Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obama + Prada Concepts

The idea of Barack Obama's offices plays on the insight of his thinking as the president. The attribute of power is seen by his desire to be in touched with the people, the very fabric of society.

His idealism is to be open to the people, to be as transparent and in keeping touch with normal citizens. It's this understanding of his power which is reflected on the structure. Curvilinear forms play on the whimsical notion of the fabric of society, addressed by how the structure evolves from the ground up before returning to the ground. Whist Obama's offices rest below (the idea of having both his feet on the ground, in touch with the people), the above space is open to the public to allow interaction.
Miuccia Prada's offices follow the form of fabric and how it may drape over a surface. Power to Prada is inspiration and her ability to harness emerging trends. She states materiality as her inspiration and power to mature designs, and this is evident in the overall forms of the structure.

The blue+green hue is taken from her flagship retail stores, so the light is defused between the levels to portray continuity and transparency between her designers.

Meeting Space

The meeting space continues the stylistic metaphor of the nature of fabric. The circular overlapping theme encases both clients as they converge to the isolate place to hold meetings. The idea of isolating the space belies both parties which pride themselves on privacy away from the public eye.

The notion of power is instilled by the structure located between Obama and Prada's offices, as a way of drawing them away from their offices to mash up some idea.

UT2004 Model + SketchUp Links

UT2004 Model:

SketchUp Models (meeting table+elevator):

Peer Evaluation

36 Custom Textures

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dining Tale + Elevator Concepts

The focus was to envision a complete system, so it was imperative to not only design the dining table where either party can meet, but to consider the seating system that contributes towards the whole atmosphere.

The table takes both attributes of power from Obama and Prada. The idea of transparency and being intertwined with the people contributes to the power Obama has in his position. While Prada's idea of unconformity and her inspiration of materials to produce striking designs, her motive of power.

The overall form is a metaphor of a fabric nature, both in principle of being in touch with his people (Obama), and the physical nature of how fabric folds and follows form (Parada).

As a place of meeting and dining, the curvilinear forms gives an impression of a casual and relaxed environment. The fan shape is metaphor of a melting pot of ideas from across the table flowing freely.

Friday, May 15, 2009

18 Sketch Perspectives

A combination of one-point and two-point perspective drawings, F and H shaped pathways.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mash Up of Three Articles

We all know Obama won the election because he looked like change, sounded like change and never stopped campaigning for change. Presenting herself not only as an object of desire but as a material girl with her eye on the profits was one of the many smart moves she made from the beginning.

Fear and power do not peacefully coexist. It follows, then, that she who wishes to reach the most rarefied and potent ranks of fashion, whether in dealmaking or designing, must have a certain serenity. Obama puts it this way: "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." But those metaphors all suggest that he is some sort of passive instrument, when in fact his elusive quality is an active part of his personality.

"I like to mix it up and make things in the opposite way than they were meant for," What sets her apart is her disregard--in some cases, her open contempt--for the dictates of fashion. Whereas common sense says a designer should design what she likes, Prada will choose a color (sic) that she despises, because of the rush it gives her when she can make something beautiful with it. By flaunting her control and her triumphs, Madonna gave fans a stake in her long-term prospects, something that loyalists should be able to appreciate as her sex appeal inevitably fades.

For ushering the country across a momentous symbolic line, for infusing our democracy with a new intensity of participation, for showing the world and ourselves that our most cherished myth — the one about boundless opportunity — has plenty of juice left in it.


Barack Obama

David V. Drehle, “Why History Can’t Wait”,31682,1861543_1865068_1867013,00.html (Accessed: 11/05/2009)

Michael Grunwald, “How Obama Is Using the Science Of Change”,9171,1889153,00.html (Accessed: 11/05/2009)


Jon Pareles, “Material Woman, Restoring Her Brand” (Accessed: 11/05/2009)

Miuccia Prada

Belinda Luscombe, “Miucci Prada”,9171,993332,00.html (Accessed: 11/05/2009)

Kate Betts, “Miuccia’s Material World”,9171,1594161,00.html (Accessed 11/05/2009)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sketch Play: Before the dawn of the ruler..

