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Foundations of Design: Representation Final Portfolio Semester One 2018 Studio 2 Katie Petros Luyuan (Mike) Ren 996776

This is an architectural design portfolio featuring works from Foundations of Design: Representation, University of Melbourne, produced by Mike Ren.


Module 1: How To Draw a Croissant? (P4-8)

Module 2: Flatness vs. Projection (P9-13)

Module 3: Pattern vs. Surface (P14-18)


Module 4: Frame vs. Field (P19-24)

Module 1: How To Draw a Croissant?


“A surface wraps over itself and an inside appears, formed by superimposing itself over its outside...The ends close over themselves, forming the wrapping over which the folds are arranged.�


From the citations of Enric Miralles’s famous “How to lay out a croissant”, one can conclude that the whole point of this exercise was to gauge the way architects think and perceive the world around us. An ordinary object such as a croissant can be interpreted as “a surface wrapping over itself and an inside appearing, formed by superimposing itself on the outside.” This physical object can be represented in three different abstracted views, that of plan, elevation and sections. Each viewpoint proceeds to reveal unique elements and hidden variances to the croissant’s overall form. A plan provides us, the viewers, an engagement with what lies beyond the object to its surroundings. In this case, we perceive the light source omitting from the eastern direction on a relatively high elevation to the croissant, casting a faint but short shadow on the west side. An elevation shows one particular side of a croissant, it expands on the details lacking from the plan, for example the flaky texture of its sides, and grants us more information attributing to the croissant’s physical form. Finally, a section explores the inner works of an object, often attributing to its functionality and how it maintains the facade. In the case for this croissant, we see that its distinct shape is wider in the middle because there is a lot more substance in the section view, where bigger sized air bubbles show this expansion of volume in proportion to its ends.

Plan, Elevation And Section Drawings.





PL OW UL TO E 1 M A ike N Re , DR : n E (9 L 96 E AW 77 V 6) A TI A O CR N AN OIS D SA SE N CT T? IO N SK



By Mike Ren (996776)


Axonometric Drawing (45 DEG) Based On The Sectional Grid Drawings

SECTION C Sectional Grid Drawings.

This exercise introduced me to the construction of axonometric projections. To do so, i had drawn oblique plan drawings to the three sectional views onto a grid (10mm intervals). I marked every point in which the outlines of the croissant intersected the grid lines to graph the sections accurately onto the grid. This was then projected onto a 45 degree plan view of the croissant, in which the vertical lines represented the Y-planar and the 45 degree line represented the X-planar. 7

I was able to practice a variety of technical skills when rendering a 3-dimensional object in 2-dimensions. Due to the inherent “gap” or interpretive nature of this process, i found my preferred style to be pencil work. My technical process followed a simple set of steps, first i would construct a outline of my images using HB pencil, this allowed me to develop basic understanding of a particular image’s form. Next, i would work in 2B-4B pencils and use a range of techniques to render texture and depth in the image, but still remain within the neutral and lighter tones. Finally i would use a well sharpened 6B pencil and go over lines and spaces that are the darkest, developing a smooth gradient of values to express the idea of form. In particular the technique of stippling can be seen in areas to represent the imperfections of the object’s surface, whilst sharp, short lines show the flaky nature of the croissant. Texture is the perceived surface quality of a work. To me, it is what distinguishes a drawing from possessing figurative qualities rather than physical properties. This distinction is critical in architectural drawings because we are ultimately representing objects to be constructed in real life.

Close Up Of The Elevation.

Close Up Of The Plan.

Close Up Of The Section.


Module 2: Flatness vs. Projection


* module was re-edited for portfolio submission.

