Page 1




The main concept these designs revolves around is the idea of branching out and connecting. This is why we have added this sketch design into both our designs, blending it with the other design ideas we include. The idea of branches gives a feel of stability and protection for the user of the second skin. The branches also link to week 4’s lecture on how repetition is sometimes useful in the aesthetics of a design, in this case the repetition are the branches.


Origional sketch concept of leaf design

Within this Practice design we are merging two ideas together. The tree branch idea and the leaf. With these two combined the whole design could possibly become a design similar to the function of an entire tree. We combined these ideas together and made the design bulkier, giving the second skin more volume.

Developed sketches of leaf consept, merging with the tree branch concept


The idea of repetition within the design and the curvature of a shrivelled up leaf is kept. The fragile physique of the left structure is intact within this design to represent the fragility of one’s personal space, and how easily that space is able to be invaded.

The edges of this design are cirved to expand on the idea of a crinkled up leaf, and how it’s edges are usually not smooth


The process of the design was not too long but we did take this week’s reading on “Surfaces that can be built from paper” about building curved surfaces with multiple flat planes into consideration. This was done by cutting the design into a desired slightly organic shape from cutting the form with mostly slices.

Image of Rhino line render of the design with out the human mesh


Origional sketch concept of skeleton design

The concept of creating the second skin as an extension of the backbone was thought about due to the fact that we become more vulnerable at the back as our eyes are focused in the front. We tend to be more aware of the situation when people approach face-on which raises our cautiousness on the personal space intruder. However, we are less likely to take notice of people coming from the back, reducing our alertness to our personal space outside of our visible boundary.

There was the initial idea of extracting the external spine into a more 3D shape, which looked like bulging spinal bones at the back of the person.

DESIGN DESCRIPTIONS Larger “rib” pieces to stable the second skin onto the body, specifically pieces around the neck and the hips

A strong feature of the spine extension is a sharp tarantula feature which is named “God’s hand” It acts as a “four finger” hand that aims to create the eye threatening effect to warn intruders about the consequence of entering the person’s personal space from behind.

In order to incorporate the system of interlocking pieces into the idea of external skeleton, a spinal extension was created. Inspired by the 3D dinosaur model, the team figured that the extension of the spine could mimic the skeleton structure of the dinosaur by adding in sharp pointy ribs onto the prototype in order to lengthen the body to defend the space around the entire back of the person

Personal Space Within our designs, most of our sketches included the shoulders. The human shoulders are able to act as a protection against the rest of our bodies. Imagine a bus so crowded that people have to abandon their personal space to function together. The area their personal space is commonly penetrated first is their shoulders. Another example of this is that humans commonly relying on their shoulders during weapon-less combat, one example of this is American football. Due to this type of combat protection method within football, protection gear such at shoulder pads are worn. This form of protection therefore connects to a large aspect of our design.

(Image of Football player running with shoulder pads)

Within our group, the most vulnerable area of our bodies we thought were areas we could physically not see without the aid of technology. Our backs; especially the top half of our backs, were therefore thought as quite vulnerable. This idea was agreed on by the group especially due to the back's lacking in meat/fat acting as a protective surface for the underlying spinal cord and parts of the human's ribs.

Sketch design ideas of personal Space

Another strong aspect within our design is the idea of leaving traces of their personal boundaries after oneself. The group noticed that this aspect was especially dominant as a social norm within certain situations and societies.

For example when on board a tram and there are no seats left. Even if you were craving for someone else's seat, there seems to be an unspoken social norm of not taking the empty seat as soon as the other person stands up. Because, respecting that person's personal space, you are waiting for at least couple of seconds after the risen passenger has left.