Playing around with freehand sketching, trying to get a feel between one and two point perspectives.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Perspective Views

(Click on image for larger view)

The rephrasing of both quotes into an electroliquid aggregation, whimsically plays with the idealism that man has tried to seek the truth, yet the gravity of mankind and their endeavours can only been seen as personal conquests. The primary focus was on contrast, between two sides of the coin, and is apparent by understanding the difference of impartial thinking. 

The concept rationale follows from the development phase, as most ideas/commentary has been extrapolated across. One main theme of the overall concept was that there were no elevated spaces, as such ideas of each scientist would create an environment of working transparently, opposed to autonomously.

Meeting Space and Ramp Access

(Click on image for larger view)

1. A Y-shaped structure was used to imply strength to support the suspended laboratory against the cliff, and semantically acts as a meeting point for both scientist. The shape whimsically plays with the notion of cloning seen by the two symmetrical pathways diverging into one. 
2. Lighting was used extensively to convey a sense of contrast between the two scientist, especially seen from their respective works. Blue representing the mystic depths of the ocean, and the warmer tones transcending away from natural colour ambience to something more artificial. Also note the structural beams underneath the ramp aiding in supporting the whole suspended structure.
3. The idea of ribs again plays with the attribute of structure, support, and also reduces the visually mass linking the two laboratories together by allowing natural light in.
4. Forward view, as seen from Cousteau's lab, of the meeting place, when both paths diverge into one.
5. Ramp access, as seen from Campbell's lab, also notice the attention to lighting as one moves from one space to another. 
6. The meeting space, can also been seen as a fork in the road (with the idealism of artificial fusing with nature).

Jaques-Yves Cousteau's Laboratory

(Click on image for larger view)

1. The use of artificial lighting to give a connection between the ocean depths. The lighting carefully gradients diagonally upward (left to right), to semantically convey the motion of diving into the unknown. Cousteau's laboratory was chosen to be positioned off the vertical for this very reason of playing with spatial arrangements, it's noted it can easily been seen as an object floating on the surface of a vast ocean.
2. Moving from the meeting space towards the entrance Cousteau's laboratory.
3. The stairs immediately lead down to the working space indicating a sense of sinking initially. It was important to have a high ceiling as this relationship between user and structure imparts a sense of floating, provided by the lighting. Natural light was an important theme of this space, seen by a ray of natural light penetrating. This particular idea links the ocean to nature, and is a metaphor of hope for Cousteau's work and his love of the seas.
4. To emphasise the ray of light penetrating the structure, careful attention to allowing light filter from the sides opposed to directly above. The roof cascading downward also is a metaphor to a single drop of water (and an analogy used frequently to a start of new ideas and nature).

Keith Campbell's Laboratory

(Click on image for larger view)

1. The idea of separation before becoming one
2. Similar in concept to the workings of Cousteau's laboratory, a beacon of light is projected on ceiling angled towards the sky, a metaphor of idea and hope for Campbell's technology. The strong contrast seen by light and shade (especially the light from the rear), is an idea that such scientific research could have hope to those who believe, in spite of the ethical in differences. On the whimsical play of my electroliquid aggregation quote, I also wanted to create an uncanny resemblance to a mad scientist workshop, with cold stark ambience and lighting bolts of electricity. 
3. Illustrates the play with shadows, and the initial division of space. The lit doorway between each space is where the cloning fuses
4. Symmetry of form and arrangement was focus of cloning, as also taking a back seat approach (generalised view) of Campbell's work, seen by mixing religious connotations with the scientific outlook.

