Archive for the ‘Week 05’ Category

User Participation #1

September 4, 2009

I gathered my favourite clay models and wire mesh models and took them to the skate park (Riverside). I wanted some skaters to take a look at the models and give me some feedback on the designs. They didn’t seem too interested in what I was saying at first, but when I pulled out the models they all started to gather around and take a look. I didn’t really want to sketch and takes notes of what they were saying and I didn’t want to ask them to sketch out their ideas either. So I cut up some squares of wire mesh, gave it to them and said- “show me your ideas”.  So they all started to model up some ideas… They produced some basic shapes and curves and gave me some advice on what they thought be good to include.

1- Shallow transitions

2- Transfers between some obstacles

3- They wanted to skate obstacles that didn’t look like benches or other familiar obstacles.

So my design needs to be less like a seat and more like a sculptural installation. skaters and the general pubic (tourists etc) would find this more interesting.

Seating concepts

September 3, 2009

I wanted to create a visual language (script) that could be understood by skaters and pedestrians. (Understood in terms of the seats functionality.)

Seating concept 01- Oven bake clay & wire mesh

Seating concept 01- Oven bake clay & wire mesh

Back view of seat.

Back view of seat.

I wanted to design the seat so that the mesh area was seen on the underside and the concrete on the top surface. But I also wanted the mesh to be seen on top of the seating areas. Knowing that skaters cant grind or roll over bumpy textures, this would be the perfect deterrent for skaters. It would be an in built Anti skate product. I think it’s a nice way of suggesting  functionality and possibly keeping some order; by restricting unwanted behavior whilst encouraging acceptable behavior.

Here is another version of the seat created from the same template shape.

templates

templates

(the curved surfaces will lie flush with the ground. The clay dried and curled up in this model 🙂

Seating concept 02- View from front

Seating concept 02- View from front

view from back of seat

view from back of seat

Here are some close ups of the texture created by the wire mesh. If this was  1:1 scale I would imagine the mesh would be the mould for the concrete. Possibly with a flexible/ removable backing like a plywood. When the concrete dried the backing would be removed leaving the wire embedded in the concrete. Another possibility would be to remove the mesh and the ply backing together so that it only left an embedded texture of the wire mesh. Either way, I’ll play around with this ideas some more.

blog texture 1

blog texture  2

Clay & Aluminium wire mesh models

September 3, 2009

I found some Aluminium wire mesh made specifically for model making (0.3mm thickness).  It’s great to work with. I was able to achieve some really complex folds with rounded surface areas. It’s great because you can cut it to shape with standards scissors and you can bend it by hand. I was able to get a lot of different ideas out in a short period of time. And the best thing about this medium is that I could make a scale model and then unfold it again! Not only does this save me having to buy more material if I make a mistake, it gave me the option to modify a models shape again and again.

I think some of the models were hard to understand from an onlooker’s perspective. Even with a scaled human figure beside the model it still didn’t read as a piece of furniture. So I added some oven-bake clay to one side of the mesh to give it some body. The clay is called FIMO. It helps people visualise the models functionality the interaction a human might have with the piece of furniture.

I made a series of 1minute clips to show the modelling process.

clip1-  showing how to shape the wire and get the clay ready.

clip2- Cutting the clay and molding it to shape.

clip3- Baking the model in the oven for 30 minutes at 130 degrees Celsius.