After large amounts of consideration the group then redesigned the Second skin into a skin which moulded shoulders, backs, and an 'essence' of personal space into one:

Sketch design ideas of personal Space The sketch design was previously created from small and large spikes of the same shape but different size to show the properties of panel and fold. These spikes emphasizes the amounts of protection humans needed at different places of our bodies. (i.e. the back would have the biggest spikes and the extension of the tail would have medium)

Front view

The design is initially wrapped around the body slightly like a protective rib cage. On one side of the skin the shoulder area is accentuated, looping around the shoulder/ arm attachment area to act as a fastening/ balancing device. The shoulder area looks slightly spiky to act as a form of protection. We were influenced by the "Surfaces that can be built from paper" to create flat surfaced parts yet combined to look like organic shapes for the design. When the wearer of the design is in motion, the section of the design which was previously wrapped around the wearer's torso is unhooked and is able to follow by flowing behind wearer, moving around due to the movement of wind and the movement of the wearer.

Back view

(The second skin flowing behind the wearer)

Sketch idea in Rhino: First version DESIGN IDEA FOR PANELS One idea was to have the lower portion of the skin made in a lighter/ thinner material so that it is able to act out the motion of flowing. String may be incorporated within the lower part of the design to act as bone. The skin of the design was to be constructed in a slightly more ridged material to resemble the 'exoskeleton' idea. Our group thought to seek visual aid of the Sydney Opera House to display the possible type of texture our design would include.

(Sydney Opera House)

Sketch idea in Rhino: Second version

(Chinese Lantern)

DESIGN IDEA FOR PANELS Our second idea was to incorporate the use of air pressure to the 'moving tail' of our design. We thought that the way to do this was to base our ideas off the function of a Chinese lantern and how it is able to expand and retract it's shape.

PRECENDENT: MANTIS SHRIMP The shrimp's exterior/shell is extremely hard for that of a shrimp and is closer to the hardness of a lobster shell. The shrimp is a very strong predator and is able to inflict serious injuries on others and its victims ranging in much bigger sizes.

The mantis shrimp has the ability to simultaneously observe most of its surrounding environment due to its complex eye structure. This ability is able to link to the second skin design, as the design is not just a 2D design, it is observed in movement from different views, each view is unique as the design has certain leading lines wrapped around the body of the wearer for the viewers to see.

It's hard protective surface and is also able to act as a weapon, the shrimp uses its claws to pierce items or shoot out bursts of hot bubbles to attack/fend off others.

Then there are sections, shown as the shrimp has a segmented body. The third is the use of panelling within the shrimp's tail. Each segment of the shrimp's body is a different size in order of them to slot into one another.

The body system of the Shrimp is able to relate to all three systems our group is in-cooperating into our design. Skin & bone, Panel & fold, and Sections. As the Shrimp is a living marine creature with an exoskeleton, the mantis shrimp contains it's skin and bone function to hold all its body parts together while still creating movement.


After the group's previous successful precedent and Sydney Opera House idea, we decided to further abstract all our ideas and for connectivity to link them into a theme: The Ocean

Our group felt that this theme connected to our idea of personal space well, as the ocean's personal space is what our project's goal is to eventually become. For example, when you go to the coast during the holidays, one assumed reason to go there is to escape from one's usual life.

Image shows initial design of Opera house

The area is so open and large that the feeling of great freedom when at the ocean is inevitable.



(Image of Football player running with shoulder pads)

The most vulnerable area of our bodies we thought were areas we could physically not see without the aid of technology. Our backs; especially the top half of our backs, were therefore thought as quite vulnerable. This idea was agreed due to the back's lacking in meat/fat acting as a protective surface for the underlying spinal cord and parts of the human's ribs.

The human shoulders are able to act as a protection against the rest of our bodies. Imagine a bus so crowded that people have to abandon their personal space to function together. The area their personal space is commonly penetrated first is their shoulders. Another example of this is that humans commonly relying on their shoulders during weapon-less combat, one example of this is American football. Due to this type of combat protection method within football, protection gear such at shoulder pads are worn. This form of protection therefore connects to a large aspect of our design.

READING DISCUSSION A few point's Heatherwick made were to: consider a method of standing out within a world of stimulus. I guess within this world of advancing technology, the dependency on nature within our designs may have over time diminished. In-coorperating a natural element within our designs would be a possibility to attracting viewers. The designer also talked about needing a design brief and boundaries made for yourself. This includes cost, time structure etc. These boundaries may aid in the development of the design's form vs function. The designer always has to challenge oneself, to consider other alternatives and to make decisions for creating a better design.

