To explore the spatial effects of particular colours, I have drawn a simple perspective showing the far end of a room with two walls either side, a ceiling, a window and a floor. I made six copies of this drawing and then painted each space using acrylic paint with similar or different colours, I chose to work with 3 different shades of green, black, brown, yellow, orange and blue. To be honest I didn’t have any other different colours in my paint box and so I was limited but I think I’ve managed to create different perspectives of the same space. I covered all five other rooms with a piece of paper so that I could get a better idea of how I felt the room and the colours made me feel. I have added the images below and given each one a letter with my comments alongside each one. Each of the spaces look different and this is because of the use of colour, the shade of colour, the darker the shade the more dramatic the space looks but not necessarily the most impressive or attractive.
I enjoyed this exercise, it gave me a chance to work with colours that I wouldn’t normally consider painting on walls, floors and ceilings. It’s also reminded me of an exhibition that I attended recently, The Van Gogh Exhibition, The Immersive experience. One of his famously painted rooms is full of colour but was shown in three different perspectives. The furniture pieces have different brightness and colour contrast. As Van Gogh says “paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter’s soul”. The rooms are almost identical but by changing the pigmentation of the paint colours changes the whole perspective of the image.
What a wonderful quote, ‘What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.’ Having learnt about colour and chromophobia in this part of the unit has reinforced my love of colour and encouraged me to believe in the use of colour and learn when it’s the right time and design to do so.
Fig. 1 – 7 My own drawings and paintings of a room perspective
Fig. 8 and 9 – My own photographs taken at the Vincent Van Gogh Immersive Experience Exhibition 2022
I watched a video lecture on Johannes Itten and the use of colour. Itten was a Swiss painter and teacher who worked at the Bauhaus in 1919, where he taught his students about the basic concepts of colours, materials and compositions and he developed colour theories learning from theorists before him. Through his own research he identified seven fundamental categories of contrast which are hue, light-dark, cold-warm, complementary, simultaneous, saturation and extension. He encouraged exploration of colour through contrasts urging students to feel their own way into an exercise, which revealed different personalties and aesthetic choices. His education of colour using the 12 part colour circle that he constructed using the primary colours yellow, red and blue he then added mixed colours to the triangle in the centre that created secondary colours, thereafter comes the tertiary colours.
He then would get his students to look at the 7 colour contrasts he identified; hue, light-dark, cold-warm, complementary, analogous, saturation, and extension. He constructed this in a careful specific way so that the colours didn’t lean towards either primary component and encouraged his students to mix specific colours together to strengthen their knowledge of the use of colour. This way of ordering colour set up a rule book that would then try to determine the exact effect of placing one colour next to another.
He believed that to become a master of colour you must see, feel and experience each colour in its many endless combinations. For interior design purposes it’s important to understand cold to warm contrast which suggests closeness and distance, as well as simultaneous contrast which shows the way in which two colours affect each other, the colours themselves don’t change but we see them alter. This lecture was interesting, I already had an understanding of how colours make me feel, I believe that colours play a part on our emotions but that we as humans, can also feel so differently towards the same colour. We have the colour theory fundamentals in place, we can learn to understand how colours compliment one another, how one colour may dominate another and how the psychology behind colour evoke all different emotions. When we use colour in our designs we are communicating how we would like that room to feel, people will have a direct impact when they first see the colour, which is why choosing the right colour, tone and shade is an important part of every design.
Another colour theorist, Josef Albers, was taught by Itten at the Bauhaus and later became a teacher there too, before then going on to exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1971. His approach was very much the same as Itten’s, he approached colour based on the human experience and encouraged his students to explore and analyse their own experience of colour around them. Colour is perceived differently by each person, an example of which is pictured below, the ochre squares are both the same colour but sat amongst different colours gives the idea they are both very different shades. Colour is very subjective and evokes all different types of feelings and emotions, so when we are discussing colour for a client or a design we must firstly understand how colour works and be specific and clear about our intentions, this will help the design become much more effective.
