Capturing Experience and Atmosphere through model making

After trying but failing at creating models I have read and re-read the brief for Assignment One. It’s really important that I remember the reasons why I felt calm when sat in the room, at what point did I feel that way? I felt a sense of calm immediately entering the room, it was silent and empty, the sunlight was flooding through two or three of the large windows, it smelt of history and stories of families spending quality time came to mind. Spending a bit more time thinking about the atmosphere in the room helped me with ideas of my final model. I intend to create a shape of calm that will suspend from the ceiling. Wish me luck!

Visualising ‘Atmosphere’ through Sketch Models and Contextual Study Point: Phenomonology

When I first read the aim of this exercise, I immediately felt comfortable with developing my sketch modelling techniques. After a few days of pondering I sat down at the table with a few materials – string, glue, card, scissors and matchsticks. I began by looking at my chosen interior, trying to translate my sketches into 3D models. I printed all of the my sketches onto A4 paper and laid them on the table. It sounds easy but I soon found myself trying to create a model that was literally representing my sketches, I looked at making tables and chairs, the one brief in the course content is ‘don’t try and make models that are a literal representation of the space you were in’. A few days later I returned to my materials and sketches and again looked at how they represent movement, sounds, smells, quality of light, emotions and atmosphere. The room itself gives me a sense of history and calmness, so how do I bring those feelings to a 3D Model?

Fig.1 I used card and cut lengths to recreate tassels that can be found on the curtains, drapes and the furniture. I used matchsticks to create the diamond pattern that can be found on the wallpaper.

Fig.2 There is a stencilled pattern on the wall below the cornice moulding, I used string and card to try and create that same pattern.

Contextual study point 2.1: Phenomenology

Phenomenology being the study of the way we experience things. In my chosen interior, with the rooms being so large, the sofas and armchairs sit away from the walls giving me the feeling of nurturing, encouraging people to sit and enjoy each others company within talking distance, this creates a cosy, warm, friendly atmosphere. At the same time I feel a sense of cold, strict, harshness. The wall units and tables mostly have straight edges with dark colours, that contributes to the sense of sadness and coldness. This feeling is softened by the flamboyant patterns and colours of the drapes and large rugs. I imagine smartly dressed children sitting quietly in front of the open fire while adults chat amongst themselves. Long winter days would have been very cold with only an open fire to warm the room. The whole room gives me a sense of the Georgian era and tells stories of times gone by.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me on my first ever blog!

A few weeks ago I was extremely lucky to spend 2 days away at a health spa celebrating very special birthdays with two of my daughters. As soon as you enter the building you have moments of calm, of which is a complete treat when you have a busy lifestyle. Some of the rooms are grand and full of period furniture, pictures and decor.

I have selected this room as my interior space. I would have liked to have spent more time in the room to sketch more of the detail on the furniture but managed to capture most in the time I had.

Mapping the interior – what an experience! It felt really good sketching like this, the shapes are mainly square and/or lots of straight edges. I quickly realised that it doesn’t need to be neat and tidy or even look exactly the same.

This particular room definitely makes me feel safe and at peace, as I sit admiring the decor I imagine people before me doing the same. It was built in the 1700’s so the rooms would have lots of stories to tell. When I visited the same room during the evening I had a spooky feeling, much prefer to admire it’s belongings during the daylight hours.

Listening and recording – I found this task quite difficult. As I sat in the room, I could hear talking from the main reception next door and a few floorboards creaking, sunlight was pouring through the windows giving me a natural sleepy warm feeling.

Form and Light –


The majority of the materials in the room are fabric and wood, which make up 4 upholstered sofas, 10 armchairs and 3 coffee tables. Both the armchairs and tables are very old, I would guess from the early 1900’s, the smell of the whole room is musty. Flamboyant patterns on both sofas and armchairs give a sense of age, faded patterns in areas on the furniture such as the arms and seat show general wear and tear for furniture of that age. The large room, with high ceilings and large windows fit the style of furniture well, floral style rugs and curtains with tassels complete the furnishings. I imagine the long winter days would have been quite cold, even with an open fire lit, the room is very large and there is a lot of space to heat. I try to envisage a family enjoying the room, quiet reading areas for some, the atmosphere gives me a sense of life and tells stories of times gone by.