Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Personal Reflection

Throughout the semester we have learned the fundamentals to hand drafting.  Although most of the design work we will be doing will be on computer based programs, having general drafting knowledge is essential to being a successful designer.  We have focused on everything from architectural lettering to orthographic drawings to perspective drawings.  We have learned how to create accurate scaled drawings of basic shapes to more complex real life objects.  Although I had had a brief introduction to drafting in a class I took at C of C, this class was much more detailed and thorough and I really feel like my skills as a draftsman have definitely improved.

3rd Year Studio Critique

On our last day of class, we were able to attend the 3rd year's final studio critique.  They presented two projects--one individual project on a new section to Central Regional Hospital and a group project for a mixed use space in downtown Durham.  The individual project focused on designing a new center for the psychiatric ward of the hospital.  They were to create spaces for the boys, girls, children, as well as communal areas.  It was very interesting to see each designers individual approach and inspiration for the space.  Some were inspired by the seasons while others were inspired by shapes and colors.  I was incredibly impressed with the caliber of work presented for this project; however, the verbal presentation for some was lacking.  Being able to "sell" your work is an important part of being a designer, and it just seemed that it was less natural for some. 
The mixed use space in downtown Durham project was very interesting to me as it is an excellent example of the type of design work I really want to be doing.  With my background in historic preservation, it was interesting to see how the designers chose to design the new space in the old building.  The building is to have a wine bar/commercial space on the first floor and residential space on the second and third floor.  This group project was very impressive as well as each design presented a variety of resolutions to the space.  Overall, I felt the work spoke louder than the presenters, but in general I was very impressed. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Luminaire Final

For our final project in studio, we were to create a luminaire that portrayed the light effect of the solar light phenomenon we witnessed earlier this semester.  We were able to use a variety of materials that we had worked with throughout the semester.  My inspiration for this project came from a sunset I observed in Charleston.  The sunset illuminated the whole sky creating an array of warm colors that streaked across the horizon.  I wanted to create a luminaire that had a light effect that created an image on the wall that emulated the sunset.  Initially I had imagined creating a hanging light that focused on illuminating the room, but after many trials my light transformed in to a wall sconce with the effect predominately projecting on the wall.  I went through a variety of paper materials testing various options in sheerness and opaqueness.  I wanted the paper to be opaque enough so you couldn't see the light source, but sheer enough so the light could come through.  My final design used a textured cream colored paper that emitted a warm color as the light went through it.  Using balsam wood as the spine, I attached nine strips of paper of various widths a quarter inch apart to it adding another thinner piece of wood to the back to cover the joinery.  The strips of paper formed concentric circles going up and down from the center strip that covered the light source.  Also as I knew my light was going to hang on the wall, I wanted to use a lightweight type of wood.  Going back, I think I would have investigated other materials that were lightweight as well as durable, as I found that the balsam wood wasn't very sturdy.  Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of my design, as it not only created the light effect I had envisioned, but it was also aesthetically appealing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Scale Figure Drawings

For an in class assignment, we had to work on drawing scale figures by drawing our classmates in different poses and at different scales.  We were to practice contour line drawings as well as gestural.  Although our short time limit per drawing was frustrating, I thought the activity was very useful in learning how to do scale figures in different poses and at different sizes. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Luminaire Prototype

We are to create a luminaire that demonstrates the light phenomenon that each of us witnessed earlier in the semester, and we are currently in the beginning phases of designing and developing them.  My idea is to create a hanging light using a semi-sheer frosted material, perhaps mylar, and a luminescent film on the inside that I will cut into ribbon-like strips and form them around my light source.  My light phenomenon was a sunset and I am hoping to create a light effect that reflects the many colors that lit up the sky.  I have currently developed a prototype using white poster board that reflects my design idea as seen in the pictures below. I am now currently testing numerous materials to see which ones will emit the light effect I have imagined.  It is definitely a work in progress, but I am quite excited to see what happens.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


We had to choose a few sketches from our design visualization sketchbook to post on our blog.  I wanted to choose three different sketches from various assignments.  This sketch is representative of our task to draw light shining through water.  I have many sketches of of various cups and bottles filled with water that I drew at different times of the day to show how different the light is at different times. This particular sketch was done later in the evening in my apartment.  I chose to post it because it not only shows details of the light, but also of the bottle itself.  The use of shadows and various graphite softness was important in order to portray what I wanted. 

The next sketch I chose to include is a self portrait, which is the most recent assignment we have been given.  I took an drawing class for my previous degree at College of Charleston, and we had a section on drawing portraits, so, although it was a about five years ago, that previous knowledge definitely helped me in this assignment.  I drew this particular sketch from a picture I took on my computer, and it took me a little over an hour to complete, but I still find myself touching it up and changing parts of it to more resemble me.  Portraits are definitely one of the more challenging aspects of drawing, but you learn alot about the details of the human face.  The technique of shading is very important in order to accurately portrat things as the nose and to draw hair.  Portraits are something I enjoy and I want to continue to get better.

