Thursday, April 22, 2010

Index to my Blog

In order to dissect my entries on this blog more efficiently, I have endeavoured to create this index, which points the way to the important stuff based on summary diagrams.
This index specifically covers the information I have produced concerning my continuing exploration since project 1A.

Soundscaping - the sense of sound

soundscaping in music

Qualitative spatial definition through sound.

Relationship of sound to touch

For explorations of these foci, refer to the process work for my individual task, and my "Caligari meets Chopin" video.

Materials and Texture - the sense of touch

Alegoric response to character - borrowed materials

high tactility

Relationship of touch to sound

For explorations of these foci, refer to the study of graphite on my hand, the process work between my individual room to the group "opening" task, and the model making task.

Sentient Architecture - the sense of consciousness

Organic form development

Dynamic Lighting

User-activated optical illusions

Explorations of these last foci permeate much of my design exploration since Project 1A, in response to the architecture coming alive, or at least creating the experience of being "present", so please find my work in this area particularly in my drawn plans and sections for the task iterations.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project 1A - a Folie insertion into Howard Smith Wharves

I am posting this more as a reflective entry; looking back upon the origins of the work for this subject thus far, and will show (with diagrams) how I have managed to in project 1B, delve more deeply into the investigations and concepts which I initiated in project 1A. To begin with, here is my original Folie Proposal.
The site analysis centred around my experience of the site through sound; both digital and "mechanical" sound. I identified certain focus points along the length of the site where the dynamic and timbre of the environmental sound was changed. This was informed by the nature of materials, proximity to traffic corridors (ie the bridge), and passing moments of interaction with other site users.
The resultant experience was one which left me contemplating the past history of use on the site; industrial, blue collar workers, practical materials, much less weatherworn textures, bright and lively soundscapes created by the milieu of activity.

And then the formal response culminated in what is essentially a large scale percussion instrument to once again activate the sense of the soundscapes that once may have been heard on the site by harnessing the natural accoustic qualities. By considering the relationship of people to the activation of the Folie, I realised a cyclical relationship where the users must activate the folie, to activate the site, to in turn activate the users' senses. Semi-sentient architecture which exudes an almost autonomous consciousness was the next step.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

finally done - the plan for the "opening for Dr Caligari"

Here is the plan for the section which was uploaded so many posts ago. Once again the primary sensory focus is on touch - the textures of stone, glass acting as tectonic elements to evoke an experience similar to that in a cave. What is displayed in this plan, as opposed to the section, is the layout of intersecting paths which terminate past the nodes where they intersect, leaving the opportunity to optically extend the length of the corridors, where as in reality they close up in a forced perspective - (the walls cave in to each other, the floor comes up to meet the ceiling, and vice-versa). A series of paths instead of a singular hallway was done to trap the lighting effect within that part of the room, and so that the full extent of the room can never be perceived from any one angle.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Learning From the Models

The diagrams shown below express three of the primary discoveries made as a result of completing the model-making experiments. They centre around consideration of haptic fabrication from abstract ideas.
The first diagram articulates how, as a result of the process of plaster-casting, 3 somewhat distinct layers stacked ontop of each other were formed. This revealed the opportunity for the user to experience remnant evidence of construction in the final form.
The second diagram concerns the realisation that in order for the walls of the room to float, they needed some way of being tied to the ground. In the model this was able to be achieved by thin but strong nail legs cut into the fabric of the wall. Obviously here, the goal is for subtlety.

The third diagram shows how we were forced to finally consider the external form of the room, and more importantly, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE EXTERNAL FORM AND THE INTERNAL ENCASEMENT. This came from originally neglecting how the room was to be encased in the plan drawing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Analogue Models for the Doctor's Room

Exciting Happenings went on over the easter break. Our group congregated together under the auspices of the Architecture Model fabrication Convention, or AMfC. Therein we decided that the primary technique of "casting" would be the closest match to the sensibilities which we were developing in our drawings of the design. The casting technique allowed us to explore our group's cave-like design in a haptic three dimensional sense, which was sorely lacking until up to this point. Casting the models provided the opportunity to develop and resolve the clarity of the form and structure of the room.

here is a link to my photobucket profile which contains all the photos taken over our 2-day conference:

I would like to explain a few key points of my own reflection on the success of the task.

First, the process was quite a unique experience in that for casting, careful consideration and planning needs to be carried out before things are set in motion to be "constructed". Essentially with casting, you are constantly working between positive and negative - void and solid, so that mould assemblages are opposite to the cast object within that mould.

We experimented with what we could use as moulds for the casts - such as plastic bags filled with bark, cling wrap over newspaper, empty bottles and clay. All of these gave different effects of texture and structure to the casts.

Creating a cave-like environment, we had made decisions to obstruct any views from inside the room to the outside. This however, meant that the experience of the weight and density of the surrounding shell could not be architecturally controlled, but instead up to the unpredictable opinion of the observer. So with our cast models, we paid carefull attention to adressing this key experiential aspect to our design by way of modulating the thickness of material along the walls, having holes, folds and slits slice sections through, and even - in the case of the wax cast - where modulation in material density could actually permit a dull luminance through by being ever so slightly transparent.

The Architecture Model fabrication Convention was a very worthwhile experience which I shall endeavour to apply to my design work from now on.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dr Caligari's room really starting to take shape - the opening explored

This section should hopefully speak for itself in the representation of textural, scale and light-filtration qualities. What shall be interesting to consider will be how much the models we create next are going to be close to these drawings which we have done thus far, or whether (and I hope it is the case) the process of fabricating our imagination into a haptic three dimensional form will develop the design to a further point of sophistication and resolution. It was clear though, from the way we have represented the room in our drawings as a group, that the process of casting is more closely linked to our underlying conceptual framework for the design. What has been evident in our group and my own individual drawings thus far, is that there is an uncertainty in regards to the extents of volume and void, solid and empty, mass and space. These things which are difficult to explore in two dimensional drawings will be the core focus for our model explorations.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Oh, the troubles of a left-handed person!

Upon drawing my latest pieces for the room for Dr Caligari task, I realised the side of my hand looked as if it had been dipped in silver. Because of the weight I put into the dark pencil medium, as my left hand ran across it, it gradually morphed into a section of reptilian/cyborg membrane.

I resolved to document this phenomenon, to accentuate the link between my drawn pencil technique, and my "collected-by-skin" pencil. So, in photoshop, I primarily worked with brightness/contrast and cropping several photographs of my alien hand, along the lines of cubist and surrealist art.