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Pearls are a result of injury and thus part of a Pearl Oyster’s defence mechanism. When the oyster passively feeds parasites can enter. Parasites can cause a great deal of harm to the oyster so the defence mechanism is triggered. This results in a Pearl Sac forming around the parasite or wound. The oyster secretes proteins which form a matrix of conchiolin: a porous surface which then collects aragonite crystals (made from calcium carbonate). This reoccurs in several layers until the pearl is formed.

The ‘pearlescence’ is a form of iridescence. Iridescence can be seen as the colour of the pearl changes depending on the angle in which it is viewed. Iridescence occurs through the aragonite crystals which are aligned perfectly and thus reflect and refract light.


On the left is the process of a parasite evolving into a pearl. The main process is the oyster covering the sand particle or parasite in nacre. After multiple layers, the oyster’s defence mechanism has produced a pearlescent ball.

AURORA BOREALIS After eighteen hours this solar storm interacts with the earth’s magnetic field. Through the interaction of the sun and earth’s magnetic fields, they create an opening in which the gas streams into the poles, creating a pathway for the Aurora lights.

The beginning of the Aurora springs from the sun, as the nuclear reaction of hydrogen atoms are squeezed into helium atoms. The light from this reaction radiates from the core to the outer layer of the sun. Through this, electrical currents are created; if strong enough these magnetic fields push their way through the surface. The magnetic field facilitates the behaviour of an elastic band and has the capability to break away from the sun.

As seen below: the magnetic fields around the earth funnel the gas streams to the poles.


Top: Clashing of atoms Right: Interpretations of how the clashing of colours can be viewed from a process/ scientific point of view.

As the atoms present accelerate through the atmosphere they lose energy through emissions of photons or with the collision of another atom/molecule. Depending on when the atoms collide, different colours are created: • Green and Read (oxygen)- up to 150 miles in altitude • Blue and Purple/Violet (nitrogen)- above 60 miles in altitude


Plant Decomposition is a constantly re-occuring cycle in which plants grow from the earth and after a period of time, begin to decompose and recycle into the soil in which it sprung from. Decomposition occurs through the following stages: 1. leaching by water- soluble carbon compounds are removed. 2. physical fragmenting 3. Eaten by parasites, fungi etc. 4. broken down into soil through various elements and microbes.


Figure 2: Exploration sketch 1 (applicable to figure 4)

Figure 3: Exploration sketch 2 (applicable to figure 5)

Figure 1: Physical growth of pearl

In relation to Figure 1 I was attempting to develop the physical development of the pearl in its most realistic sense. In both models (figure 4 and 5) I attempted to physically characterise the parasite, the coating of it and the end result of a pearl. Figure 4: Clay model 1 (applicable to figure 2)

Figure 5: Clay model 2 (applicable to figure 3)

SKETCH PROPOSAL 1–PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT My aim with these models was to further simplify the physical process, I attempted to encompass all of the features of the growth process through the aid of shape. The form of figure 1 can be clearly seen as a reflection of figure 2. I chose this form because the cup- like shape on the end is representative of not only the pearl but also the layers covering the parasite. In order to visually communicate the parasite I created a tail on the end which looked as though it was wriggling and merging itself into the cuplike form.

Figure 1

Figure 2

A gradient of triangles from smallest to largest will panel this structure. This is representative of pain turning into something delicate and beautiful.

Figure 3


Primarily pearl formation is the result of the oyster’s defence mechanism, henceforth in these models I was attempting to achieve aesthetics of protection and strength. Figures 1, 2 and 5 develop the idea of strength through their length and mass. Figure 2 portrays the placement of the lantern and how it acts as a shield of the body yet wraps itself around areas as if it is comforting the body. On figure 1 I also included a triangle teeth like pattern that developed the idea of defence through the harsh, sharp shapes. Figures 3 and 4 produce an aesthetic of strength through the coiling of a pipe like object around what can be interpreted as the oyster. This develops the concept in a more literal sense. This idea was further developed.

Figure 1

Figure 2: Corresponding to figure 1 and 5

Figure 3 Figure 4: corresponding model to figure 3

Figure 5: Corresponding to figure 1 and 2


Figure 3 Figure 2

Figure 1 I chose to develop this concept further due to its pleasing aesthetic values. In figures 1, 2 and 3 it has been altered slightly. I wrapped the pipe like feature around the head of the model and it made the model seem trapped and perhaps a physical representation of the parasite. I thought the concept of the lantern would be made more interesting through making the model the victim.

PRECEDENT: 1 BLIGH PROJECT The Bligh Project is located in Sydney’s CBD and stands as an extremely innovative structure. The building has been deemed a Six Star Green Star project with a great amount of detail put into materials and sustainability. In relation to my modelling, the Bligh building possesses the same elliptical shape and encompasses thousands of beams/panels in order to cater for its irregular shape, This idea can also be applied as I would like this model to have ridged panelling that communicates a strong and protective exterior.


Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

IRIDESCENCE:INTERFERENCE IN A THIN FILM According to Thomas Young, iridescent colour is produced through very thin plates/film reflect some incident light waves from the top reflective surface. The light that is unreflected enters the film and travels until it is reflected off a lower layer. The light wave that has been absorbed is then reflected in the same direction as the top later and joins it. The light that travels into the film phases out, if the phase difference between the waves is a multiple of exactly one wavelength then the interference between the two waves will create a strong reflection of light. The idea of IRIDESCENCE led to my considering of layers. The nacre is applied in layers which on a smaller scale looks like figures 1 and 2. I used this idea as again I utilised the model as a substitute for the parasite and repeated similar shapes all over the body (figure 3 and 4). This idea was further developed.


I evolved the previous idea into the linking of two pipes, placed on the model in quite the same way. In this model I was clearly looking at the linking of the layers opposed to the patterns of the nacre which could be explored through the panelling of this lantern. This shape is engulfing the model and almost strangling it in a calm and silent way which is can be applied to the trapping of the parasite and the production of a beautiful pearl.


This pattern is a reflection of the circular patterns that are apparent on the oyster shell. I just recreated this pattern with pyramids and circles. They will be distributed more frequently in areas of higher curvature and less in flatter areas.

On the pipe areas I plan of using the iridescent surface of the nacre as inspiration. This panelling will let a lot of light through and work to effectively refract the light, providing it with symbolic purpose.


This artist uses salt to create large floor installations that have unbelievable control and skill. Yamamoto talks about the grains of salt to be colourless, yet only when with other grains of sand do they reflect and produce their white colour. This is relative to the atoms of the Aurora Borealis, through the clashing of molecules colour is created. Not only does Yamamoto’s work possess this connection but it also incorporates intricate pattern, which on a larger scale develops an intense effect. I plan to use Yamamoto’s masterpieces as inspiration for the patterns involved in my lantern design.






I finalised on this design purely because of its very strong connection to my original concept. The idea of using the model as the parasite/grain of sand was very appealing and allowed the model to look as though it was part of the structure itself. I think this design produces both a struggle and delicacy through the positioning of the design as well as the curved lines.



Tackling Virtual Environments this semester was a challenge for me, mainly due to the mind set we were forced to think in. Through the lectures, readings and tutorials I was challenged to look for patterns in natural aspects of life that I never thought about. After reading Phillip Ball’s ‘Pattern formation in Nature’ it ruined the organic, free and unorganised feel that I believed nature had. However, this was my first impression, after reading Ball’s explanations I realised that it was amazing that all these things were occurring and nature was the best at creating structures that were very much suitable to the surrounding environment. After this realisation it made a great deal of sense that architects, engineers and designers look to nature for solutions to structural and environmental problems.

I think instead of looking for solutions in nature, I was searching for inspiration and the process of pearl formation really helped me to provide purpose for my design. I wasn’t able to look at processes in the same way as mathematicians that designs their objects from formulas, but in the same way it helped me to structure my design which was important. I think I found this aspect most interesting as I really enjoyed and understood the inspiration between Giant’s Causeway and many patterns in architecture. In Lecture 4, an architect spoke about how he was inspired by the hexagonal shapes and how he wanted them to reflect in his outdoor room. The most fascinating part is that in no way did he copy this idea but took it as inspiration as he recreated the shapes in shadows more than structure and looked to sustainable materials in order to reflect the landscape. My main way of communicating design is through drawing, Virtual Environments will be challenging for me due to computer and physical modelling aspects. Referring to what was said previously, I enjoy organic shapes opposed to geometrical shapes however Virtual Environments has blurred this line. I am very much excited to get into modelling with materials such as paper, primarily due to the fact that I was amazed by Eric Joisel’s techniques. Joisel proved that through the geometric folding of paper he can literally make anything. This inspired me to believe that I can make something extremely creative in what I thought was such a strict designing method. I think through the introduction of what I believe to be a stricter design process , my design has come out better on the other side. As Poling explored, I think through slowly developing my ideas and going through them step by step I really begun to understand my thoughts and come to a proposal with reason behind it. My final proposal has a lot of aesthetic meaning to it and I believe it also has the potential to be a very visually appealing piece.


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Iridescence in Lepidoptera. 2012. Iridescence in Lepidoptera. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 7 August 2012]. Pearl Growth Process - YouTube . 2012. Pearl Growth Process - YouTube . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 7 August 2012]. Everyday Chemistry - How do oysters make pearls?. 2012. Everyday Chemistry - How do oysters make pearls?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 7 August 2012]. Aurora Borealis Explained - YouTube . 2012. Aurora Borealis Explained - YouTube . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 7 August 2012]. HowStuffWorks "How does the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) work?". 2012. HowStuffWorks "How does the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) work?". [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 7 August 2012]. Motoi Yamamoto "Salt Installation, Artist". 2012. Motoi Yamamoto "Salt Installation, Artist". [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 8 August 2012]. Plant Decomposition - Decomposition. 2012. Plant Decomposition - Decomposition. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 August 2012]. Rotting Watermelon Decomposition Timelapse Footage - YouTube . 2012. Rotting Watermelon Decomposition Timelapse Footage - YouTube . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 August 2012]. Banana Time Lapse - YouTube . 2012. Banana Time Lapse - YouTube . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 August 2012]. IDL_Issue 48 Preview Mag. 2012. IDL_Issue 48 Preview Mag. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 14 August 2012].

Module 1: Ideation 586106