figure 2.1-2.3: whereby the same pattern exists in other organisms eg. Humans.


Ideation How do forms and contextx (of use and resources) influence each

Death

other?

Natural Process Headpiece Inspired by the psychological ties connected to the process of death and the physical curvature of dead/dying organisms Death can be perceived as a looming shadow and unavoidable, hence ominous and threatening The idea of shadows brings about interesting pattern centric possibilities for shadowing of the headpiece

Figure 3.1 Figure 3.1: Illustrates the difference in psychological perception towards the process of death. Both are contrasting as one can be considered a “looming/ominous” event that is physically represented as a shadow whereas it can also be uplifting and bright, like a lantern

Death can also be precieved as the last stage of mortal enlightenment, hence ties into the lantern concept By adapting the curvature to the headpiece, traditional headpieces eg. hats can be reinterpreted into more elaborate designs and patterns for this task

Figure 4.1 Figure 4.1: indicates how the curvature can be reinterpreted as a “looming” or cantelivering structure, which allows the posibilitiy of creating “looming shadows” to tie in with the theme while creating opportunities for pattern implication

Figure 5.1

Figure 5.2

Figure 5.3

Figure 5.1-5.3: Examples of how the curvature can be adapted into the headpiece as inspired from the headpieces as pictured on the left


Ideation How do forms and contextx (of use and resources) influence each

Death

other?

Natural process Headpiece Inspired by the psychological ties connected to the process of death and the physical curvature of dead/dying organisms Furthering the idea of “looming”, the affects of the shadows cast upon by the proposed sketch models successful create the desired outcome

Figure 3.1 Figure 3.1: Sketch models displaying two sketch designs

Furthering the idea of “enlightenment”, integration of LED lights into the design would create interesting results after incorporating patterns By adapting the curvature to the headpiece, traditional headpieces eg. hats can be reinterpreted into more elaborate designs and patterns for this task Figure 4.1 Figure 4.1: indicates how the curvature can be reinterpreted as a “looming” or cantelivering structure, which allows the posibilitiy of creating “looming shadows” to tie in with the theme while creating opportunities for pattern implication

Figure 5.1

Figure 5.2

Figure 5.3

Figure 5.1-5.3: Examples of how the curvature can be adapted into the headpiece as inspired from the headpieces as pictured on the left


Ideation How do forms and contextx (of use and resources) influence each

Death

other?

Natural Process Pattern The curvature of dead/dying organisms is the primary structure that makes up the design by this theme The basic composition of the structure would focus on capturing the curvature of a dead/dying organism The pattern is further derived from dead/ dying organisms through the analysis of decomposition of organic matter Principles of paneling suggest creating seemingly random patterns through a systematic process, may be able to successfully translate the desired pattern onto the design

Figure 1.1

Precedents include decaying organic matter as well as facade mesh/screen patterns found in contemporary architecture in locations such as Pittsburgh

Figure 1.2

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2 Figure 1.1-1.2: Images of existing architectural structures that make use of patterns Figure 2.1-2.3: further examples of decaying organisms and the patterns created

Figure 2.3


Design How do different media support different kinds of design inquiries and refinement?

Death

In the experimentation process of the design, many different variations were created to not only suit the form that was desired but primarily the function of the desired product. The emphasis was generated not only to strike a balance between the potential form and function of the envisioned product, but to ultimately push the boundaries of the design outcome with limited resources, knowledge and material. Questions of suitability of the design in terms of relevance in regards to the brief was taken into consideration to provide a sort of design parameter, ensuring a more focused area of thought.Through experimentation of both forms and shadow play, many different manners of approahing the design were critiqued and refined based on ability to fabricate [due to limited knowledge in software and craftmenship] as well as appropriately answering the brief, which was to create a wearable lantern. The choice of creating a headpiece provided a parameter that spanned the head region of the body, providing a smaller area the work with. To experiment with the design in this region, clay prototypes were used on a wooden model and altered and refined to create the basic form of the design.


Design How do different media support different kinds of design inquiries

Death

and refinement?

Experimentation: Form Form Design 1

The design began from a more floral approach , similar to that of the precedents presented in the Ideation module, but gradually developed into less realistic forms that carried traits of plan components eg. petals that identify with the design focus in terms of form and structure

Design 2


Design How do different media support different kinds of design inquiries

Death

and refinement?

Experimentation: Forms & Shadows Form & Shadows Design 3

Design 4

The prototypes also played with shadows to emphasize the idea of looming & enlightenment is possible with various designs, as well as the projection of light to emphasize physical traits of decomposition

Shadows on various surfaces, with different light source direction and projections


Design How do different media support different kinds of design inquiries

Death

and refinement?

Precidents: Pattern

Existing light shadowing

Decaying leaf shadow

The patterns selected were further derived during the Ideation component of the project, expanding from the theme of Death and outlining the occurrence of decomposition, hence a wide spread yet detailed and seemingly random patterns were selected that occur in nature and how such projections were translated into existing forms such as lamps Physalis alkekengi

Rovi Lau Sem 1 2012


Design How do different media support different kinds of design inquiries

Death

and refinement?

