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    Sans Serif Chronicles at Cal Poly Pomona

    Kirill Volchinskiy
    Feb 23, '20 8:26 AM EST

    Spencer Thornton  Bird's Eye/ Worm's Eye Split Oblique Drawing  Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Spencer Thornton
    Bird's Eye/ Worm's Eye Split Oblique Drawing
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy


    This past semester, students explored digital tools in the intermediate digital design class at CPP. Serif fonts weren’t included as part of the donor geometry provided to the students. The use of the letter U, however, was required. Clean curves became the basis of this class.

    Eric Bishara and Doan Nguyen  Typographic Compositions  Instructor: Richard Molina

    Eric Bishara and Doan Nguyen
    Typographic Compositions
    Instructor: Richard Molina

    Initial Compositions from Kirill Volchinskiy's section as Wall Paper at CPP ARC Studio

    Initial compositions from Kirill Volchinskiy's section at CPP ARC studio


    Students began by studying the curvatures and intricacies of the deceptively simple sans serif fonts to establish flat figure-ground compositions. Some used the negative space to formulate color. Others explored pattern, value, and tone through their study of intersected curves derived from the letters. Another group simply piled the letters into an accidental composition and studied the residue, while some used rigorous systems to lay out the composition. Pedagogically, a multitude of approaches was encouraged, and consistency was achieved through clear problem statements in this calisthenic process.

    Serna Tellez Emanuel Worm's Eye Bird's Eye Split Isometric Projection Instructor: Richard Molina

    Serna Tellez Emanuel
    Worm's Eye Bird's Eye Split Isometric Projection
    Instructor: Richard Molina

    Andrew Portugal Worm's Eye Bird's Eye Split Oblique Projection Instructor: Richard Molina

    Andrew Portugal
    Worm's Eye Bird's Eye Split Oblique Projection
    Instructor: Richard Molina

    Aaron Cruz Projection Drawing Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Aaron Cruz
    Projection Drawing
    Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Midterm Presentations Focused on Effective Representation of Unrolled Forms

    Christine Cheung, from Professor Axel Schmitzberger's section, presents during her midterm review, focusing on effective representation and mapping of unrolled forms
    Photograph by Calvin Chen

    Lecturers Sona Gevorkyan, Jenny Meakins, and Sasha Plotnikova assess the work Photograph by Calvin Chen

    Lecturers Sona Gevorkyan, Jennifer Meakins, and Sasha Plotnikova assess the work Photograph by Calvin Chen

    Doan Nguyen Line Work Draft Worm's Eye/ Bird's Eye Split Projection Drawing Instruction: Richard Molina

    Doan Nguyen
    Worm's Eye/ Bird's Eye Split Projection Drawing Draft
    Instructor: Richard Molina
    Skaila Mendoza uses an augmented reality overlay to study pattern mapping Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy Photograph by Calvin Chen
    Skaila Mendoza uses an augmented reality overlay to study pattern mapping
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy
    Photograph by Calvin Chen

    Lecturer Richard Molina Briefs His Section Prior to the Start of Midterm Reviews

    Lecturer Richard Molina briefs his section prior to the start of midterm reviews
    Photograph by Calvin Chen

    Jessie Hertz Worm's Eye/ Bird's Eye Split Projection Drawing Instructor: Garet Ammerman

    Jessie Hertz
    Worm's Eye/ Bird's Eye Split Projection Drawing
    Instructor: Garet Ammerman

    Eric Cubacub and Hilary Kusuma Section Drawings Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Eric Cubacub and Hilary Kusuma
    Section Drawings
    Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Hilary Kusuma Isometric Projection Drawing Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Hilary Kusuma
    Isometric Projection Drawing
    Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Eric Cubacub Isometric Projection Drawings Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Eric Cubacub
    Isometric Projection Drawing
    Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    CPP ARC students from Kirill Volchinskiy's section gather to discuss the work

    CPP ARC students from Kirill Volchinskiy's section gather to discuss the work
    Photograph by Calvin Chen

    The course objective was to engage second-year students in advanced digital processes starting from drawing conventions of complex geometries to three-dimensional physical models, studying the relationship between the drawings and model itself. Why, then, not start with fonts? Donor geometry derived from fonts elevates the compositional problem to include scenarios composed of higher degree curvatures, bezier curves, and tangential problems.