“ The viewing subject and the object of representation both inhabit the same extended field. Projection operates to simutaneously prolong and collapse distance.�


Module 2 introduces us to the concept of “objective” and “subjective” point of views through an exploration into flatness versus projections. On a blank piece of paper, space can be defined and interpreted in two ways, as possessing two-dimensional or three-dimensional properties. The assignment is made to reflect upon how these two concepts are simutaneously interrelated and distanced from each other via traditional conventions. The task required us to combine two assigned images from the video game, Mario World, and create an axonometric drawing by hand and in Illustrator. An axonometric projection is used as one method of conveying threedimensionality, it serves to provide the “immediacy of a perspectival view” as well as staying true to the elevations.

Assigned Front Elevation.

Assigned Back Elevation.


A level of precision is maintained throughout the hand-drawn axonometric, ensuring that the length, width and height of these percieved objects have been translated accurately onto the drawing. Furthermore, shadows casted by each object has a consistent direction and are proportional to the object’s height. These elements have all been considered in order to stay true to the elevations.

Hand-Drawn Axonometric

Illustrator Vector Linework

Illustrator Colourisation (Based On Elevations)


Illustrator Refinement (Texture, Gradient, Transparency)

The main compositional element that’s revealed as “hidden” space is the river that directs our eyes across the world through an S shape curve. Created using a transparency layer, form is given to the body of water through its shading. In addition, there are minor elements that exemplify how space is interpretted. Protruding shapes of surface objects concealed underneath the world, L-shaped structures that appear as rectangles in one elevation and additional floral elements hidden behind objects serve to explore this spatial concept further, as well as to create an overall landscape that’s balanced and consistent.

In architecture, depth can be created through the layering of compositional elements which helps establish a clear hierarchy of space. I have chosen to explore this idea through different opacity layers and how it they interact with each other. For example. a thick layer of clouds loom over the world, which serves to elevatea the point of view vertically as it creates the illusion that our perception of this world is from high above. The clouds have an opacity set to low, allowing for compositional elements to shine through, however they retain a slight tint to their colours and becomes less vibrant. This interaction exemplifies the overlapping of layers and how they can affect the appearance of one and another, thus creating the illusion of depth.


Module 3: Pattern vs. Surface


There has always been an inherent gap, a stature of limitions that seperates the design process from its physical construction. Module 3 explores this concept through the use of developable surfaces, the task required students to panelize a piece of terrain modelled by a mountain range in Tasmania, and construct the panelized landscape from ivory cardboard. Inspired by M.C Escher’s famous artwork “Sky and Water I”, the vision for my landscape explores the idea of a seamless transition of form through repeated iterations of similarly shaped module perforations. In the landscape, a square is observed to slowly converge from its two orthogonal sides, into a point which becomes an equilateral triangle. The intent behind this concept was to heavily emphasise the movement within my landscape. In the beginning, a viewer’s eyes sees a square because it is the more recognisable shape, so naturally the brain decodes this information the fastest and directs the eyes accordingly. As you progress through the landscape, the convergence of the modules’ sides becomes two vectors that direct the eye into opposing corners of the composition. Upon converging, the eye sees a recognisable shape again but this time in the form of a triangle, and thats where the eye and the boundaries of the landscape terminates.

Inception Of Module Iterations.

“Sky and Water I” M.C Escher, 1938.


Two 10x10 Grid Points Created Onto The Assigned Terrain.

Panelised Landscape Constructed By Four Modules.

The above images from Rhino 6 captures the way custom modules are applied to panelise the given terrain. What you dont see are the different experimentations with attractor points, module forms and module placement orders. The final panelised landscape was constructed with a varying offset grid, where two attractor points on polar ends of the terrain become the lowest height for modules. The module was arranged radially from a triangle to a square, resulting in the highest square modules forming a diagonal line across the composition. 16

A thorough understanding of developable surfaces as an non-distorted representation of complex shapes in the two-dimensional plane was critical in successfully completing this module. Without this understanding, modules often failed to unroll into flat surfaces. Experimentation and prototyping in the size of perforation was conducted to ensure all modules unroll as a network. Allocated strips were unrolled and given tabs in Rhino, they were then exported into Illustrator to have its lineweight changed to 0.5pt between dashed and solid line types. The strips amounted to a total of 4 A1 sized sheets, which were printed on ivory card.

