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1 234 3 D E x p l o r a t i o n s

Michael Eric Payton May

O r d e r / S y s t e m s / M o d u l a r i t y

T o p o l o g i e s

& S p a n i s h T o p o t y p e s

A r t / C o m m u n i t y / C o m p e t i t i o n

From drawing to model. This project is an exploration in translation between a hand drawing and a physical 3-D model.

Butterfly/Encasement Detail From City Plaster Model

Forever Fly Through Meadows Deep Fragile Wings So Hard to Keep

Surrender/Plaster/ 2’x 2’ cube

Group Project/Franz Kafka - City

Preliminary Pavilion Model


Sculptural Proposal/Functional

These Projects have been grouped together and intermingled because of their early explorations in representing 3-Dimensional Sculptures. These projects exist in a more raw state and were experiments in media and function. The development of technicality can be seen as a web between the different projects as they all take and give to one another. The drawing to bass wood stick model facilitated an understanding of spatial relationships that helped to foster the organization of the Franz Kafka City in a later studio. The detail model done in plaster gave me the tools to later master my technique in a sculpture studio when I carved Surrender from a two hundred pound block of plaster. That sculpture was inspired by the act of surrender observed in a group of monks on a prayer journey where they continually laid face down and stood up for many miles. The Living Arts & Science Center desired a pavilion, my proposal of leaf like objects that could be rotated to form meeting places offered control/play/variety to the pavilion. That project turned into a kinetic sculpture where I was given a partner to help facilitate the design. The functioning model above was my own attempt at realizing the possibilities. To the right you can see the final manifestation completed by myself and Eric Shockey. A hundred pound fan belt was rotated acting up on a bicycle wheel as a pulley system with bike chain and chord. This activated the wing as it rose and spread and could be locked in position. This helped me learn the mechanical possibilities within architecture. Later having gained skills in wood crafting & creative thinking I designed the Butterfly Encasement. This was a personal project that consisted of a collection of deceased butterflies from many walks carefully placed inside of a glass container.

Group Project Franz Kafka - City

Detail Image from Underneath Wing

Kinetic Sculpture / Living Arts and & Science Center

Illustrator drawings by: Eric Shockey

A home designed to breathe, to drink, and see & its evolution into a modular home design for Habitat for Humanity.

Modular Capabilities.



10. 5.






3. 8.

The homes ability to function.

Rules of Order, & the Muqarnas with Professor Dick Levine.

2 X


(n = # of cards used in game)


~ or or



= 1


1 C 1

C = cards traded C < hand dealt


~ ~



Best Hand Wins

Diagrammatic reasoning of the game Poker in its simplest terms.

The second group of projects share characteristics in their logic, their rules of order, their use of a module, and their systems. The first project for Habitat for Humanity sought to solve the problem of modular design, and being sustainable. The idea was to create a house whose form facilitated the collection of water, air, and light. This began as a plaster formed model and was adapted into a more practical home design. The second project involved investigating the building principles behind the Muqarnas. The discovery was of a system that could be shaped and manipulated to form elaborate geometric spaces. The third project involved the analyzation of a card game and the challenge was to describe the game in the most simple of terms through diagrammatic reasoning. This study was paired with the search for a module that could be made form playing cards and assembled to create a macro system. All of these projects taught me about the importance of rules and sets of logic and their ability to create and produce form and illustration. These projects also challenged normal modes of thinking in search for mysterious practicalities.

A module and its ability to grow, adapt, and evolve.

“Rotate” - The Rules For Making.

A material investigation, a plaster cast manipulation system, and its facilitation of a process for designing.


This group of projects is grouped together because of their experimentation with an abstract systems ability to produce architecture. The first was a material study that involved the development of a system for manipulating plaster that produced varying forms. These rules were then reanalyzed and used in a new way to discuss program and inform an architecture for downtown Lexington. The second project was done in Barcelona, Spain with Eric Schockey. We searched for a Topotype specific to the city and later used its principles to solve a design problem. The design problem incorporated living units for youth, library, and recreational space. We used differentiation in materials and a unit to fill a once nonuniform space to create a cohesive site in which our design filled the empty space thus joining the original buildings.

Barcelona, Spain Summer 2011. An investigation in Topotypes and a design proposal for a library, living, and park architecture.



SCALE:1cm - 1000cm


5m 10m




Sketch book entries from Barcelona, Spain summer 2011.

2 pages from my book of poems.

5’ x 11’ Self Portrait - Painting II - Baroque & Rococo Period Assignment

Self Portrait - Painting II

Ovation Guitar Competition Entry

A logo design for a 5k in Pikeville Ky to raise money for breast cancer. As well as a large scale painting completed in a store front window.

A project designed by myself and completed with first through sixth graders over a two day period.


The skills I acquired from studying architecture allowed me to pursue other endeavors. I have worked on community projects such as the 5k in Pikeville Kentucky. Designing their logo which was printed on T-shirts, pens, & running bibs. I also completed a very large multi layered painting in a store front window that I would not have known how to do without working with layers in design school. I was offered the opportunity to teach an elementary art class for 2 days, meetings with first through sixth graders one period for each grade. I designed a lesson plan and over two days constructed a mobile that has internal lighting and functions and now hangs from the art room of the Catholic elementary school in Pikeville Kentucky. I also completed a book of poems that I am very proud of.

Steel Base Competition Entry and winner.

A shirt designed for Kreative Kats - a volunteer organization I worked with - I completed part of the illustration and all digital work.

Undergraduate Portfolio  

Undergraduate Portfolio at the University of Kentucky