Many of Heatherwick and his team's design's consider both the form and the function of their re-designs, abandoning some traditions to create better, fresher ideas which fit in tighter with our current environment. E.g. saving space, more nature, aesthetics One of the project's Heatherwick used was the contracting bridge. This idea was made by first analysing other examples of retractable bridges, observing their flaws (in this case it was the look of the bridge), and then changing the motion of the bridge yet keeping its main purpose.

READING DISCUSSION In ‘Los in Parameter Space?’"Reduction, in contrast to abstraction, is not about reducing the amount of information but rather about finding the optimal way to transport it, hence rewriting the description without altering the content." (pg 75) Within our design task, we could use abstraction to make our design more simple to read when making, or at least there could be an abstract version as well as a more realistic version for two types of communication processes. The abstract versions would be more suited to viewing the design system as a whole and then the detailed parts would describe the seperate parts being connected together. These readings then also link to the lecture for this week as the lecturer was talking about prototyping and how the first prototype is the base of which you then continue to fix. There is usually always something to be fixed in the first prototype. By using reduction and abstraction, the first process of prototyping could become a lot more simple as there is less to read. Reduction is also a good method to use as repletion's within the design could be displayed as one which could possibly simplify the making and understanding process.

Shigeru Ban, Heasly Nine Bridges Golf Club, Yeoju, South Korea, 2010`

REFINING INSPIRATION: SHOULDER PIECE The shell is also hard and acts as a protective barrier for the delicate body inside.

This new idea was made to refine our shoulder piece area, a sea shell, by the ocean. The shell is a beautiful and seemingly organic shaped protective piece of armour. When you put a sea shell by your ear, you can all most feel like you can hear the ocean. And by using this logic, it could be said that the sea shell is a form of illusion of the ocean; freedom, and so the sea shell is a representation of that type of personal space.

CLAY MODEL Where the finger within the photo hooks into the shell is where the shoulder is to be locked into the design.

We created a rough clay model of the shoulder part to aid us in our Rhino modelling of the shoulder part. We designed only one shoulder part instead of two to simplify the idea of protection like that of a football player. The main system used within the shoulder piece is skin and bone. the bone used in this piece is actually just the user's shoulder the second skin is protecting. the shoulder's positioning is able to manipulate the force and direction of protection the shoulder piece is capable of providing.

The football player as well as others would commonly depend on one shoulder more than the other during the act of something similar to shoving threats out of one's personal space.

SHOULDER PIECE EFFECTS Effects that are aimed to achieve by the shoulder piece was declare space to people in a distance and an “personal space is intruded” warning to those who are near the wearer.

If it happens to be someone close to the shoulder and has intruded the personal space, the intruder will be able to see that the ribs of the shoulder piece and a void within the second skin. This void and the rib sections will show that the person is try to declare personal space with a rather delicate and sensitive part of the

People who are approaching in a distance will be able to observe a threatening image from shoulder as a declaration to warn the person not to come close to the shoulder area.

Strengthening a sensitive part of the body is related to the idea of “weak is strong”. The idea is often used in teaching the principles of martial arts where people could make use of every single part of the body, including the most fragile body areas as a weapon or defence tool to protect one’s personal space.


The panels used for the shoulder piece were pyramids, which is able to create spikes. The spikes chosen were inspired by our precedent, which is the mantis shrimp. We extracted the feature of the shrimp that the claws of it were spiky and incorporated to the second skin act as an attribute of a weapon, in this case, a shoulder weapon which could create the threatening effect.

The ribs of the shoulder piece were connected using the notch system as explored in the measured drawings did in module 1. The notch system associated with panels is shown in the Dragon skin Pavilion. The section and profile part of the second shoulder piece was inspired by the pavilion where panels were connected using a notch system and create this layering effect.

