FORM: Line-Plane-Solid | a short guide to the exhibition The following pages comprise an introduction to the exhibition, FORM: Line-Plane-Solid: technical information about the exhibit architecture, a short background into the exhibit content including project descriptions and examples, photographs from the first installation in April 2014, and the project’s graphic collateral. FORM studio
The form studio responds to a need for new discussion about form within product design education. We attempt to renew the concept of form-giving through an iterative and rigorous process of making. We use the term, “form-matrix,” as a pedagogical prompt, a start, to talk about primitive form in the design studio (see image left). The matrix is a construct of various divisions of form, though not exhaustive, and how they overlap and inform each other. Think of Line, Plane, and Solid as modes of form, while Flow, Tecto, and Roto are genres, a more specialized classification having to do with behavior: fluid, tectonic, or rotational. The work emerges from a triangulation of courses in the industrial design curriculum at Virginia Tech: analog and digital visualization, hand and digital craft, and the studio – the hub of our curriculum. We have reshaped our course of study to address the qualitative nature of form-giving, while building on the existing “Bauhausian” workshops within our School. This pedagogical paradigm focuses our studio on “search,” rather than “solution,” through making. The projects are exercises (concept-to-form) and products (form-to-product).
exhibition floor plan planar tectoform
introduction central axis
exhibit architecture discussion
exhibition structure FORM: Line-Plane-Solid is a traveling exhibition showcasing three years of the “form studio” in the industrial design program at Virginia Tech, featuring more than 200 student projects and 90 students. The project was driven by the intellectual challenge of explaining and organizing 6 different form types and their product descendants – all organized in three sections, Line, Plane and Solid, with corresponding form exercises (linear flowform; planar flowform; solid flowform; solid rotoform; planar tectoform; and solid tectoform) and form products (platter; hand tool; vessel; and citrus juicer). Fabrication methods used in the projects include: hand craft in various hardwoods, veneers and steel sheet; thermoforming in polystyrene; 3D printing ABS plastic; 3- and 4-axis CNC milling in wood and dense foam; hand-lathe and CNC-lathe turning in wood and aluminum; slab-molded stoneware; and slip cast porcelain. The exhibition architecture was designed and constructed by a team of 20 students and one faculty. With few exceptions, everything in the exhibit was designed and built in-house at Virginia Tech, by students in industrial design, through design studios, workshops, and a special topics course on exhibition design that ran for two semesters to develop FORM: Line-Plane-Solid.
5 solid tectoform
small object: hand tools
small object: vessels + citrus juicers
technical The exhibition architecture, a custom modular, aluminum system, comprising over 600 “connectors” and 1100 1-inch “tubes,” had to be minimal in its interference with the exhibited projects; lightweight and modular for travel; and relatively independent of its environs. Installation of the entire exhibition requires two days. The overall plan occupies approximately 1200 square feet (65 ft. X 19 ft.), in the configuration shown above. In its first venue at Perspective Gallery on the Virginia Tech campus (Blacksburg, Virginia), the exhibit was situated as shown above, but the central axis was rotated 5 degrees counter-clockwise with the left and right rows remaining parallel to the gallery walls, which provided a more dynamic experience of the architecture. The exhibit is organized around a pedagogical progression of the projects, but the primary architectural components (bays, towers, and pedestals) are flexible in the floor plan depending on venue accommodations. The small object displays are equipped for LED edge lighting of the acrylic panels in each niche. This feature can be used, or not, but requires two floor outlets near these 4 bays. There is a 20-minute video component that uses rear projection via an Epson projector, an iPad and a small pair of speakers. All equipment is provided but requires one outlet. We developed an app called GuestBook that allows visitors to sign in and leave comments. We have an iPad dedicated for this requiring nightly charging.