Final UT2004 Model

Available for download from this site.
game downloads

Friday, May 1, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Electroliquid Aggregation

Buoyed by a little bit of history; man, science, and a mad scientist can fly in any direction. In truth we are not all looking in improving the quality of life for people. The weight of gravity on one's shoulders, can only sink beneath the surface. In spite of man and the mad scientist best efforts to fly in any direction by merely flipping his hand..

Friday, April 24, 2009

Intersection Concept

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Behind vertical: Jaques-Yves Cousteau
In front vertical: Keith Campbell

As part of the development, I wanted to virtually play around with the visual mass rather than to set the hard points early in the cycle. The above concept focus on intertwining both client spaces and envisioning the idea of a meeting point. This idea could easily be pulled and scaled to fit within two separate vertical spaces. 

For this stage, I decided to switch the clients around the vertical plane to generate more ideas and push the design envelope. As witnessed by the images, Cousteau's space has been elevated somewhat and the use of blue lighting to give the impression of floating, and the mystic depths of the ocean. The image at the bottom right illustrates the attention of allowing a narrow corridor of natural light within the space. This is reference to Cousteau idealism and seeking for truth of the seas, which is found in his exploration works. The angle of the inner wall semantically shows forward motion, trying to encompass the feeling of a water craft preparing to dive. 

Campbell's space has been rotated 90 degrees but continues the somewhat pattern of symmetry, this continues on the underside of the structure. A large part of mass is extended on the structure to imply difference between volumes, as this whimsically plays with the notion of differences between the cloning debate. 

Again light is used extensively to further define space, convey contrast between material subjectively, and emphasis the play with natural and artificial lighting within the overall structure. Adding a little bit of whimsical play with my design (as part of my personal creative design rhetoric), the external structure plays with the component of visual mass suspending by a counter-balancing, visually-lighter mass. The premise is a throw back to Cousteau's quote of having the ability to fly whilst buoyed by water (a sense of belief to the contrary). And a reference to everyday design attitudes towards what is feasible, and what is simply not.. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Initial Concepts - Cousteau + Campbell

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Jacques-Yves Cousteau:
The initial idea was to focus on the subject material "water". This was seen as the influential attribute for Cousteau's passion and dedication. The structure was to encompass the formation of the contained spaces, but envision a sight of freedom (spatial awareness to visual mass). To suspend the mass off the vertical plane, the premise was the relationship to below, the idea of an immaculate unknown quantity, as envisioned by Cousteau's research plight of the ocean depths. The blue lighting is in direct reference to the ocean depths, (though in tangent of the opposite inner structure), the idea of pristine truth.

The relationship of lighting carefully articulates the underside of the structure in blue, while the surface above remains exposed to natural light to provide the contrast between land and sea.

(Click on image for larger version)

Keith Campbell:
The focus of this concept was to visually arrange the structure and mass by symmetry. The attribute was of repetition which is in direct reference to cloning. The structure itself is design with height, as they implies a sense of religious structures, a somewhat idealism of the constant battle between science and religion (The ceiling slope looking beyond the heavens). Lighting underneath and behind the structure conveys the sense of floating, an unknown quantity referring to the use of the technology involved and the ethical principals involved. 

Lighting carefully provides contrast between the two separate client spaces between the vertical plane. It also emphasises the separation of the two rooms, again an insight towards separation and combining of genes as part of the work within the science laboratories. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

18 Sketch Axonometrics

(Left to right) 
Pages 1 to 4: Jaques-Yves Cousteau (chosen concept pg1 top)
Pages 4 to 6: Keith Campbell (chosen concept pg6 top left)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Experiment Two: Client Quotes

Alfred Nobel

"I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results."

"If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied."

Jaques-Yves Cousteau

"From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to the earth. But when man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free. Buoyed by -water, he can fly in any direction - up, down, sideways- by merely flipping his hand. Underwater, man becomes an archangel."

Keith Campbell

"What I want to try to explain to people this evening is a little bit of the history and a little bit of the science behind cloning. But more importantly, what I would hope they go away with, is some of the positive uses of this technology. We are not all mad scientists. We are not all looking to clone ourselves. The positive benefits that this may have for human therapeutic medicine and improving the quality of life for people with certain genetic disorders.