Unrolled Strips Converted Into Illustrator.


These following photographs were taken by setting up a simple photostage consisting of a white backdrop and one source of directional lighting. Clothes and bedsheets were used to model the assigned terrain, which had a clear vantage point at one of its corners. The behaviour of these panels on this simulated terrain serves to accentuate the steepness of its elevation, the transformation from squares to triangles creates sharpness that is attributable to its descension.

Photographs Taken Of The Final Panelised Landscape From Various Angles Showing A Clear Hierachy of Space and Movement.


Module 4: Frame vs. Field


“Memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.�


Isometric Of The Old Quad Shown Without Notations.

The city of Marozia describes a urban environment “broken” by the disparity in socio-economical status, the text depicts two cities merged into a single urban fabric, the city of the rat and the city of the swallow. The rat operates in a city filled with cracks appearing, debris forming and “ mold over all heads,” a poverished standard of living where the mood is dark, confined and rotten. The text decribes its movement through the space like “packs of rats who tear from one another’s teeth the leftovers.” On the contrary, within the same space, the swallow operates in an “emerging” city filled with hope and desire. It is an open and bright space, where the rich resides. The atmosphere is light and almost care-free, where movement through the space is similar to a swallow soaring into the sky, with great freedom and confidence. Module 4 assessed our ability to interpret spatial qualities from an abstract passage and be able to translate this information coherently through an insometric drawing of the Old Quad and two perspective views that shows how space is represented. In the process, the task tested ourdigital rendering skills across platforms such as Rhino, Illustrator and Photoshop in making our perspectives look visually striking.

“Hidden Cities” Extract Describing The City Of Marozia.


Cities & the sky 3: Marozia, City of the swallow and the rat.

The Notational Isometric showing movement, mood, crowd formations, and glances as time progresses throughout the scene. It corresponds to the two perspectives generated at different locations of the isometric.

Key Large Step Regular Step Small Step Mood Glance Crowd Time 0




Perspective 1 Perspective 2


Rhino Rendered View Of Perspective One.

Photoshop Finalised View Of Perspective One.

Perspective one tells the first part of my narrative, a tale for the rich. With directional lighting omitted behind the perspective and the use of a medium shot type, this view confronts the wealthy couple situated in the foreground of the composition. Then, your eyes naturally transition into the background, which shows a slum for the lower class pagans, the cobble stone path recedes into a narrow and dark passage symbolic of the heavy and claustrophobic mood. The blurry silhouettes of the rats scampering and the depressed figure foreshadows the contuiation to the narrative, furthermore, the perspective from the couple’s point of view is denied, suggesting there’s more to the broader picture frame that we’re not given. 23

Rhino Rendered View Of Perspective Two.

Photoshop Finalised View Of Perspective Two.

Perspective two adheres to the second part of my narrative, which describes a tale of the poor. A high-angled and distanced shot shows light slowly receding as it moves closer to the perspectival frame, signifying to the viewers a shift in the atmosphere. The viewers are omniscient amongst the poverished, the silhouette figures in this image now become that of the rich couple we see in the first view and a symbolic pair of souring swallows. The background becomes an open space, at the threshold of a castle. The focus shifts to the poverished mother and daughter cowered behind the Old Quad columns. Furthermore, the vandalism on the columns indicate a more uncivilised society, a city of the rats operating underneath the same urban fabric but concealed by the way we move through the space. 24

As a first-year architectural student, Foundations of Design: Representation has broadened my perception of what architecture entales. This subject has given me a glimpse into the way architects philosophise their design intentions as well as their actions to make this vision become a reality. Throughout the course of these four modules, I’d like to believe that i have developed a thorough understanding to what’s considered the inherent “gap” seperating design representations from its constructability. It is through this understanding, where i begin to see areas in the design brief that are open to interpretation and manipulation.


2018 Semester 1 Portfolio  
2018 Semester 1 Portfolio