Architectural components Plan View of Tower Units
18-inch shelf 12-inch shelf
12-inch shelf 18-inch shelf
shown without shelf
shown without shelves
2 towers shown with shelves
Intro Pedestal shown with cap
Photography Tower shown with panels
the architectural connector The singular role of the joint is structural integration. It is the most important component of the architecture, but it is a selfless worker, hiding in plain sight. The tower angle (approx. 6˚) and the use of lightweight 1-inch aluminum tubing prescribed the intricacies of the connector design milled from solid aluminum stock, leading to 7 slightly distinct joints, derivatives of a base concept. One of the joints is specific to the task of supporting shelving and relies on a perpendicular angle, to the vertical tubular members, for optimal strength. Another configuration is designed for base support and is tapped for swivel “shoes” for leveling on the floor, while another works for the top frames and another for middle frames of the towers.
elevation View of Tower Units
the tower Aluminum tubing allows for multiple transformations of the basic tower concept, enabling adjustments for particular pieces and different configurations per venue. The overall architecture consists of one tower with three adaptations (see below and above). Minimal use of an aluminum composite material (ACM) as sheathing on the towers provides support for graphics and shelving. For the display of smaller handheld objects, we devised a cabinet insert for the towers, which we affectionately call the butterfly exhibit, inspired by an insect exhibition. Standard Tower (overall height = 78 inches, base width = 36 inches, depth = 15 inches) Small Object Cabinet (code name: butterfly tower)
Pedestal (overall height = 54 inches, base width = 36 inches) -Entry Pedestal -Tectoform Project Pedestal
Photography Tower (overall height = 67 inches) â€“ hybrid of standard tower and pedestal -Used for print and digital displays
Exhibition Installed @ perspective gallery
a pedestal towers (tectoform projects) | b project photography | c small object exhibit | view from entry (image, right)
Exhibition Installed @ perspective gallery
a small object display | b platters | c solid flowform display | tectoform pedestals (image, left)
CMYK 0, 85, 95, 10 CMYK 0, 0, 0, 0 CMYK 15, 10, 10, 30 CMYK 30, 20, 20, 70
Iconography A collection of icons was created to represent and explain the ‘form-matrix.’ We used both a standard and a watermark version throughout the exhibition and catalogue.
EXHIBITION CATALOGUE & GRAPHICS Catalogue (200 pages) Soft Cover: Text pages were set in Roboto Light 8.5 type, printed on 80 lb. Utopia Premium Silk Paper. Titles are set in 8.5 Novecento Wide type. The book is bound in 110 lb. Cover Utopia Premium Silk. Hard Cover Special Edition: Cover in black linen cloth with a black foil stamp on the front. Flowform
ISBN: 978-0-692-20243-2 Copyright © 2014 Industrial Design Program Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia www.industrialdesign.arch.vt.edu Printed and bound in the United States of America.
advertisement banners | 6 feet X 2 feet & posters | 3 feet X 1 foot
exhibit visitor take-away cards
virginia tech industrial design Student EXHIBITION
2 01 4
There are 6 different folding cards, 4X8 inches unfolded, designed as take-away gifts for exhibit visitors. On the inside face, each card showcases one of the 10 projects in the exhibit, and the outside face includes title and a QR code that takes you to the exhibit website.
katie simmons | sheet steel
jill jackson | hardwood
linear-planar tectoform | construct an expression of compartmentalization using primarily tectonic relationships â€“ linear and planar. Consider: pattern, contrast, intersection, and hierarchy. tek-tonâ€™ ik: via late Latin, IURP*UHHNWHNWRQLNRVIURPWHNWÄ?QĚ´FDUSHQWHUEXLOGHUĚľ
planar flowform product: platter | take lessons forward from planar flowform and design a plane for serving, offering, and containing. Determine and consider context. Consider: fair planar flow; fluid transition; contrast; YROXPHDQGWKHYHUEVĚ°FRQWDLQRIIHUDQGVHUYH
prompts The following pages include a sample of project prompts and a sample of pages from the exhibition catalogue.
L i n e a r F l ow fair | curve | direction
Construct an expression of true linear flow, fair in all aspects, and resist wasting the third dimension. Does the concept suggest volume? Create strips 0.25 â€“ 1.5 inches wide from wood veneer or steel sheet. Consider: fair curve, hierarchy, focal point, acceleration, direction.
Process Blank: Poplar veneer or sheet steel Sketch | explore momentum and direction of expressive lines through space Prototype | establish hierarchy and the intention of each line within three-dimensional space Analyze | the composition through bending and clamping of final material (wood veneer or steel) Refine | the craft of the form to ensure fairness of curves, quality of surfaces, and conclusion of end conditions
the form coils for volume
a , b Stephen Shickel | c , d Monica Welcker
PlanarTecto pat tern | intersection
Using tectonic relationships, build an expression of compartmentalization â€“ planar tectoform. Use as much material as your concept requires but working with the suggested blanks. For wood projects, use lap or bridle joints (or similar) for angular construction. In metal, use spot welds, frictional or mechanical joints. Consider: pattern, contrast, intersection, hierarchy.