The final sketch that I chose was from our twig drawing assignment.  We spent numerous weeks drawing twig after twig, so I wanted to choose one of my more successful twig drawings.  This particular sketch was actually done in class during one of our in-class assignments.  Although I think this does an excellent job of showing the details of the twig as a whole, I wish I had done a larger more detailed image of it. 

This sketch is by Hailey Taylor
I chose this particular sketch by Hailey because I thought she did an excellent job of showing the various shapes of the leaves on the twigs.  Each leave has it's own character and movement, and Hailey did a nice job portraying that.

This sketch is by Cory Odell
I chose this self portrait sketch by Cory because it has a completely different character to it.  It is very playful and has a caricature aspect to it.  It shows that self-portraits can vary from being realistic to more cartoonesque varying on the artist, and from knowing Cory this is a very appropriate image of him.  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wood Project

In order to understand wood, which is one of the materials that we will be using to create our luminaire, our assignment was to cut a 2" by 4" by 18" section of wood at least five times, and then re-assemble the cut pieces into a connected system of parts using every cut piece.  The project was assigned in order for us to see the characteristics of wood as a material as well as to feel more comfortable using the tools in the wood shop. 
Initially when we were given this assignment, all of my ideas were incredibly complex and I wanted to create a system that was very intricate using many shapes and sizes of wood cuts.  After various drawings and different ideas, I took my first piece of wood down to the shop to try and figure out if I could create what I had envisioned.  I then realized I had no idea what I was doing in the wood shop or how to use any of the tools, so I opted for a much simpler design.  I decided to slice my piece of wood into six thin slices using the ban saw.  I then cut out notches in order to put them back together in a criss-cross design.  In hindsight I would of changed the notches' in that I would have done them at more of an angle in order to create a more secure place for the wood to come together, but this was a learning experience project, and I definitely feel much more comfortable in the shop and around the tools, and I have a much better idea as to what each of the tools do as well as the capabilities of wood as a material.  Hopefully, I will be able to incorporate what I have learned during this project in to my luminaire as well as any future projects involving wood. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leo Villareal

  Leo Villareal is a contemporary digital light artist whose work can be seen in numerous cities all over the world.  He has been commissioned to do both temporary and permanent exhibits in various museums such as the MoMa in New York and the National Gallery of Art in D.C.  He typically works in a large-scale format using LED lights which are controlled by both software and hardware systems.  Villareal’s use of light in his projects is uniquely based on patterns and movement, which he uses to create a spectacular event.  His work has been described as hypnotic by observers as the digital light forms abstract moving configurations.  Light to Villareal is more than just something that illuminates.  His projects are about experiencing the event of light in motion through time, and he uses light to frame and create spaces. According to Villareal as told to CNET news in an interview, “My work explores not only on the physical but adds the dimension of time combining both spatial and temporal resolution.  My forms move, change, interact and ultimately glow into complex organisms.”   Although Villareal’s work is formally unique in the shimmering effect it has on its environment, he could be compared to light artist James Turrell, as his work is also concerned with both light and space, despite the difference in the visual effects.  Overall, Villareal’s  art is incredibly special from an observational standpoint as the observer becomes completely engaged  in the movement and effect of the illumination, and his work is meant to be witnessed over a period of time in order to fully see his use of pattern in the LED lights.  

Concourse Walkway in the National Gallery of Art on D.C.

Devils Playground     

Wednesday, October 13, 2010



One of the more difficult aspects of this project was constructing the circles using tools in order for them to not appear "sketchy," and considering my candle holder consisted of doing numerous circles, it was something I had to work on.  The other aspect of drafting that I would consider to be more tedious is focusing on the different line weights and making the lines in the foreground darker than the lines in the background.  It is something that just becomes more second nature the more drafting I do. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Twig Project

For this project we had to design a "container" to hold twelve twigs of our finding using only paper and a binding agent.  This project focused on thinking outside the box in order to create an innovative holder that was specific to the twigs that we choose.  My design went through many transformations as I tried to create my ideal container.  Initially I designed a more cylindrical shape using textured gold paper and copper wire to create coils that attached the two sheets of paper as well as secured a place for the twigs.  Although the wire and paper choice were what I imagined, the design had some issues in that it did not seem to relate specifically to the twigs I chose.  I also tried changing the shape and laying it horizontally, but it still seemed to be lacking a definite relationship to my twigs.  My final design concept emphasized the slight curve of each individual twig using the copper wire to bind each twig to each other and to the gold paper.  It is meant to be more sculptural and to hang on the wall as a piece of art. 

My Final:

First Attempts:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creating a Place

IARC Environmental Design Project 1
Creating a place for a leaf...

My trials and tribulations...creating the perfect formation...