Assignment Two: Designing my Folly

Starting off by thinking of a theme or an issue that could be explored through the design of a Folly, I went through a series of design processes beginning with a mind map based on the idea of vehicles speeding through my home village without care and attention to village users. Here is a mixed media piece of my folly in the village setting along with my presentation.

Mixed media image of the Folly in a village setting, close up on the Folly.
Mixed media image of the Folly in a village setting alongside a busy road.

Reflecting on the process of my recent assignment, I gained more experience using the Vectorworks software and Photoshop. Still lots of practise needed by becoming more confident each time. The process of writing a mind map and designing and drawing from this is a winner for me, so many ideas and thoughts come to the surface, my ideas for the design Folly were definitely inspired by my Pavilion design. I took the shape and most of the design and gave it a new purpose by changing the materials and style and therefore it’s purpose.

Design Development

For my assignment, I have explored themes and issues that are important to me and designed a Folly based on those ideas. Carrying out a mind map at the very beginning was an important task for me, giving me the chance to explore other words and feelings connected to those ideas, more in depth.

Firstly, I will explain a little on the background of my idea. I live in a small village in Somerset. The main road that travels from the nearest town of Yeovil to the A37, that leads to neighbouring towns of Dorchester and Weymouth, cuts through the bottom of the village, halfway along that road is Yeovil Junction Railway station. Over the last 20 years of living in the village I have noticed a huge increase in demand for traffic passing through the village or travelling to and from the railway station. The increase of traffic has taken its toll, not only on the state of the roads but the deaths of the animals that are also trying to cross the road have increased. During lockdown we sadly lost another cat, our beloved Maisie. She was an 8 year old tortoiseshell who mostly preferred to stay home. I’m convinced that because of lockdown, the roads were a lot quieter and so she thought she would take a chance and cross the road to explore the river on the other side. What makes matters worse for me, is that the driver didn’t stop and move her to one side. A different driver found her in the road, scooped her up, put her in a bag and knocked on a few doors of the terraced row I live in, a neighbour identified her and knocked our door with the sad news. We are a family of 5 and we would normally be working, at college, at uni or school but because of lockdown we were all home. That morning was very sad indeed, we carried her to our allotment, not far from our house and buried her. Since that day, in the space of two months, two of our neighbours have also lost their cats to the dreadful speeding of cars through the village.

Based on this sad story, I have designed a folly that is functional, durable, self-supporting and doesn’t need foundations or tethering. I have researched materials and found a material that isn’t the cheapest to produce but most importantly it is an environmentally friendly material, it is carbon fibre. My thoughts behind the actual build of the folly and the costs involved would be a discussion for the local community and I would look at fundraising ideas to cover that cost.

Whilst researching carbon fibre I found some interesting sites that explain its process.

Carbon fibre is manufactured by refining oil to obtain acrylonitrile and then spinning this acrylonitrile and baking the spun yarn. Due to the high baking temperature of 1000℃ or more, 20 tons of CO2 are emitted to manufacture 1 ton of carbon fibre. Scientists have found that carbon fibre contributes significantly to curbing of global warming, the environmental impact of carbon fibre was evaluated using the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) method over is life cycle from digging of material to use and scrapping of carbon fibre product. The result is as follows. When the body structure of a car is made 30% lighter using carbon fibre, 50 tons of CO2 will be reduced per 1 ton of carbon fibre over a life cycle of 10 years; when the fuselage structure of aircraft is made 20% lighter using carbon fibre, on the other hand, 1400 tons of CO2 will be reduced under the same condition. If passenger cars (42 million vehicles owned, excluding light automobiles) and passenger aircraft (430 planes owned) in Japan adopt carbon fibre to reduce weight and therefore improve fuel economy, 22 million tons of CO2 will be saved. This corresponds to approx. 1.5% of total CO2 emissions in Japan in 2006 (1.3 billion tons), which clearly shows why this cutting-edge material is a “trump card” in reducing CO2 and contributing to the global environment. (Toray, 2019)