Process Blank: wood or sheet steel Sketch | explore pattern and compartmentalization of a defined space Consider | simple joints â€“ lap, bridle, slot & rabbet, etc. Prototype | establish hierarchy and the intersection of lines/ planes within three-dimensional space Analyze | composition through cutting and joining of final material (wood veneer or steel) Finalize | craft of the form to ensure quality of surfaces and conclusion of end conditions
Pl anarFlow Curve | spine | fluid
Construct an expression of planar flow. Using sheet plastic, thermoform over a simple armature in a vacuum forming press. After close observation and sketching on the resulting deformed sheet, trim away gratuitous plastic to reveal a plane that expresses fluid transitions in and between subforms within the plane. Consider: fair flow; fluid transition; contrast; spine; volume.
Process Blank: polystyrene SHEET Experiment | vacuum form polystyrene sheet into an explorative three-dimensional form Draw | directly on the sheet to identify fair curves and map potential volumetric forms Analyze | composition for balance, lift, and visual weight Design | edge conditions and feet to maximize order, how the piece rests and hierarchy of the form Finish | surface with sanding and painting
a Stephen Shickel | b Brian Pughe
p l anar F low P rod u c t : pl at t e r Design and build a platter. Take forward lessons from planar flowform and design a plane for serving, offering, and containing. Contain as a platter, not as a vessel. Determine and consider your context. Consider: fair planar flow; fluid transition; contrast; and the verbs â€“ serve, offer, and contain.
offer | serve | contain
Process Blank: Student Choice Identify | function and context of platter Sketch | concepts to express desired utility through form Prototype | identify proper scale and ergonomics Fabricate | final concept with best suited material and construction techniques Finish | surface and end conditions through proper techniques for material
planar flowform: Platter
Jill Jackson, CNC milled walnut and maple
planar flowform: Platter
Kyle Stewart, CNC milled cherry
flow meets tectonic
Mary Lee Carter, CNC milled cherry
planar flowform: Platter
a Jonathan Kim, CNC milled cherry | b Julia Novak, slab-molded stoneware
a Andrew Kimbro, CNC milled ash & slip cast porcelain | b Steven Gethard, printed ABS plastic
Solidflow balance | Profile | mass
Construct a pair of curved plane cuts (one for each of two perpendicular surfaces) so that when they intersect, they result in a solid flowform that expresses continuity of line, plane and mass. Prototype in paper, then foam, then CAD, then wood. First, construct a solid, laminated, hardwood blank, resulting in a finished dimension of 4X4X18 inches, and a scale model. Consider: continuous flow; intersection of planes; intersection of extrusions; volumetric; profile.
Process Blank: 4X4X18â€? Poplar Construct | a precise 4X4X18 inch blank of laminated hardwood layers Sketch | in pencil and CAD to explore the conjunction of perpendicular planar profiles to define volume in a threedimensional space Prototype | in foam to visualize how the two profiles converge and diverge in space Analyze | study various prototypes to achieve desired volume, acceleration, and direction of movement Finalize | saw the intended profiles from the blank, reassembling between the cuts for accurate resulting form Finish | surface and end conditions through minimal sanding
a Max Berney | b Gabriella Jacobsen
a Kevin Chee | b Virginia Adamson
SolidFlow Product:handtool Design and build a hand-held (primitive) tool. Take forward lessons from solid flowform and tectoform: continuous flow, intersection, complex and transitional surfaces. Work in full scale only. The form should embody the semantics of the action required and the relationship to the human hand, and the form must do the work.
scoop | scrape | groom
Process Blank: student choice Identify | function and context of hand tool Sketch | concepts to express desired utility and hand interactions through form Study | hand anatomy and mobility through gesture and contour drawing Prototype | identify proper scale and ergonomics Fabricate | final concept with best material and construction techniques Finish | surface and end conditions through proper techniques for material
Solid FlowForm: Kitchen Scraper Handtool
a Dan Duminuco | b Peter Beegle | c, d Lindsay Nevins (all: painted poplar)
Julia Novak, painted poplar
Solid FlowForm: Kitchen Scoop Handtool
a, c Scott Shumaker, painted poplar | b Chris Crowley, hand-machined ash
Tomon Sasaki, painted CNC milled poplar
SolidRoto a x i s | r o tat e | s h i f t
Construct a solid, laminated, hardwood blank resulting in a finished dimension of 4X4X18 inches, and set aside. Using hand drawings and CAD, conceptualize a hand-held form based on rotation and experimentation with the rotational axis. Consider the section (profile) for turning the concept on a lathe. Plan for one or more cuts through the turned piece and a final reassembly of parts. How do you hold it?
