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John R Bate


Exploring Form

through Shadows

Casting Shadows The task for this project was to design around a chosen object, which in my case was a lightbulb. The initial exploration of this task allowed me to explore the contrast of the coldness of a shadow with the warmth that is radiated from light. This further led to exploring how surfaces can affect how shadows are cast, such as the example on the left which is a lightbulb casting a shadow on a slightly concaved surface. This process was then reversed engineered, using the research gathered from creating my own shadows, and were projected through a cup.

Extruding through Forms The next step was to transform these two-dimensional forms (the shadows) and recreate them into three-dimensional objects. This was achieved by inserting them into Fusion 360 by attaching the image to a plane and extruding through a standard cup, that I had already designed. The outcomes although interesting, did not explore how these shadows could be manipulated thoroughly.

Additive Forms Instead of extruding through an object, I instead projected a shadow into a cup adding an integrated form (a shadow and cup combined). This form was then split into multiple smaller components which could be manipulated further by moving or hiding the selected layers. This allowed for multiple quick interesting design concepts that could be further build upon and explored further.

The Saucer The model that the original cup was inspired by was a modern cup with a matching saucer. The design for the saucer was explored through the same process as the cup. However, I believed that a more interesting form would arise through removing aspects of the saucer, rather than the saucer being an additive design similar to that of the cup. The thinking behind this was that the intended use of the saucer was to accompany the cup as a minimalistic sculpture and not to distract from the main focal point of this concept, which was the shadow cup.

Designing through Lofted Shadows The manipulation of the cup, through the projection of a singular shadow did not create an outcome as interesting as I believe this concept could be. This exploration felt like I had only scrapped the surface for what this concept could achieve, as the singular shadow extrusion did not manipulate the object effectively. The next process that I thought could manipulate these objects further was through lofting 2 shadows, which would create a new organic form. The lofted object would then be projected through the cup.

Deconstruction Inspired by designers such as Michael Eden, I thought that this idea of deconstructing the object into its essential components could be an interesting avenue to explore. This idea for the concepts would be achieved by using the lofted shadows as a splitting tool as well as addition diagonal lines which could split the cup into small components. The smaller components can manipulate the form of the cup by hiding certain components to create gaps.

Visualising Concepts The idea of a deconstructed cup was an interesting development for this concept, however I wanted to explore a few ways in which this object could be visualised within the world. The first concept was of the deconstructed cup floating in mid-air suspended by thin metal wires, potentially stainless steel, for its lightweight properties and tensile strength, which would be attached to a wooden form or potentially suspended from a ceiling.

The second concept was to create wires between the suspended components which would hold the components in place and yet not disturb the illusion. This would create a simple, yet elegant approach towards the execution for this concept. The parts would look suspended; however this removes the potential problems with suspending aspects of the concept allowing for this concept to be viewed anywhere.