The two main points for the design of my folly are environmental and local and taking into consideration my thoughts and feelings on the traffic speeding through my home village, I created a mind map. Such a simple task but one I find really helpful. My thought process behind the design of the folly not only has to look impressive and profound but will hopefully teach children and adults the dangers of speeding in a built up environment and remind those that do, to just slow down and take a bit more care and think about the consequences of their actions. Not only is this good for the mind and takes into consideration other peoples feelings and ultimately their loved ones, but pets can live a happier, less scary life.

The shape of the folly will enable people to sit and enjoy it, it won’t be weatherproof but can be used and enjoyed on the days when you don’t need to find shelter from the rain or snow. Ribbons will hang on the poles, in different colours, to represent the animals that have lost their lives in the village trying to cross the road. It will hopefully stand as a constant reminder to drivers to help them stick to the speed limit of 30mph, maybe their conscience will remind them that their speeding has an impact on other peoples lives when they are told their beloved pet has been hit by a vehicle. I’m also thinking that the folly can be used in several parts of the village, so with its lightweight structure, it can be moved easily on a regular basis.

The folly will have a plain black frame consisting of 3 tall carbon poles that meet at the top and showcase the whiskers. The bottom of the folly will be made of carbon fibre poles in a horseshoe shape that can be used as seating, the ribbons in their bright colours will represent the lost lives of the animals, their memories will then live on in the folly.

Here are a few drawings that I did initially, it wasn’t until I looked again at the scale and realised that I did them wrong, but it was good practise!

My original Folly design drawings.

The following drawings are at scale 1:20, with correct measurements. Here you can see different elevations, front elevation, plan elevation and a section drawing of the base of the Folly. I have added a scale figure to show how the folly will be used. The last drawing also shows different colour ribbons that will represent the animals killed on the road.

My Folly design technical drawings to scale 1:20.
My Folly design with scale figures of an adult and a child showing how it will be used.
My Folly design with ribbons on the poles representing the animals.

Referencing

(Toray, 2019) What is carbon fibre? https://www.torayca.com/en/aboutus/index.html accessed 28.9.20

Technical Drawings

Here are a few technical drawings I created on Vectorworks software showing the Folly in different elevations.

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Reflection on my feedback for Assignment 2.

Assignment 2 was the design of my Folly. My tutor has commented on how I have started to slow down a little and delve deeper into each exercise, this will improve my work whilst enjoying each task set.

I agree that it’s easy to approach each exercise and skim the surface to produce work, but the work you produce reflects how much time you spend on each exercise, in this case by slowing down and really looking further into what is asked of me has helped me produce more detailed work, there is still room for improvement but I hope to continue working in this way.

As my tutor pointed out, drawing is a form of clear communication and can see improvement since my last submission. I have enjoyed spending more spare time sketching and particularly enjoyed the sketching exercises in part two. It certainly helps joining in the activities set by the college.

I have also been practising with Adobe software, there is so much to learn but I’m enjoying the journey. My tutor noted that my first experiments are a good start and I must always ‘play’ with the spaces enough to work out the most appropriate solutions. Often I will try a few ideas and run with one of them, I must try several ideas and be completely content with having exhausted ideas before I move forward with it. My tutor particularly liked my drawn/collaged images, they were also fun to create. I will try this process using Adobe software.

Again, with my Folly design, my tutor would have liked to have seen me explore more with different or similar designs, even if they are rejected. I agree that I must explore further rather than moving on too quickly.

Most exercises have asked for my drawings to be shown in Plan, Elevation and Section. Section drawings have so far been a tricky concept for me to grasp. After speaking with my tutor and being shown how to approach section drawing using a simple method like a cake, cut in half so that you can see the inside of the cake, I now understand how to create a section and I now find this task less daunting!

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