Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2nd Year Studio Final Critique

I attended the 2nd year studio's final critique. Their project assignment was to design a structure by using a system of folding, experimenting with paper and origami as well as creating models and a presentation board.  I thought two projects were especially successful. One project was a tunnel made out of angular plexiglass modules that was inspired by a human spine. This project was designed so the tunnel could change shape, and sections could be added or taken away. The model was very successful because it was made from a plastic or plexiglass material just like the proposed design and each piece was identical and well crafted. The scale figures were also effective in showing the tunnel's size and how people would interact with it, which was a big issue discussed in this critique.  The graphics in this presentation showed the process very well, but with the final rendering being the prominent focus. Another project used a series of cardboard triangles that were folded and sewn together to make an adjustable tunnel where the user could modify the structure by folding it or changing the number of triangles.  This model was also very well crafted and was demonstrated well with scale figures. The graphic presentation used a series of pictures showing the process like the first project. Overall, the second year students did a good job speaking clearly and articulating how they arrived at their final projects. I think they could have talked more about what exactly their project required and what their goals were.

Sketching over the semester

My drawing has improved significantly since the start of the semester.  I used to consider myself as not being able to "draw" at all, but the practice I've done in my observational sketchbook has shown me than I can make successful drawings with the techniques I have learned.  This semester I learned how to shade and blend effectively to create shadows and dimension and use erasing to show light.  I have also improved on using detail and contrast to make more successful sketches. 

I considered this to be my most successful sketch because the apple appears to be three-dimensional by use of shading and I believe I achieved to effect of light reflecting off of the apple.


The Final Project


The inspiration for my luminaire was sunlight hitting the fountain outside of the dining hall. My original prototype used only canson and trace paper to make a curve structure that was similar to my original diagrammatic model in my light phenomenon presentation. I then changed direction to a less literal interpretation which used more interesting materials. I used drinking straws to filter the light as well as show the different levels of brightness and curves of the water in the fountain. I started out with reflective paper held up by wooden dowels as the back of my luminaire to reflect light onto the straws. Originally there was only one single row of straws that were attached with only a few holes drilled into the base, the straws being taped to each other. I found that the best way to create the fountain effect and appropriately filter the bulb was to drill two rows of holes all the way around the wooden base. I switched to using poplar wood instead of pine because it is harder and easier to work with on the drill press. I added a third row of straws in front of the bulb to make the light less harsh. Finally, I added feet to the base made from wooden dowels to lift my luminaire off of the table surface and to allow room for the cord underneath. After critique, I decided to use paper to further shade the light bulb which helped to further soften the light in the center of my luminaire.

First base with reflective paper backing

First wooden base with dowels
Original Prototype