The pyramids used for the shoulder piece were in different lengths varying from a point create. This is done by using paneling tools with the point attracter when panelling the original model. One point attracter was used and is pulled away from the shoulder piece such that the spikes further away from the shoulder became

SHOULDER PIECE Top part will be in the form of ribs connected with notches and the rest will be spikes of different spans, by which the spikes become longer and more obvious when is further away from the shoulder for protection

The ribs will symbolize the delicacy of the should while accompany the spikes will show that we are trying to strengthen it and visualize the idea of "weak is strong"

BACK PIECE IDEA: CAPABILITY OF HUMAN VISION The sketches shows how when one person tries to look behind themselves, they are still not able to see their entire back. These 'blind spots' are the areas our group had decided to cover as a metaphorical form of protection. This part of the second skin add to the wearer's feel of ease as they know their vulnerability would not be breached.

For our back piece our group has also decided to enlarge parts of the shell panels so that they are able to cover the back of the user's neck.

BACK PIECE IDEA: PANEL ALTERATION Further sketches on the shell shapes sticking out of the back section. The sketches again show an attempt to incorporate the design of the Sydney opera house.

A few alterations had been made to the back section of the design. There were to be less but larger spikes, and the neck area is also going to be partially included, as the group realised how this area is also not able to be seen clearly by the wearer.



The final version of this model has been panellised. There were initially problems with connecting all panellised elements within this section together. The group then used the ‘Extrude curve to point’ tool to link all parts together. This section of the model was previously only composed of smooth large shell shaped spikes which resembled slightly to the ‘Sydney Opera House’. Parts of the design were then panellised in 3D triangular shapes instead of the 2D triangular panels. This was done to link the back section’s design style to the spikey shoulder section.


Images show the spikes created from 3D panelling





Image above shows the process of creating the prototype

There were certain difficulties during the process of making the prototype. Firstly, the card cutter was not able to cut the pieces correctly and had a rough finish after the cutting, we ended up have to cut out each of the pieces separately instead of just pulling out the pieces from the ‘nest’ Another problems was that we did not know how to label the pieces during the nesting process and so we messed up when making the ‘ribs’ part as we couldn’t orient the pieces correctly.


We also found that ivory card was not strong enough to support the original shape of the ribs, by which we may have to consider a different material, e.g. cardboard or boxboard. However at the same time, we recognized that we cannot use a material that is too strong as it may cause deformation of the whole skin and may fail to be worn.



2nd prototype of our model has been constructed using matchsticks and sticky tape as joint material. Elements of different sizes and shapes were created according to 3D model and then collected together and fixed with sticky tape. To thicken the top layers 3 matchsticks have been stuck together,

REFLECTION Week three’s reading on ‘Surfaces that can be built from paper’ had a very large influence on our group’s progression in designing the second skin. The reading mentioned the works of Tony Wills. These works partially inspired the form of the shoulder piece and it’s rather organic shape.

Tony Will’s D-forms (as mentioned in week three’s reading)

During week 4, the Thomas Heatherwick TED Talks Video Clip + the Virtual Environments lectures taught our group to “Think outside the box”. Heatherwick and his group’s imaginative designs (for example the unfolding bridge) influenced the way we tried to connect personal spaces with our second skin design. We were also more focused on the concept of “Form + Function” as we wanted an aesthetically pleasing design which still describes our group’s imagination on personal space. The ‘Lost in parameter space’ reading influenced our group when we were modelling our design up onto Rhino. We used the process of reduction and abstraction within our CAD modelling (e.g. for the back section of the design we decided to model each ‘shell’ off the other, taking out extra time to make different shapes) As mentioned within one of our first few Virtual Environments lectures, the process which led to our final product was not a forward brainstorm- design- model- make process. There was a lot of going back and forth the steps to reach the stage our group is currently at. After making our prototypes our group has realised that there are still many changes needed to be done within our design. For example considering changing the top of the shoulder part design into a stronger shape, that is if our group is going to continue working with Ivory Card.

Module 2 Complete  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you