P3_Final_Sarah Mapel_001

Project 2

Utilizing Maya and its various capabilities, Project 2 was a visualization of squaring a number and the complexity that results from this process. Starting with the number two, I bisected a square into two parts in both directions, and then divided the square with two diagonals. I then proceeded to apply various affects to this base layer. These affects I carried through consistently with the other two layers, which were studies of divisions into four parts with four diagonals, and sixteen parts with sixteen diagonals.

The overall final form of the screen design was inspired by various organic shapes that transform themselves to be useful, yet appealing means of cladding a building, providing shading, or acting as an interactive art exhibit. The diminishing voids from layer to layer on the final screen work especially well for creating limited lines of sight with a consideration for temperature control combined with the benefits of day lighting.

Project 3

The Lily is the result of parametric and non-linear thinking and design applied to an initial goal. This objective began with the hopes of creating modular pieces that would fit together without any extraneous connections while operating in such a way that the individual pieces would create many different shapes when combined together, depending on the orientation and the number used. This thought was initially inspired by the VLightDeco IQ Puzzle Pendant Jigsaw Lamp (seen below).

Throughout the design process, my parameters became more defined and specific, resulting in a slightly different final product than what I had initially intended. These included tessellation qualities, in order to conserve materials, flat-pack capability, so that the unassembled product could be shipped conservatively and cheaply, and finally, I wanted each individual piece to have a built-in means of connecting to the other pieces so that no glue, tape or other adhesive was necessary. Thus, the only component that would be shipped would be the pieces ready to be assembled, further enhancing the flat-pack capability.

These parameters were directly linked to the final component operating as a performance-based design. Not only did it satisfy all the rules laid down, but it also had an appealing aesthetic quality that could be used by a wide variety of audience members. Furthermore, it is flexible, can take on a varied number of shapes, and can be coordinated so that the user can interchange components depending on the color of the surrounding environment.

Created entirely via sketching and numerous experimentations with scissors and paper, the parametric design process was not carried out in the way many may imagine, but was conducted without computer aided design programs such as Autodesk Maya or Grasshopper for Rhino. Despite the fact that I did not employ technology as we know it, I shared many similarities with those who do utilize computer programs to aid in parametric thinking. Like them, I did not have a clear image of what I wanted my final product to look like – I merely had a set of rules that I was determined to follow. However, rather than tracing my thought process through a Grasshopper script or similar means, the results of my design development where visible in the discarded physical paper models.

Although I was very pleased with the finished result, the means to that end did provide some problems along the way – foremost of which revolved around the constraints of fabrication. Experimenting with paper and scissors was all well and good for the “rough drafts,” as I like to call them, but the transition to a more resilient, long-lasting material proved difficult. The first attempt at this involved laser cutting a thin acrylic in the hopes that it would be strong enough not to wrinkle (as the paper had), but flexible enough that the bends in the material would not cause it to snap. However, after a few attempts at laser cutting, the acrylic proved to be a failure. It did not score without breaking, and attempting to bend the material freehand typically resulted in it snapping and becoming unusable. I also envisioned a final product with multiple color options, rather than the milky white and clear that the acrylic embodied, so I went in search of another solution. I finally landed upon a thick, strong construction paper that came in a variety of colors and would score without breaking. Although this material worked fine for the final product for the time being, if this design were to be mass produced, a much more resilient material would have to be found. The construction paper was great as long as one were careful with it, but overtime, wear and tear would ultimately show.

In the future, I hope not only to improve upon the materiality of the design, but hope to take this idea further to try to come up with variations on volume, shape, and color. To do this, I may have to tweak the parameters to potentially invent an entirely new form, but it would also be interesting to see if I could keep the parameters the same, but come up with an entirely new form that still satisfied all the requirements, reflecting the notion that the Grasshopper plug-in, Galapagos, employs: there are many solutions for the same problem, but not all of them may be the best one. I believe that the Lily is definitely one of these solutions, but I also believe that there are many more, and the best one is still waiting to be found.

The link to the powerpoint presentation about the Lily is listed below.




Comments are closed.