Looking back at my sketch work of the Leven Pendant, I have chosen a part where 3 different materials meet and from this I have drawn a technical section at a scale of 1:1. I analysed the materials and junctions between the different elements. I didn’t have an image of the inside of the pendant and so had to make a guess at how it would look.
The sheet of steam bent Oak/Walnut sits attached to a Birch Ply hanging frame. Both are fixed together using Brass Rivets. My drawing shows the junction between the steam bent wood, the birch ply and brass rivet. My section drawing shows the inside unfolded. The drawings are finished off surrounded by a title block.
Following on from my tutor feedback, it was noted that my tutor would have liked to have seen my research tasks recorded in my learning log. I tend to concentrate on editing my own work for my learning log and forget that the notes and analysis are just as important. With this in mind I have added my paper notes from my A5 sketchbook, I listened to the lectures and made notes which then led me to research of small scale and model villages.
My tutor asked me to consider more typical ideas of scales within interiors. I looked at the links she sent me and it got me thinking differently about how to analyse the design. I also attended a Precedent Analysis Workshop and found it really helpful in terms of what to look for and how to pull it apart.
So for example, looking at this image as an educational space, I’m seeing the large space and considering how it fits within its context. The space has been deconstructed from a traditional classroom to a more flexible and simple interior space. It is a large open space broken up into several phases, following the Agile methodology which reflects the proposal of agile and innovative teaching.
The areas were designed to decentralise the teacher figure, placing students as lead characters and control of their own teaching and future. For example, this space doesn’t have 4 sides, all of the walls have spaces to write and design. Teachers in each studio have their desks in different positions and placed between the students’ desks that interaction happens naturally.
For medium scale, this image shows me how the spaces work within the building. You can see here there are individual house shaped buildings within the main building offering private spaces to close the doors to the main area, with glass fronted windows so the individual doesn’t feel completely secluded. There is a floor to ceiling glass window into another space that looks like a main reception area to greet visitors. It is dividing the space but using glass lets it sit comfortably within the building. Thinking on a human scale level helps analyse this space, the open plan area is also utilised with a large table and chairs, maybe used for meetings and catchups with colleagues, or even a place to sit with your laptop without shutting yourself off from the world. The interior is used very cleverly with students and teachers at the very fore front of the design, a perfect example of medium scale.
Lastly, considering small scale within the same space leads me to look at the way the detail of the ceiling shapes have been designed and used, giving you an idea of the necessary but not so exciting parts to a suspended ceiling, the air conditioning units aren’t hidden completely, which I really like, the visitors can learn from this, not every bit of equipment needs to be hidden from view, after all this is an educational space, but by adding suspended shapes in this way gives it a playful feel whilst creating functionality for the light fittings, security cameras etc. By looking at detail drawings also helps me understand how the materials work together, how are they fixed, why this particular material. This process of breaking down the interior space and really picking it apart has helped me understand scale so much more, I will take this process forward into my future assignments.
Fig. 1 – Images of my research notes and ideas leading up to Assignment One
It was great to get started on the work for Year 2, and I really enjoyed jumping straight in and looking at the concept of scale and how it is used to change the way we feel within a space.
My tutor noted that my work shows enthusiasm and effort and that I am making some interesting observations regarding scale both in my learning log and on the forum, she is encouraging me to continue to think critically about the notion of scale.
Going forward I have made a list to help organise my thoughts and actions
continue to back up my work with images or diagrams
be more experimental with how I communicate my ideas
consider more typical ideas of scale within interiors
continue documenting my ideas throughout my learning log and show my notes and analysis of my work
I will continue to look at ways of improving my work, both written and graphically, my tutor has recommended some online posts which I will take a look at and document on my learning log.
Now that I have an idea of how the Leven Pendant is made up and what materials are used I will have a go at making my own section drawing. I spent some time sketching and figuring out how the pendant fits together. This task was at times frustrating because I couldn’t find images online of exactly how the frame inside the pendant looks, I did find images of the top of the pendant so from that I worked out how it would probably fit together.