Process Blank: 4X4X18â€? Poplar Construct | a precise 4X4X18 inch blank of laminated hardwood layers Sketch | in pencil and CAD to explore profiles revolved around a central axis in three-dimensional space Prototype | identify cuts to shift axis and visualize how form changes in space upon reassembly Analyze | study various prototypes to achieve desired axial shift in three-dimensional space Finalize | turn blank on lathe, making desired cut through the piece and reassemble parts expressing axial shift Finish | surface through sanding
a Caitlin Kachmar | b, d Casey Phillips | c Emma Weaver
a Patrick Walraven | b Andrew Saunders
a Julia Novak | b Gabriella Jacobsen
a David Probst | b Sam Falken
Solidroto Product:juicer Take lessons forward from rotoform (axial shift) â€“ how do those decisions communicate the intent of the object? Design and build a manual juicer to be used with citrus not smaller than a mandarin orange or lime, and not larger than a grapefruit. The form must do the work. Consider: core, axis, intersection & joint, and the verbs: turn, push, twist, scrape, scoop.
t wist | turn | scrape
Process Blank: student choice Identify | function and context of juicer Sketch | concepts to express desired utility and hand interactions through form Study | hand anatomy and mobility through gesture and contour drawing Prototype | identify proper scale and ergonomics Fabricate | final concept with best suited material and construction techniques Finish | surface and end conditions through proper techniques for material
Solid RotoForm: citrus Juicer
Adam Frederick, printed ABS plastic
a Tomon Sasaki, CNC milled mahogany | b, c Alicia Tillman, CNC milled poplar
Solid RotoForm: citrus Juicer
a, c Meredith Walker, printed ABS plastic | b, d Shane Zeigler, CNC milled poplar
a Bislan Erdogan, printed ABS plastic | b, c Lauren Burnett, printed ABS plastic
Solidroto Product:Vessel Design and build a vessel for storing dry goods (tea, coffee, herbs, or spices) that considers the hand. Prototype in foam. Consider: core, axis, intersection & joint, and the verbs: carry, contain, seal, dispense.
ca r ry | s e a l | c o n ta i n
Process Blank: Student Choice Identify | function and context of vessel Sketch | concepts to express desired utility through continuation of rotoform Prototype | identify proper scale and ergonomics Fabricate | final concept with best suited material and construction techniques Finish | surface and end conditions through proper techniques for material
Solid RotoForm: dry goods Vessel
Amanda Phung, lathe turned aluminum
Solid RotoForm: Dry goods Vessel
a Patrick Walraven, CNC milled cherry | b Jill Jackson, CNC milled walnut | c Ari Horowitz, CNC milled and lasercut cherry
Gabriella Jacobsen, slip cast porcelain
S ol i d t ec to intersection | shift
Construct a solid tectoform that expresses intersections between subforms. First, construct a solid, laminated, hardwood blank, resulting in a finished dimension of 2X4X18 inches. Make a primary cut and reassemble the pieces. Then make a secondary cut and reassemble, shift, and/or eliminate an element. You may elect to apply color to one or more faces, but only as this highlights a form (intersection) decision â€“ use absolute discretion. Prototype in foam, then CAD, then wood. Consider: shift in planes; intersection of planes; part-to-whole.
Process Blank: 4X4X18â€? Poplar Sketching | in pencil and CAD to explore the dissection of a whole into its parts, consideration intersection and hierarchy Prototype | establish modularity and the intersection of distinct pieces within three-dimensional space Analyze | through cutting and reassembling individual components into one cohesive assembly Consider | color only as a support for expressing intersection Finalize | form by gluing and clamping to create the intended composition Finish | surface and end conditions through sanding