"Poet of the Depths" Time, March 28, 1960,,9171,826158-1,00.html

Campbell, Keith. Interview by the Marine Biological Laboratory, 22 June, 2001.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Final Concept: Exterior

The overall shape and form of the structure imparts a sense of continuity, in regards to relative proportion and balance between above and below sections as seen by the side view. 

(Left to right)
Three quarter perspective: 
Main entrance to the building, the whole structure is supported by a concrete beam running from front to rear. The overall shape is inspired by the constant cycle of the sun rising and setting in the Australian outback as seen in Gascoigne's All Summer Long art piece.

This illustrates the overall dimension of the building relative to people. It also highlights that each side of the building is different following the theme of light and shade, imparting a symbolism of life and death (by use of different shaded materials) of Hall's central theme.

The topography is very much in unison of the overall theme projected, witnessed by the free flowing lines. This view shows the differences between mass from left to right, and plays with the contrast of hard materials such as concrete and glass, to soft materials such as the exposed timber decking.

Lower quarter perspective:
This allows opportunity to see into Hall's studio. Parkland is situated specifically to allow people to sit and meet, and gives the artist to peer above at their interactions.

The main entrance tapers at the right side to create a flow in effect for pedestrian traffic. This is seen as the side where a road would be parallel to, and thus providing a welcoming entrance to the outside world.

Final Concept: Above Studio

Artist: Rosalie Gascoigne
Keyword: Monotonous
Art Piece: All Summer Long
Materials: Timber, plywood, concrete.

The above studio is inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne, taking into consideration the important attributes and material elements from her work, in particular focusing on her art piece All Summer Long. The overall premise of this space was to focus on Gascoigne's explorative escape on Australian landscape. She is known to have discovered personal freedom through the means of witnessing the diversity of landscapes, in particular the visual depiction of Australian outback which is the main attribute taken as inspiration.

Creating a sense of space and openness to the outside world was the main objective. Since Gascoigne uses landscapes as inspiration, it was imperative to allow a view to the outside world. The large floor to ceiling windows also allow the constant cycle from morning, noon, and night, and keeps intact the sensation of the horizon. Biased on her work, All Summer Long, which captivates the long dry spells of the outback, most of surfacing and overall detailing are harmonious and soft. 

Keeping with the attribute of monotonous, the tonal pallet is limited, while keeping to the warmth feeling timber and plywood contributes.   

Final Concept: Gallery

The main idea of this space was to bring together the works of both artists in a unified way. As part of the overall theme of the structure based on the attribute of contrast, each space starting from below moving to the top level follows a spatial feeling from heaviness to lightness. As such the effect of the gallery is the balance between the two, that allows enough light to penetrate but at the same time plays with heavy materials to enhance shade in certain areas. The staircases are central to the building as it acts like a divider between the gallery space underneath, and creates flexibility for curators with greater space availability for art pieces on the floor. 

The staircase leading up the top studio space is inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne. Based on the majority of her works the stairs have a fragmented feel to them, suspended by supporting beams from the ceiling. Having the staircase suspended from the ceiling carefully allows more interactive use of space underneath, while creating intrigue for those peering upwards. The stairs are fabricated using plywood which is then moulded and set using proxy resins to allow the manufacturing of a single piece (without part lines or unnecessarily fittings). The idea was to have a continuous singular shape, which is a repetitive theme seen in her work. Using wood as the main material relates back to her work All Summer Long. The platforms help to break the height of the stairs and give the opportunity to stand and pause as you glaze at the artworks in the gallery. Using a polycarbonate material with it's transparent properties enables a strong structure, and the ability to see through.

Being a gallery and a meeting point of people with common interest, I thought it was important to give a sense of space as seen by the height and open entrances between front and rear of the building. In effect the openness allows more freedom so the artworks can be viewed without the clutter of your eye of sight being blocked.