Experimentation: Form Headpiece

Design 1: Sketches and clay model

Final design for the basic form of the structure, notably shaped due to the experimentations prior to it’s final outcome and further refined to create a more stream lined and sophisticated structure that would be further developed into a solid structure as opposed to the initially desired whimsical, bodiless structure.

Design 2: Inspired by previously proposed design, and intergrated into the second design


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Death

The most tedious and tiresome component of the project would be the fabrication module, or more specifically, digitization and optimization of the design. This was particularly difficult due to the lack of familiarity with the software and having to try to understand the parameters and language of which the software is designed to create optimum results. The Rhino software, undoubtably streamlined the process once mastered, proved a challenging learning curve in the face of deadlines and ideas vs the software capability of translating the idea into the software for processing. As mentioned in the lectures weeks 5-11, the readings and lectures emphasize time and time again the significance of such technological development in the changing manner of which design is presented and created. However, such man made devices prove to be a useful tool, not a designer, as the creativity and imagination of which designs are derived are still limited to human ingenuity . Furthermore, being provided with a software sets parameters and limitations that span the design of the software to the designers understanding and ability to use such a software, as experienced repeatedly during the digitization process. Not only are physical traits such as scale and form limited by such software. the material used needs to be taken into consideration as well. The material criteria includes ivory white or black 200gsm card, black 300gsm card or white mount board, hence made a challenging process as the desired outcome was of an organic shape. To create the illusion of such a shape, the Rhino software proved useful in generating panels through triangles to create the illusion of such curvature throughout the structure while remaining to scale and true to the original form.


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible

Death

as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Paper Prototypes Wire mesh prototype

Initial prototypes created after the clay prototypes were completed, attempted to scale and divided for fabrication and translation.

Paper prototype: simplified for panelling


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Digitizaition trials to create basic shape

Rendered model as seen from orthographic views. The models are contrasted with white and black backgrounds respectively for varied emphaiss of curvature and structure under different circumstances.

Death


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Death

Finalized perspectives & nesting

Below is the optimzed nesting layout sent for printing at the Fab Lab The exterior was sent for printing first to ensure the support/exterior dimentions were accurate as advised by Michelle in the Tutorial 9.

After many trial and errors, the perspective of the basic shape of the model was finally digitized, as pictured in the picture on the left. The design was eventually broken down into it’s basic contures and railed in Rhino and resulting in this final outcome. A combination of contouring methods, essentially the hybrid of all 3 methods outlined by the tutorials as well as assistance from tutors, the design was eventually translated, whilst retaining the key features of the design: The idea of death as a ‘looming’ yet ‘enlightening concept, the abiility to cast shadows/ shadow play as well as the physical curvature of dead or dying organisms.

The exterior design was intended to have made use of 2D paneling, as to emphasize on the idea of creating shadows from the interor 3D paneling while retaining the sense of a ‘looming structure’. A simple pyramid 2D paneling was applied onto the surface to produce the image on the left.


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Death

Completed full scale prototype Version one of the exterior of the model completed as seen in the picture on the left. Transportation of a model this scale will be complicated as the only modes of transportation available are public transport and a small car. The solution would be to reduce the scale of the model. With the scale reduced, the number of paneling should also be reduced to make construction easier. As for the cone structures (eg.wings 1 and 2) to make fabrication easier, will be reconstructed into whole cones to prevent odd and uneven joints occurring. The tabs will also be enlarged for the sake of convenience as an increase to about 1cm will not interfere with the path of light, and in-fact could be good for mounting of the LEDs.


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Death

Assembly & Paneling Manual assembly of the respective sections after printing and laser cutting the score and cut lines using the Grasshopper Plug-in in Rhino. UHU glue being the main adhesive as well as cellophane tape. The panelling was also experimented on but the laser printing was rendered unusable due to the material not being strong enough to sustain such detail without collapsing hence was also done manually [measurement and cutting].


Fabrication How do different kinds of fabrication technologies make possible as well as constrain what can be constructed?

Death

Completed model

Completed model as seen in perspective and as seen during the Virtual Environments Lantern Parade in October 2012 (photo credit to Rovi Lau 2012).


Reflection How do representations and their material realisations (or insights) may be mutually dependent?

Death

What are the learning outcomes of this subject and its relevance to your further studies and future?

