2B: SPACES for OBSERVATION

4.024, SPRING 2021

BRIEF

As a transition to the physical space, we were asked to explore the dialogue between a protected interior volume and the uncontrolled exterior environment. Specifically, how do apertures puncture the volume to facilitate and promote contact between the two? We should represent our thoughts through a series of physical models, which were to remain abstract and conceptual as opposed to architectural and concrete.​

APPROACH

My approach to this project was informed by my curiosity around boolean operations in CAD software. These operations (boolean unions, intersections, differences etc.) are incredibly useful in a digital context, yet almost unheard of in real life. In part, this is because real life solid objects do not just consist of surfaces, but have intrinsic volume; they are filled with matter. I aimed to create the illusion that this was not the case.

I used​ fruit as my subject because the forms are instantly recognisable (in some cases). Their unique ​geometries are typical for the physical world but atypical to the digital, at least compared to standard shapes like cubes and spheres. The final forms encourage the observer to reconsider what a banana, an avocado, or a mushroom might be when we are given apertures to look into them.​

FINAL OUTCOME

BOOLEAN OPERATIONS

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Union

+ Cucumber, Mushroom

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Difference

+ Banana

- Cucumber, Mushroom

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Intersection

+ Lemon, Onion

- Mushroom, Orange

Difference

+ Bell Pepper

- Avocado

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Intersection

+ Bell Pepper

- Bell Pepper (negative space)

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Difference, Union

+ Squash, Mushroom, Cucumber

- Cucumber, Mushroom

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Difference

+ Potato

- Cucumber, Mushroom

Each shape uniquely explores what it means to be "inside" or "outside". Oftentimes, the incisions are themselves the inverted exterior of another shape, inspiring contemplation about what it means to envelope an object. Is it merely a container for the essence of the shape, or is the container itself the essence?

PROCESS

My first attempt at using fruit to perform boolean operations was messy and bizarre. I used whole fruit, slicing into them to expose their interiors and appending them to other objects in order to create new combinations of texture and figure. While intriguing, I felt that this direction was not fulfilling the brief — which was about apertures — as I had imagined. As I was working with solids volumes, cuts merely changed their geometry, not their nature. If I punctured them, I could not combine them without losing the interior volume that I had created.

I ultimately took inspiration from CAD software once again. Rhino, for instance, does not use volumes to build geometries, but surfaces. To replicate that, I paper machéd the exterior of vegetables and used those surfaces to form the final product.