Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Box for Twelve Twigs: progress

Like my Place for a Leaf, I wanted to pull characteristics from the twigs I found and work them into a main idea.  Also, after defining each 'box' term, I decided to create a system where the objects inside work with the exterior to support each other. At first I drew out six squares with random twig-like patterns in each, cut them out and tied the corners together to form a cube.  But this binding was weak, the paper was flimsy, and the cut-out patterns had no order to them to create 'spots' for each twig to lay.  I then came up with a pattern that worked in a similar way to the Leaf project.  I drew the six squares connected into a cross, used the same branch pattern in each (only I rotated the pattern throughout each square), cut the whole pattern out of gray poster board and folded it up into a cube.  This time I also included little tabs around the outside of the pattern to fold around the neighboring walls to keep a cube form.  This iteration worked a lot better - the tabs were stronger and made more sense than the twine and the poster was much sturdier for holding the twelve twigs.
I tried working with a few other materials.  For example, I attempted to cut out the walls from foam core in hopes to utilize the foam's layers to get different textures in the walls.  But making that many clean cuts on such an intricate design was too challenging.  But while working with the foam core, I did succeed in finding a good way to bind my walls.  

A Box for Twelve Twigs: progress

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today we divided into three groups and critiqued our interims for our box for twelve twigs project.  In Tommy's group, we kept going back to three main points as each project was analyzed: stay focused on one idea, strategic thinking, and defining quality.  The majority of the models played with several ideas - contrasting, resembling something literal, working as a system, emphasizing.  We discussed how every idea was great but that we needed to decide which one works the best for our project and our twelve twigs and to focus in on that one strong idea by eliminating the others.  Along with the topic of a focus, this critique showed us that by moving our projects around in different positions can make huge differences in the overall project.  We need to think strategically to make sure the twigs are visible, that our eyes don't get lost between the twigs and the structure around them, to relate the space to the container - rather by contrasting or making similar.  Tommy convinced us that the only way to make our strategic thinking work is to test every idea and make way more thinks than we need to.  We were also reminded over and over again to never apologize for your project and to not criticize your work too much.  During this critique, we also talked about defining quality; when you've found a precedent, use a precedent, or are looking for a precedent, don't think about what you want your project to resemble or how you're going to make your project look like your precedent.  Instead think about what it is about your precedent that works and how that could work for your project.  The class discussion at the end brought up other issues such as scale and how everything relates to each other, visualization, and craftsmanship.


This week's studio theory hour hosted architect John Lynn who's goal was to inform us of how important sustainability really is and ways that design groups have, and we, as students and future designers can help protect our environment.  Like last week's guest, Lynn was very passionate as he talked about how everything is part of the universe and it works to function as a whole.  Comparing humans to a storm, he discussed all the good and bad impacts we have on our environment.  Like a storm, humans can destroy a place, but at the same time, they can also create.  In order to preserve our environment, we must "know the storm, find beauty, trust beauty, and live beauty".
Lynn also told us about the 2030 Challenge adopted by AIA to find alternate energy sources to replace carbon and reduce other products as well.  This approach measures the carbon of resources used in architecture and states a goal of reducing that amount by fifty percent, and then and additional ten percent each year to come.  Other design groups like LEED, Leadership Environmental Energy Design, are also helping to complete this Mission: Accelerating sustainability success before economic trends foreclose the opportunity.  (www.sustainability2030.com).
Lynn spoke about about reusing existing buildings rather than building new and how "a building should live a long time, but be able to change with society", just like the human race.  A building shouldn't be destroyed or become vacant just because it's energy source or purpose changes.  I've always been green-savvy, but John Lynn's compassion for our environment and attaining sustainability made me realize that improving the world around us is even more important than I thought and how designers need to think green, hopefully influencing the rest of society to keep our environment in mind as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

PRECEDENT: A box for 12 twigs

This metal cube structure could be a depiction of my box for twelve twigs.  I created a cube with each wall as a cut-out branch pattern.  Each branch-like fork of all six sides of the cube create a place for each of the twelve twigs as they pierce through the paper cube.  I'm not sure where this red cube is located, but it has hollow, cut-out areas in each wall like my cube.  At first I had my twelve twigs randomly places through the cube but after seeing the orderliness of this precedent's middle, I decided that my twigs should have some order in the way they intertwine with each other as well.  Also the negative space in this cube's walls looks larger than the actual mass of the metal beams; the same with my cube's delicate branch-patterned walls.  Also, the middle beams are playing a role in supporting the entire structure.  Finding this precedent helped me decide to create specific spots for each twig so that they not only rest hut help support the paper walls around them.  My box for twelve twigs will become a system where the inside and outside help work together.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Place for a Leaf: FINAL

The first thing I noticed when I found my leaf was it's vibrant yellow and red veins.  I wanted to imitate this tropical characteristic when making a place for this leaf.  The veins act as a skeleton - they're very delicate and intricate yet strong enough to support the life of the leaf.  I came up with a pattern similar to the veins, cut out and folded them to form a skeleton-like basket to cradle the leaf.  The inside reflects the yellow veins and the outside reflects the red veins and the red tint of the back of the leaf.
Where it folds creates a specific spot for the leaf as the vein-shaped walls gently hold it in place.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Place For Leaf: progress

Above was the pattern I created for my final place for a leaf.  I carefully cut around each vein-like wall and at each intersection of the wall veins and base veins, I folded it up into it's basket-like form.