I then took all of this information and made a detailed section drawing of the pendant where 3 different materials are next to each other. The outer layer is curving oak or walnut that is fixed to a central plywood frame, these elements are held together with brass accented rivets. In my technical drawing I have shown how the junction works and how all three elements are fixed together with the rivets. The drawing is to full scale, showing dimensions and annotations on A3 paper.
Fig. 1 – My own sketches and doodles of the inside of the Leven Pendant
I have researched the work of furniture designers, 3 of which I have chosen to explore further and I have written a short description of their work. My intention was to choose designers with a different style and look with designs predominantly made of wood, metal and fabric but this wasn’t so easy, I’m drawn to organic shapes!
Helen Kontouris is an Australian born designer who acquired a diploma in Arts Interior Decoration & Design RMIT in 1995. She is currently a freelance designer working on interiors, product design and furniture. I was intrigued by Helen’s design of the 101 chair, a moulded fibreglass and wool felt fabric chair that was created in 2017. The shape and form is exciting and playful and looks very comfortable. It could be used by both adults and children, but i’m sure children would explore the spaces underneath and to the sides more than sitting on it. This type of design would encourage you to want to find out more about how it was designed and its back story, a very intriguing piece of furniture.
Tom Raffield is a British designer who studied his degree at Falmouth College of Arts in 3D Sustainability and Design. His work is based around the eco-friendly art of steam bending. One particular design that caught my attention is the Leven Lighting range, this design was inspired during lockdown by the cliff faces and formations of the north coast of Cornwall. It is handcrafted using three tiers of curving oak or walnut timber secured with brass rivets, all sustainably sourced wood, a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I’m a sucker for a design with a heart warming story. As a nation we were all affected in some way by the recent pandemic and to hear that beautiful design has been created in such a dark time in our lives makes me feel optimistic for the future, confirming that the way we live has an impact on all that we do, to know that Tom is also sourcing sustainable materials is just the cherry on the cake.
Tom Faulkner is a self taught artist and designer who became captivated by the possibilities offered by different materials in the early 1990s, which is when he began experimenting with metal and was intrigued by its qualities of strength and malleability from which he started using it to make furniture. One of his designs caught my eye, the Papillon Side Table made of delicate steelwork and is bold in colour, this design was inspired by Tom’s trip to California’s Joshua Tree National Park back in 2016 and the colours of the butterfly. Again here is a design that was inspired by nature, the form and playfulness of the design is beautiful. The organic shapes find strength in the material, leading down towards reflection on the base.
Having researched three designs, I then chose one of them to explore further. I sketched the design of the small pendant, freehand and to scale 1:1 and identified the different materials and junctions between those materials.
The Leven Pendant is made up of curving oak or walnut timber with a central plywood frame and secured by brass rivets. The oak and walnut is sustainably sourced and the varnish used is eco-friendly. The ancient skill of steam bending the wood is used with the added benefit of no chemicals or additives. They pride themselves in not using a production line, they are just handcrafted designs, with a valued heritage and an understanding that every experiment holds the key to a new way of doing things. These images show the details that make up the pendant.
For this assignment I had to research a model village and present my findings as a tourist brochure. My research led me to a model village an hour away from where I live. I took my family to visit Corfe Castle Model Village last weekend, the sun was shining and the visit was amazing. It was such a great experience actually walking around the model village. I knew all about Corfe Castle and had visited the National Trust site so many times before but had no idea that a model village of how Corfe Castle Village would have looked, even existed.
For context, it opened to the public in 1966, Corfe Castle Model Village depicts the castle and village as it was in 1646. You can compare the real castle with the model castle from our garden; this gives a fantastic idea of how it used to look prior to its destruction by Oliver Cromwell’s troops during the English Civil War, when it was home to Lady Bankes.
Built to 1/20th scale at the height of fashion for model villages, Corfe Castle Model Village was the brainwave of Mr. Eddie Holland, a local businessman. Mr. Holland first had the idea in the 1950s and wanted the model to be situated close to the real castle. When the property Drury’s (Dr. Dru Drury’s home and practise), in the Square of Corfe Castle, came on the market, he felt it was ideal for his plan. It took two years to build. The castle was built in situ on a man-made mound.