Final Concept: Below Ground

Artist: Fiona Hall
Keyword: Vigorous
Art Piece: Understorey Collection
Materials: Sheet glass, concrete, braided wire cable, exposed earth (soil).

The corresponding images focuses on the artwork of Fiona Hall, in particular the collection of intricate sculptures that illustrate a certain juxtaposition between life and death. The premise of this studio space is to display a sense of dynamic energy and contrast, whilst focusing on the natural world which is the intersection of nature and culture, the very essence of Hall's majority of works. 

Allowing natural light into the studio was an important element, as such a glass ceiling is fixed to one corner of the studio. This highlights the theme of life and death, as symbolically one peers above and outward to the heavens. It allows Hall to view the social aspects at play above the mezzanine level, watching and listening to people talk about her work of societal dilemmas and intriguing events. 

The walls are dissected into a play of angular lines and planes, whilst mimicking retainer walls made of concrete and filled with the very earth surrounding it. Again this focuses on the contrasting effect playing with man-made and natural materials, while symbolising a direct contrast of forms based above ground (softer, harmonious surfacing). The use of glass sheets elevated off the structure for the stairs and flooring directly relates to the main material used in her Understorey work. Rather than having stepped staircase I decided using runners leading to the gallery level, as it implies that life is a slow and unwinding journey, as witnessed by the images above. 

The overall impression is a studio area that needs to capture growth/life, while portraying a contrasting vision between death.

Animations: Section, Exterior, Above/Below Datum

IMPORTANT NOTE: After the videos were uploaded to YouTube for some reason they lost frames, in spite of the original copies intact. I have spoken to my tutor Vinh who has allowed me to repost the videos hoping to fix the issue.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Further Development: Above Ground

Texture Development

Above image: Gascoigne - Monotonous, using the sketched attribute of "natural" applied to the walls.

Below image: Hall - Vigorous, using the sketched attribute of "jagged" applied to the retainer walls. 

Short Youtube - Fragmented Stairs

Sunday, March 29, 2009

36 Material Attributes

Above: Opaque, smooth, reflective, fragile, porous, transparent, flammable, natural, soft, thermal, raw, brittle, shattered.

In-Between: Fluid, magnetic, metallic, weave, matte, durable, tough, rusty, malleable, flexible.

Below: Jaggered, scorched, crystalline, artifical, heavy, translucent, rough, grainy, microscopic, compressed, abrasive, ductile, elastic.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stair SketchUp Exploration Two

Gascoigne - Monotonous
Materials: Reinforced wire cable + moulded plywood shells + translucent polycarbonate
Cable running length of stair elevation acting as a support for the structure. 
Separating the run with an open riser gives a fragmented impression in conjunction to the aesthetic layout of Gascoigne's work.
Using simple forms to emphasise singular structure.

Stair SketchUp Exploration One

Gascoigne - Monotonous
Materials: Timber panels + tubular steel
Open structure, allow to see through, fragmented. Passageway intentionally lengthen as a means to emphasise the Australian outback landscape. Tubular steel unfinished, course and rough, to relate to the discarded materials Gascoigne used in her work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stair Exploration

Concept 1 and 4 were used for above and below ground studio spaces.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Materials + Production Methods

Fiona Hall's Understore 1999-2004, is a collection of intricate sculptures that explore the notion between life and death, highlighting man's one-sided conquest of urbanisation and political colonisation. To illustrate the symbolism and juxtaposition, the larger than life, beautiful sculptures are enclosed into a transparent display cabinet, a somewhat suffocating space to address death, or a morgue-like dimension. Hall's creations would use beaded glass as the main material, and wire to thread and interweave the beads and give a sense of structure to mould he particular forms. To gain complete creative control, Hall would have manufactured her own glass drawn beads, rather than off the shelf by-products, to dictate the explorative colour contrasts.

