Posts Tagged ‘street furniture’

The Barrel Wave

September 26, 2009

After making lots of smaller wire mesh and clay models, it was time to play around with scale. The scale was going to be crucial in terms of the functionality to the design. It also determined WHO used it and how experienced they were. I’m making this object for people with 3 different skill levels, so I had to control certain parts of the design. The obstacle can be approached in 3 different directions according to skill level and according to your mode of transport; skateboard, BMX bike, roller blades and scooter.

My research and design development stages have involved the beach in some way or form. The sand, the water, the lifestyle also. Skateboarding also evolved from surfing in the 1950’s and was called “Sidewalk surfing”. So it was very appropriate to add some surfing FLAVOUR to my design. I was inspired by the barrel surfers went through and so i wanted to incorporate this in to my form design somehow. I want to achieve the same feeling surfers get as they are riding through a “barrel”- a big wave.

I also want it to have that aesthetic of an old drain pipe. Skaters like to find spots that aren’t meant to be skated. That’s what makes it an authentic street skate.  So check these following images and i’ll let the design speak for itself.

Barrel Wave

Barrel Wave

http://escapetheokiezone.com/uploaded_images/barrel-736497.jpg

Drain Pipe Skate

Drain Pipe Skate

http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.power-skate.com/skate05/images/stories/2006/JoshEvin_FullPipeTransfer.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.power-skate.com/skate05/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26task%3Dview%26id%3D79%26Itemid%3D45&usg=__jo9-RBXkGNLxcv_Dg74pvXa9wjQ=&h=548&w=670&sz=92&hl=en&start=14&um=1&tbnid=Zut4Wepb0RUk_M:&tbnh=113&tbnw=138&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfull%2Bpipe%2Bskating%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26um%3D1

Air dry clay & wire mesh backing

Air dry clay & wire mesh backing

blog clay2

blog clay3

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Plaster of paris & flexible moulds

September 4, 2009

After seeing pro’s making sand castles and learning about the Pound-up process. I thought it would be good to use the same process to cast my concrete product. I stumbled across a picture of a guy using a vinyl sheet to build sand up vertically. I have never found that image again. And I cant find anything else on the net where they use this vinyl sheet. Although you can’t make any undercuts… I think it’s still the best way to achieve complex curves with concrete. Because it’s a liquid, you’re normally limited to the shape of your mould because of gravity. So why not turn the mould on its side and pour it in from the top. The rebar can still be placed in the centre of the mould. Once the concrete dries you can remove the mould and flip the finished product on its feet.

I had some plaster of paris and some aluminium left over from my previous models. I couldn’t help myself. I had to try it out.

This shape comes from a clay model I made a few weeks ago- the shape was modified by a skater (see skate participant #1 blog post).

Aluminium mould

Aluminium mould- mock up

clay was used to seal the bottom of the mould

clay was used to seal the bottom of the mould

Note to self…Clay will not seal the bottom of the mould! Next time use gladwrap and sitcky tape.

Pouring Plaster of paris in to the mould

Pouring Plaster of paris in to the mould

Here is a clip I found on youtube that uses a flexible mould. Its interesting to see what is possible with a liquid material. Notice the foam-like flexilbe mould being used on a horizontal surface. Non-stick!

Site analysis

September 4, 2009

So the two sites I chose to study were Birrarung Marr and Flagstaff gardens. These locations were chosen in first semester as they were actually declared ‘skate safe’ zones by Melbourne City council. The first site (Birrarung Marr) is located just behind Federation Square. The riverside views attract tourists and other visitors. This means that I am more likely to design an obstacle that is sculptural in form. It does not need to be recognised as a piece of seating. If there is nobody skating it then I believe people would see it as a piece artistic sculpture that can be climbed on, sat on, and slid down.  Surprisingly there are little/ no recreational sports happening in this park.

There were a few locations in the park that I took photos of and analysed. These were the main criteria that should be met:

  1. Should be a relatively flat site uninterrupted by poles, trees and other obstructions.
  2. Should have a decent size run-up (preferably already concreted).
  3. Needs to be an area with few pedestrians walking, cycling, jogging past.
  4. Needs to have a safe distance between the river, roads, playgrounds.

As I was walking through the park I realised that there were 2 suitable sites connected by a downhill ramp. I had assumed I was going to use a single site with a flat surface. This means I could install 2 obstacles and skaters will be able to set up a “run” (A series of tricks). And because of the downward slope it means they can use little effort when skating between obstacles (No pushing = easy skate).

Main path through Birrarung Marr- Red zone is experienced skaters and yellow for Intermediate.

Main path through Birrarung Marr- Red zone is experienced skaters and yellow for Intermediate.

Main path looking at experienced skate zone.

Main path looking at experienced skate zone.

Flagstaff Gardens is the second site. I was analysing it using the same set of criteria. The park is a lot more structured and feels like it is maintained regularly by personnel. The north side of the park is closest to the apartments and other housing facilities. It has been designed for recreational purpose. It has a tennis court, basketball court, a large lawn bowls course, and a children’s playground. It has a relaxed atmosphere where people can sit on the grass and have a picnic or do other recreational activities. It is also opposite to the Victoria Market.

The South side of the park is facing the business buildings. There are only public seats and bins. People pass by quickly. Because it is in such a “business” district it is well maintained and looked after. This park is less about design and more about function and efficiency. There are at least 12 pathways that intercept each other, connecting every corner of the park. This makes travel times faster when walking. The park also slopes downwards from North to south. This means I will be able to set up a range of obstacles on different paths so that skaters can choose their own direction depending on their skill level.

Flagstaff Gardens- Yello is the intermediate course and the blue is the beginners course.

Flagstaff Gardens- Yello is the intermediate course and the blue is the beginners course.

Intersection where beginners and intermediate courses seperate.

Intersection where beginners and intermediate courses seperate.

The park is busiest during the morning and afternoon peak hour because it is connected to Flagstaff Train Station.

Because this is a business district I will be making my seats look a bit more recognisable. The people using the south side of the park are more likely to use a seat that looks practical. I will be designing them for beginners and intermediate level skaters. This will mean that there will be “Low Risk” tricks being performed on these obstacles.

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.

Metal models

September 3, 2009

I wanted to make some metal models. I was looking around Bunning’s for some wire mesh but couldn’t find any. Instead I found Aluminium Flashing. (0.3mm thickness. 150mm wide. 20M long) I was able to make some basic shapes with no undercuts. I knew I was going to be limited with my design because the metal was hard to work into more organic shapes. And it was taking me a quarter of the time to make the same shape out of clay. I also bought some chicken wire with the intention of making some 1:5 scale models. I was going to fill the gaps with some rice paper I bought and then pour some plaster of paris over the top. But the chicken wire was too spaced out and the rice paper didn’t sit well. I didn’t even get to the plaster of paris stage of the model.  I’ll hold onto the materials as they might come in handy in the future.

Aluminium flashing sheet & tools

Aluminium flashing sheet & tools

blog 02

Next week I’m going to buy some modelling wire mesh with smaller holes in it. Easier to model.