Theories presented through the lectures and readings such as Ball (2012), Poling (1987), Ching (1990) and Yee (1997) provided separate but interconnected theories and introduced precedents that exist readily in nature and are adapted into structures and technology to be utilized by humans. Ball (2012) discussed the idea of “self-organization” in nature through natural processes, such as adaptation through naturally occurring environmental constrains and opportunities. Upon reflecting the importance of mathematics and logical thinking in the design of structures, Kandisky (poling 1987) approached design derived from the principles of logic and mathematical calculations. Additionally, Ching (1990) and Yee (1997) provide informative insight into orthography, hence streamlining implementation into the student journal. the Rhino and InDesign tutorials have been helpful to a certain extent for further research and comparison of usage techniques, online and offline, have generated greater insight into full utilization of the programs. Other theories presented through the lectures and readings such as the lecture delivered by Alex Selenitsch about form and matter was very engaging, as he focused on the importance of composition, the idea of form and matter, as well as how to combine existing elements to create something new.  The reading by Scheurer and Stehling (2011) was more inclined towards exploring the relationship between mathematics and computation, and the process and break down of how computational programs can be used to materialize design. Upon reflecting the importance of material and computation in the design of structures, Fleischmann et al. (2012) approached design derived from the principles of the marriage of these two seemingly separate concepts of computerization from week 3, composition in Week 4, and how they combine to become an entirely separate entity that embodies all 3 of these aspects of design. In week 7, Paul Loh (2012) explored the idea of “the Power of Making” as a problem solving method that focuses on creation through design. Similarly, the reading by Macfarlane (2005) explores the relationship of digital evolution over recent years


Reflection How do representations and their material realisations (or insights) may be mutually dependent?

Death

What are the learning outcomes of this subject and its relevance to your further studies and future?

with the creative process. Both address the significance of creation and how technology aids and expands this process. In week 8, Stanislav Roudavski (2012) expanded on the relation between technology and the creative process that was addressed in week 7 by focusing on this relationship with the profession of architecture and how communicating ideas with other faculties is more streamlined due to this technological development and adaptation into the industry. Additionally, Gershenfeld (2005) however, focuses on the more technical aspects of design and customization through expanding the fabrication techniques outlined last week (addition and subtraction) as well as the significance of model construction. In week 9, Bharat (2012) delivered our last lecture about our prospects in pursuing Rhino or even other modeling softwares in the future. As professions in the developing world transcends more and more, professions such as engineering and architecture make use of such softwares, similar to streamlining the process of product design and manufacturing. For our final readings, Mitchell (2000) elaborates the growing significance of the internet and the online community while questioning it’s presence in our futures. The lectures ended on a rather bittersweet note as the virtual lectures are the most interesting lectures of all the courses I am currently enrolled in and they have assisted me greatly in motivating me to work towards familiarizing myself with the software, Rhino. The constant emphasis of technology in design greatly streamlines the process and assists greatly in the fabrication process, however mastery of the software is required to achieve such ease. Therefore, through the understanding of the significance of these concepts has drawn emphasis from abstract design to physical materialization of the model, and hence driven further interaction and practice towards mastering Rhino as a tool for this process to go through. The representations of the initial prototype models made of modeling clay , wire mesh and paper varied tremendously in comparison with the ivory white card that was used for the final model. As the use of materials changed, all of which embodied different elements of the desired design. The clay embodied the curvature and


Reflection How do representations and their material realisations (or insights) may be mutually dependent?

Death

What are the learning outcomes of this subject and its relevance to your further studies and future?

the shadowing effect required of the design but only represented the idea of a headpiece sans lantern whereas the wire mesh only represented the curvature of the design. The wire mesh was then translated into paper for segmentation and hence only representative of the shapes but not a solid prototype of the lantern. The completed prototype using the actual material was then analyzed for pro and con factors, which included the scaling of the tabs, size of paneling, and overall scale of the model. Without the representation and experimentation of the initial designs, it would not have been possible to produce the final design, and were important learning curves to overcome and refine the design. References: Projective Geometry Ching, Francis D. K. (1990): Basic Orthographic Methods. In Drawing- A Creative Process, Van Nostrand Reinold, pp. 146-159 Yee, Rendow (1997): Conventional Orthographic Terminology. In Architectural Drawing- A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 41-63 Ideation Ball, Philip (2012): Pattern Formation in Nature, AD: Architectural Design, Wiley, 82 (2), March, pp. 22-27 Poling, Clark (1987): Analytical Drawing. In Kandisky’s Teaching at the Bauhaus, Rizzoli, New York, pp. 107-132  Design Scheurer, F. and Stehling, H. (2011): Lost in Parameter Space? IAD: Architectural Design, Wiley, 81 (4), July, pp. 70-79  Fleischmann, M., Knippers, J., Lienhard, J., Menges, A., and Schleicher, S. (2012): Material Behaviour: Embedding Physical Properties in Computational Design Processes, D:Architectural Design, Wiley, 82 (2), March, pp. 44-51  Fabrication Macfarlane, B. (2005): Making Ideas. In Architecture in the Digital Age, B. Kolarevic (ed.), Spon Press, London, pp. 182-197 Gershenfeld, Neil (2005): Subtraction; Addition; Building Models. In FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop--From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, Basic Books, pp. 67-76; 93-101; 103-113  Reflection Mitchell, W. (2000): Software: New Genius of Place. In e-Topia, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, p. 42-68  Mitchell, W. (2000): Replacing Place. In The Digital Dialectic, P. Lunenfeld (ed.), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, p. 112-127 


Module 4: Final Submission