Rosalie Gascoigne, All Summer Long 1998, gives an insight on her discovery of personal freedom, finding explorative escape through the means of the Australian landscape in which she had a personal affinity. The intrinsic value of her materials and processes are found in her recognition of those respective materials, and the true value in which she captivates her embodied work. An interesting fact of Gascoigne was the change discovery of wooden Schweppes soft drink crates during the late 70's, which became the necessary materials for a number of her works. Gascoigne would articulate her narrative landscape piece by assembling sawn off yellow-pained wooden crates, by tonal range and weathered painted surfaces to attain the sensation of a distant horizon, and the constant cycle of the sun rising and setting in the Australian outback. 


Queensland Art Gallery Media Kit 2005

Film Australia: National Biography Rosalie Gascoigne Study Guide

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery: Online access

National Gallery of Victoria: Rosalie Gascoigne Education Resource

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Experiment 1: Development of SketchUp Model

These images display the progress of development with the initial concept. The idea was to take a more 3-dimensional aspect of my sketched concepts as my first attempt with SketchUp seemed a little one-dimensional. They illustrate the spatial relationship between structure and its users. The gallery was to be incorporated within the main structure, separated simply by an additional level.

Focusing on the above ground elevation, this concept is modelled on the attributes of "Gascoigne - Monotonous". The premise was to focus on simple, free flowing forms as witnessed by the overall roof silhouette. To allow as much natural light possible, the roof cladding used a transparent material to give a sense of airiness within the internal spatial environment. In much of Gascoigne's work I focused, she looked at the visual depiction of Australian landscape. As such it was important to have a window with a view facing outside for Gascoigne to peer out whilst in her studio seeking inspiration. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Experiment One: Initial SketchUp Model

Top elevation: Gascoigne - Monotonous
Material: Recycled timer
Bottom elevation: Hall- Receptacle
Material: Glass panels

The initial idea obviously was to get a quick grasp of the program, and to lay out the foundation from sketch to 3 dimensional modelling. My concept was to find a harmonious balance between above and below the datum. 

18 Concept Sketch Sections

Artist: Tracey Moffat, Rosalie Gascoigne
(Left to right)
Page 6: Above datum: Gascoigne - Monotonous, Below datum: Hall - Vigorous
This was the initial idea and recommended by the tutor to follow through the development cycle. The premise was focusing on allowing light to pass through and filter down the structure below. Using a variety of dense materials such as concrete, this was to absorb light/heat, as the purpose was to create a contrast between light and dark, from sunrise to sunset. This primarily focused on Gascoigne's work "All Summer Long" and other various landscape artworks, taking inspiration of the length of day, and constant cycle over a period of time.

In stark contrast to the above datum of Gascoigne's, the below datum using aggressive surfacing and detailing to emphasise the keyword "Vigourous". Hall's artwork "Understorey" highlights the stark reality of life and death by virtue of materials used in her composition. I wanted to enhance this by creating a contrast between above and below. This follows through with the notion of simple harmonious lines above, whilst the below datum differentiates with a more corrupt and angular form.

Page 9: Above datum: Gascoigne - Monotonous, Below datum: Hall - Receptacle
Similar in concept to the previous idea, but the tutor categorised both as either concept to further investigate. Again following suit from the previous concept premise, the inspiration was to keep the lines and overall shape smooth, harmonious and allow the contrast between light and shade. For the below datum, the focus was for multiple levels or hallways from a central shaft (ie. elevator or spiral staircase), and give flexibility with additional storage and studio workspace.   


Monday, March 9, 2009

Client Artworks

Fiona Hall - Understorey 1999-2004: Receptacle (noun), Juxtaposed (verb), Vigorous (adjective)

Tracey Moffat - Fourth 2001: Culmination (noun), Isolate (verb), Bleak (adjective)

Rosalie Gascoigne - All Summer Long 1998: Cycle (noun), Manifested (verb), Monotonous (adjective)

Image References: