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M3_ FABRICATION Yi Zhu, Holly Tepper and Juexin Kong

M1 IDEATION SKIN AND BONE SYSTEM: KITE The kite was measured and plans, elevations and observational sketches were drawn. The kite was measured and these measurements were transferred into Rhino to form a rendered digital model of a skin and bone system. Since the kite was more or less a 2D shape, I separated the two skin and bone elements and created a 3D skeletal structure using skewers similar to those used to keep the kite in a rigid shape.


PANEL AND PANELLING SYSTEM Coffee filters are constructed by gluing them along the punctured areas, joining different panels together. To make use of this method, there is a need to dissect the properties in which a coffee filter has. Ultimately the design of the coffee filter is one which is extremely simple. Two identical panels are fixed together at three points to retain it’s shape and at the same time have the flexibility to create a funnel - a small end compared to a large opening.



Sommer describes personal space as an area of comfort which changes depending on the circumstances that surrounds the individual.

Everyone has their limit with personal space whether it is feeling uncomfortable when the immediate space around you is filled or becoming unusually aware of your body in space in crowded places.

He also describes how personal space is different for different individuals. In general extroverts tend to be more comfortable being closer to another individual as compared to introverts.

I can relate to Sommer’s ‘physcal invasion of person space’ because I am really conscious of people touching my neck and whenever someone does , a shiver runs down my spine. I can also relate to Sommer’s ‘visual invasion’ where if i see someone going to touch it, I experience the same feeling even if forewarned. Therefore using the skin and bone system I will design a structure associated with the protection of this area.


The image above is my understanding about boundaries among relationships space, personal space and social space. Each boundary has not definit distance, and this distance is different for each person as their situation and personality are all different. Therefore, we need to find a suitable space to keep the balance between two different people.

This design elaborates on the shielding of an individual - much like that of a turtle’s shell. The shield covers the most ‘vulnerable’ parts of the individual, the front and the back, and is designed via large, flat panels - much like that of a turtle’s shell. This design illustrates the fear of social contact and the design attempts to aid the individual in distancing him or her away from unwanted contact. Making use of the folding and connection mechanism of the coffee filter, the shell will be linked together as a whole piece. The design could also be flexible and perhaps even flimsy - similar to the filter, to illustrate an organic impression - second skin being part of the user.




The idea of this design is to concentrated on the application of skin and bone that matched in with my interpretation of Sommer’s idea of the physical invasion of personal space. The design is concentrated area the neck and back area to protect the wearer from people approaching from behind.

This design shows the expanded personal space that keep away from other people, as well as the strong personality. The design was from skin and bone system.

This designinspired by turtle shell, which try to pretect the most vulnerable parts of individuals - front and back. This design shows the unwilling of social contacts, which belongs to panal and fold system.

BRIEF Based on the groups definition of personal space and the assignment brief, some constraints and considerations were drawn up to aid the direction of the groups design development. The design should explore the notions of personal space encluding forms that protect or defend the wearer as well as more active forms that deter other people or frighten them away. The design wil protect the wearers neck, shoulders and back as these were all considered vulnerable areas by the group. The design will also use the ystems of skin and bone as well as panel and fold. either combined or in isolation. The design should have an element of movement and be comfortable and practical to wear.

SUMMARY: - Explore notion of personal space. - Create a design the protects the wearers neck and back. - Encorperate Skin and Bone as well as Panel and Fold systems. - Design something that has an element of movement.

PRECEDENTS We believe finding a precedence which reflects upon personal space and the direction of our design should come from nature. Nature often exhibits perfection in the use of organic materials to exhibit defense or predation and we find this to be extremely relevant in reflecting both personal space and our designs. There are mainly three systems which we considered to reflect space and our material systems (panelling and skin and bones).





We have the tortoise in which its strong exterior shell and its symbolism to protection or even cowardice not only exhibits the need for space but also a clear panelling system. The tortoise carries its shell with it at all times and retreats into the shell when it feels threatened. Crucially, the shell is also positioned at its centre where only its extremities and head are exposed to external factors.

