Jan '07 - Jun '07
3 person team with: Aaron/Scott. Professor: Jason Payne. Course: Manifold Destiny. The course involved studying Arthur Harry Church drawings of a flower, developing (vacuum formed) plastic detail techniques, and eventually a composition. Our group chose the Narcissus pseudonarcissus, or Daffodil. Initial studies centered around the section where the petals twist into the outer skin of the stem and the bifurcation of the petals in the blooming process. The process was a flip of my previous typical way of working. Here, we started with construction details and the overall form emerged from this scale of work. In this way, we really had little idea of the overall for the first four weeks or so. At some point in the design process, glam rock entered into the equation. At least, it became clear that elements of glam were present in the design. That point was sort of the swinging point of the project for me. The project leaked out of the often confusing world of archi-lingo and into a widely accessible culture of definable affects. I think it helped us configure design decisions once this sexual beast had a personality. Unfortunately, I am not sure all of this reads in the photographs because a) I am a terrible photographer or b) the photos flatten the object decreasing or eliminating many of the phenomenological aspects. Okay, here is a text I wrote while in the thick of it, which covers most of what I cannot seem to get out tonight:
The form oscillates between tightly-laminated periodic sections and voluminous branches of alternating diameter. Global tensile and compressive forces enhanced by local moments of connection synthesize the composition. Six basic assemblies, or petals, create the body. Individually, each petal is transparent in organization: supple end sections rotate one hundred and eighty degrees over the course of the forty-eight inch axial length, bulging through an inflated center. The ends are laminations of three corrugated sheets molded into coincident periodic waves connected with pins.
These pliant, laminated sheets are manually bent into a spiraling, four-and-a-half inch circular section. Along the transverse, the section profiles transition to conic curves as the three plastic layers split toward a bulbous center. Delamination occurs along friction fins forced apart by the corkscrewing middle layer. Connection through the central span of the piece occurs only through friction. The bent and interlocked areas of the petals create a rigid central stem, or hollow spine, eliminating the need for hardware connections at the center. The petals' twisting bodies flirtatiously pinch, withdraw, sway, and swell in unison as they explore the potentials of this promiscuous dance of forces.
Effects and Affect
Here something less quantifiable occurs. Appearance confounds gender sparking curiosity and attraction in the viewer. Androgyny often occurs in botany: in certain plant species, both male and female organs occupy a single flower. Here, feminine topologies are captured in a larger, axial form. This rigidly-bound, cylindrical organization is offset by the sinuous nature of twisting curves and surfaces. Cosmetic application of color in the manner of rouge and mascara enhances the feminine. Beyond the visual, the corrugated curves of the ends are scaled to the finger while larger curves correspond to the hand. The object arouses a desire to be touched and caressed. With this in mind, stainless steel body-piercing bars are utilized as hardware connections between the petals. This cold steel interrupts a finger sliding through the gaps with a sudden, sweet pleasure. Feel expands experience, reinforcing physical attraction.
A chromatic gradient from cosmic pink to electric blue highlight the connections and deformations. Colors, densities, and forces are animated with internal, white LED lighting. Diodes are located near points of connection to call attention to these moments of extreme pressure. Resultant glows reveal topological intensity and structural depth, heightening the natural translucency of plastic, stimulating voyeuristic exploration. Plastic androgyny: I think I want to suck ya!
0.030” clear PetG plastic
24 14 ga. 3/8” straight stainless steel barbell piercing w/ 4mm balls
24 1/4” 14 ga. straight stainless steel barbell piercing w/ 3mm balls
159 white LED diodes
30 gauge clear speaker wire
Assorted water-based airbrush paints
…and a little stardust