Many of the houses were built in the Potting Shed by Jack Phillips, the model village builder from Parkstone, assigned with the task of recreating the intricate detail of each house. Jack continued to maintain the Model Village for years to follow. Most of the houses have Purbeck stone roofs, each one with minute handcrafted tiles. The top of the King’s tower on our castle stands at 20 feet above the level of the moat, so it is pretty impressive. We also have a model of the model, and a model of the model of the model. Work that one out! In the model of the Church of Saint Edward, if you listen carefully you will hear music and a choir. (s.n.,2022)
My first port of call was to work out how to design a tourist brochure which led me to Youtube where I found a few different videos of how to design a brochure using Adobe Indesign. I enjoy using Indesign and found the video’s extremely helpful. I made a list of needs and must haves then started creating. In my previous assignments, my tutor has noted that I need to include hierarchy in my work so I researched different typography and font sizes for different headings. I found my way around the toolkit to aid with how the brochure should look in terms of colour, the droplet tool was very helpful with this, I was able to record the colour palette from an uploaded photo and use those colours for the background of the brochure. Overall I enjoyed the process of creating the brochure, which I have included below. The brochure would fold 3 ways, the first image on one side and the second image on the other.
For this exercise I researched and found 3 different images of interior spaces all of which show an understanding of small, medium and large scale.
Small – Detailed Scale
I researched online and found a beautiful example of small scale interiors. Chris Toledo designs interiors at a 1:12 scale and shares his creations on social media, they really are amazing, they look so realistic and human scale like until he adds an everyday object or his hand!
Medium – Human Scale
When I was researching an interior based around human scale I was looking for a public space where the designer had paid attention to how humans experience the space. I came across an interior that was designed by Todd Bracher, he has designed a communal, urban oasis where people can take a much needed respite while travelling the streets visiting exhibitions and events. The interior is a carefully curated space to help both physically and mentally.
Large – Macro Scale
My large scale choice is based on the physical environment that the interior space sits within – The Residences at the Dime, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The residential building offers 177 rental homes with each floor boasting breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and Williamsburg Bridge. The building sits behind the neo-classical building, the Dime Savings Bank which was founded in 1864, it is a purposeful design that complements the rich architecture and the stylish environment that surrounds it.
I watched a video lecture on the concept of scale, whilst listening I made notes on the understanding of scale, I have listed a few here.
How we use scale as a tool to communicate
How we add a human figure to our drawings to show relative scale
How we change the scale of the object when drawing to communicate a design
How scale helps us to work out how things work in a space
How scale changes the way we feel about a space
How scale is important to help us understand the size of objects
I then started a conversation in a student WhatsApp group chat, I asked them their perception of ‘scale’. Some really interesting replies. One student said that “scale is probably one of the most interesting design aspects to use at it can bring a lot of drama but also make things totally ordinary.” Another student said “that scale is invaluable due to the fact it would be impossible to portray a concept clearly to anyone else without it”. It was also pointed out that “scale is also probably one of the design aspects that feels like it has a right and a wrong. That we accept colour, shapes etc can be subjectively pleasing but scale can make us feel weird when it’s ‘off'”.
I would agree with these statements, I’m also still working on how I would know which scale to use when drawing a design, I guess that will come with more practice?
Whilst studying this part of the unit I have been invested in a series on Netflix called Abstract Design. Each episode takes a look at the designer and their life before and during their career and their design role. It has been so interesting and one episode in-particular caught my attention. Es Devlin is a Stage Designer, she talks briefly about her childhood influences and that there is a model village in her hometown of Rye, East Sussex. She remembers how her home had two roofs and that she would climb out and sit of the roof and look out over the town, she soon started associating storytelling with model making. Her work is very much a reaction against this whilst continuing to influence her, she plays with scale each day in her stage design work. I found all the episodes in this series fascinating, I would highly recommend this series to anybody interested in design.