Materials exist in many forms, conditions and characters. Each different material is useful in different ways. It is up to the designers and the users how to make full use of each material accordingly. In this project, your task is to design a composition using different materials. These materials need to be composed using different type of joints and techniques. The jointed materials must also be able to move. The whole composition must be composed and controlled within the context of the given site. These four criteria are design complexities that you need to respond. But the layers of complexity do not stop there. As a designer, an extension of thought and actions are required in solving design problems.
You have already went through the first process of designing – formulating your design intention based on analysis of your objects in the photographs. You have identified each objects’ elements and principles, characters, properties, qualities and many other hidden dimensions from you analysis. Your next challenge is how to translate and use your analysis findings in forming a new design composition based on the afore mentioned criteria. It is strongly advised for you to read the project brief again in detail. The brief calls for a design which its main criteria is ‘composite materials’.
Please study what composite materials mean. What are the characteristics of composite materials? What are the ways of combining different materials that they can be called composite? Are placing materials side by side can be called composite materials? Do they need to be combined in a more sophisticated ways that their properties and characters change and results to different qualities? What advantages can you take by using composite materials comparing to single materials in designing your composition? These are questions that you need to answer in order to help you in understanding the project’s objective.
Research is a must. Please study on the many characters of the materials, and understand their properties. No two materials can be combined without prior understanding on their characters and properties. Only by learning the materials’ characters, your design intention can be resolved. Do not resort to graphical connotations of the objects or materials, but create something that is based on research. Here are samples of materials research done by the architect firm Herzog and de Meuron for some of their projects. Please dedicate your effort in conducting such research. Learn also how sculptors approached their materials for their artworks.
Treating your materials right is another important issue that you need to answer. What character can you create from proper treatments of your materials. What can you do to a solid material? What can you do to materials with cavities? What about the issues of hard and soft? What are the possibilities of treating the materials’ surfaces? How do you resolve the problems of joints and placement of materials? How do materials meet, connect and end? How can you position your materials so that they will help in reflecting the design intention? These are another level of complexities that you also need to respond.
By learning from your previous exercises will help you to take steps ahead. Also by listing the right keywords will help you to have clearer strategies and techniques in designing the composition. A clear storyboard and design diagrams will certainly help, as well as by making a mood board will help you to recognize, understand and make decisions on the usage of materials and the treatments that you need to do. Big scale drawings will reveal many latent conditions and qualities, and also help you to understand the scale of your composition and its components appropriately.
Make series of study models that serve different purposes so that things will become clearer. You need to create an overall study model and to accompany that model, you also need to make models of different parts and components, models studying your material properties and characters, models that study your joints and ways of controlling the joints, models of studying how to solve the issues of connections and treatments, and many others showing possibilities, options and alternatives of your design solution to the given problems. This project requires many study models in order to help you designing.
Drawings are equally important. You need to draw in big scale format. The main reason being that the size of your composition is big. Other reasons for you to draw in big scales are to help you understand the logic of your design solutions. Drawings will reveal many important information related to your design problems such as positioning, configurations, scales and dimensions, layers, and many others. Please provide these drawings in A2-size papers to accompany your study models. Please use all appropriate drawing techniques to help you to progress well.
Studies on wood and their various types (L-R)
Studies on sheet metals and their surface treatments (L), and studies on wood cuts (R)
Studies on acrylic material – cuts and surface treatments (L-R)
Studies on various surface treatments of different materials (L-R)
Studies on wood blocks (L-R)
Models showing studies on joints, structure and overall composition (L-R)