We also considered the frill-necked lizard and the porcupine as references for our skin and bone system. Both animals exhibits the same characteristics when threatened – which is to expand their fins or spikes to scare predators away.

With regards to the personal space article by Sommer where the author described the increasing level of discomfort as another individual approaches closer, our designs has a system of protection where the mass and strength of the protection is encircled around the most vulnerable parts, the body and neck etc, and subsides as the space extends outwards, the extremities – the lower the concentration of spikes. These ideologies are implemented on both designs in different manners but ultimately the key ideas we wish to conceptualise are that individuals have different levels of comfort at different distances and that in reflection of these ‘comfort distances’, there is a relevant amount of protection implemented onto these comfort levels. We believe that this materialises the abstract idea of personal space and that the organic nature of our design will feel more embodied as part of the model.

DIGITALIZED MESH MODEL This is the digitized mesh model of Starry’s body by using the 123D Catch Autocad program. The model was made by taking approximately 40 photos from hip height and above head height around the model. The first model that we made was more thorough but Starry was sitting on a high backed chair (see below) which wasn’t ideal when trying to overlay the Rhino design which would run down the wearers back, protecting the areas which they couldn’t keep watch over.


As a group, we consolodated our main ideas of personal space and came up with some developed design ideas that explored the skin and bone system as well as the panel and fold system. These ideas were based on designs covering the neck where the incorperation of the neckhole was a key challenge and we soon found that even though the centre was probably best as a circular shape, the overall shape didn’t have to be (see left).

FIRST GROUP DESIGN We found out the similarities of our design by comparing three ideas from skin and bone sysem as well as panel and fold system, and the ideas are trying to increase the personal space, decrease the social contact and protect the vulnerable parts of body. Therefore we made the second skin by combining all three designs, and took the most interesting parts and typical parts as designing elements. From the model we made, it could be recognizd that the panel system is in back and front, which is analogous to turtle shell and executing the protection. Also, there are several thorns in different sizes surrounding the neck and shoulder parts, which express the willing that keep away from others.


The models beside show the design on a scale that relates to the real body. So it can be seen that the thorns on one side create a threatening effect that could prevent people from approaching the wearer. Then the front panels are less threatening , making the collar more practical to move around in . The design forfills the brief as it covers the areas of the body perceived to be vulnerable, i.e the wearer’s back and neck.

ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL MODELS COMPONENT This exercise in the tutorial encouraged us to think about how the different elements of the systems could join together. We explored different ways to connect the sticks (the bones of a skin and bone system) like tape, plasticine and blue tack. This exercise lead us to think about how the shapes encorperated in our design would tesselate and how different ways of making the same shape (see right) could result in a stronger or weaker structure. We also explored the idea that one shape could be make out of other shapes, for example, a curve made out of triangles.

ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL MODELS VOLUME The group’s first idea was put to test via plasticine in the workshop. The mannequin provided a more physical visualisation on how the design would fit on a person. This gave us a better idea whether the size of the spikes, while meant to be threatening and deterring, wasn’t unrealistic or dangerous to the wearer

ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL MODELS MOVEMENT To exhibit the organic nature of our design, paper was our material of choice for the workshop. In order to create the desired fluidity of the design, tabs were created on triangles of different sizes to facilitate bending and movement. We explored the idea that the bigger the tabs were, the greater the movement between each panel. Also, the smaller the panels the more movement (like exhibited in the sketch below). Greater movement could be beneficial as it doesn’t completely restrict the wearer, creating a more practical design.

THE SECOND DESIGN APPROACH This model has a stronger representation of the grill-necked lizard and the skin and bone system. The Most protected part, the neck, is heavily fortified by thick panels but as the design stretches outwards, the defensive system subsides as the comfort level increases for the individual.


This design has a more direct approach on personal space distances where people that are approaching can get closer to the wearer through the gaps in the panels if the wearer allows them. For example, the wearer could simply permit them from coming closer by turning slightly so the person approaching is faced with the blade instead of a gap.


Side 2 Top

THE SECOND DESIGN APPROACH As with the first design, the design is applied on the digital model for clearer representation. The concept of this design is closer to the precedents that were explored after the first design. The propeller-like panels coming out from the centre are meant to mimick the expanding sections of the frillnecked lizard’s neck. They also represent the expansion of the different layers of personal space seen in Sommer’s reading and our groups original definition of personal space that expand out in a circular fashion like a personal ‘bubble’. Further development of this idea has lead to the design of a retractable mechanism that will act like a fan or the lizards frill to open when the wearer feels threatened. , similar to the idea of a puffer fish.

WEEK FOUR LECTURE: In the lecture of week 4, the notion of effect has been introduced. The ‘effect’ is the consequence of an action, which shows the difference comparing with the initial object (Loh, 2013). It presented three kinds of effects, which were Differentiation Effect, Interference Effect and Multiple Effect, and a lot of projects were shown, such as To and Fro Table by Paul Loh and Nex for the interference one, which shows the effect about different position has different view. Besides, ‘personal space’ had been explored more, and it indicated that personal space has not specific shapes or dimension, and it can always appear whenever or wherever you go, or it can disappear in some situation. This gave some inspiration to me, that our project does not have to be static or keep the initial effect, and it could always change to be better. Therefore, with this lecture in mind, our group has created a ‘two stage’ which can transform when a situation changes for example if the wearer feels threatened, they can activate the fan-like cape, making them look bigger to scare off an approaching person as well as protecting the wearers back while providing a barrier around the neck and preventing harm.


The final design proposal is a combination of the two previous design with the front panels originating from the first design and the retractable fan-like cape coming from the second design. This retractable fan can be employed if the wearer feels threatened and gives the design a sense of movement. The mechanics of this process is currently being explored and a range of materials experimented with. Other retractable objects like umbrellas will be explored so that the group is more thoroughly educated in the system methods of tension and compression. This collected design best displays the use of panel and fold systems in the wind design and skin and bone in the possible methods of construction in the front panelling. It also expresses the groups notion of personal space seen in the comparitive sketches below.

FINAL PROTOTYPE CAPE MODEL A functional prototype of the panel and fold cape element was made in conjunction with the ‘bone’ from the skin and bone system. The materials used were paddle pop sticks and paper which were justified by their characteristics, paper to fold then expand and the sticks to act as a solid skeletal membrane for the paper to be attached to. String was also used to attach the paddle pop sticks and the paper and to act in tension when pulled, causing the paper to span out. Because the paper was folded, this is expanding action could occur with minimal difficulties. The prototype was successful in that it could fold and expand although the method of how to control this action needs to be tweaked and improved. Also thicker paper or cardboard would create a stronger and stiffer structure seen more in the rhino sketches. The next step in the design process would be to make a prototype of the skin and bone system and explore how these two elements of the final proposed design could connect and work together.


For the reading of ‘Lost in Parameter Space’, the most important difference between ‘abstraction’ and ‘reduction’ is that the abstraction is trying to decrease the amount of information, such as reducing control points of surface, however reduction is trying to rewrite the information optimally without changing the content, and it includes low-lever reduction as well as high-level reduction. In model 1, we were doing project separately in different systems. But now we are trying to combine multiple systems into one project, which like the ‘abstraction’. After we combined our ideas and transferred into a new idea, we tried to make this idea better by adding or reducing elements on it, which shows the idea of ‘reduction’. In the projects of Heatherwick, he shows different effects according to the environment and context. What he has done was carefully considered. First of all, he will consider the neighborhood and environment, and make the observation. He will also test a lot after the model making. From the project of the bus in London, he showed the idea of freedom with open platform, which people can see the landscape from the platform before it arrived. This idea not only indicated the notion what he wanted to express, but also made the bus more aesthetic. The processes was very clear, which from fabric to format to structure and to aesthetic finally.

M3 fabrication  

Virtual Environment University of Melbourne

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