    Despite this, the most commonly engaged processed was linear extrusion. One student asked for clarification, “You say that these are just extrusions; what do you mean? What should I do differently?”

    Fonts provide latitude in interpreting three dimensional forms. The class looked at ways to interpolate surfaces between curves, deriving geometry from the donor curves by use of systems-driven operations. Alternatively, some students interpreted 2D conditions as 3D form. One student carried over a series of spatial nesting operations from the two-dimensional composition, resulting in a translation of the nested graphics into three-dimensional space. Another student developed a compositional rigor established in the 2D work through a series of permutations.

    The introduction of access stairs and circulation encouraged a proto-architectural investigation into scale and gravity. Students edited their abstract, three-dimensional compositions architecturally, seeking consistency in the spatial conditions, while adhering to the theme of their exploration.

    Pedagogically, the course sought to explore novel spatial configurations, oscillating between perceived notions of volume and graphic flatness. Complementary methods of representation were used; students focused on projective and non-perspectival drawing. The course provided an overview of historic precedents in drawing conventions, from prospettiva soldatesca, or soldierly perspective (oblique projection), to the developed surface technique used by Robert Adam. An augmented reality app written for the course leveraged contemporary technology to provide an added layer of information during presentations.

    Valerie Duran Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Polyester Resin, Acrylic Paint Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Valerie Duran
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Polyester Resin, Acrylic Paint
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Aaron Cruz Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Acrylic Paint Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Aaron Cruz
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Acrylic Paint
    Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Students Benjamin Sperry and Christian Coley finish printing their classmates' work on acrylic. Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Students Benjamin Sperry and Christian Coley collect the UV-printed acrylic sheet containing their classmates' work

    Benjamin Sperry and Calvin Chen document their polyester resin casting process

    Benjamin Sperry and Calvin Chen document their polyester resin casting process

    Benjamin Sperry Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Polyester Resin, Acrylic Paint Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Benjamin Sperry
    Drawdel. Polyester Resin, Acrylic, Gypsum Cement, Acrylic Paint
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Emily Ta Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA Instructor: Richard Molina

    Emily Ta
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA
    Instructor: Richard Molina

    Arias Carina Unrolled Drawing Instructor: Jenny Meakins

    Arias Carina
    Unrolled Drawing
    Instructor: Jennifer Meakins

    Shion Lackie Drawdel. Vacuum Formed PETG, Acrylic, Polyester Resin, PLA Instructor: Kirill Volchinksiy

    Shion Lackie
    Drawdel. Vacuum Formed PETG, Acrylic, Polyester Resin, PLA
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Sergio Haro Banda Axonometric Projection Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Sergio Haro Banda
    Axonometric Projection
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy
    Valeriya Lyapicheva Worm's Eye/ Bird's Eye Split Isometric Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger
    Valeriya Lyapicheva
    Worm's Eye/ Bird's Eye Split Isometric Projection
    Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Valeriya Lyapicheva Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Valeriya Lyapicheva
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA
    Instructor: Axel Schmitzberger

    Students # and Christine Cheung present drawings and drawdels during final reviews

    Students James Cardona and Christine Cheung present drawdels during reviews
    Photograph by Karen Meza-Morales


    Subsequently, students hybridized drawings into three dimensional models, as counter-reliefs. Engaging in a quasi-sculptural process, architectural studies of space took on pattern and form, exploring both spatial and abstract ambitions. The three-dimensional work reacted against the flat-plane drawing developed thus far.

    Focusing on technique, students worked to reference their prior process and criteria in the continual development of their work. Appropriate selection of digital fabrication processes and materials reinforced their ambition.

    Students were presented with examples of craft-based techniques, heavily referencing Vincent de Rijk’s work with resin. Untreated 3D-print models were generally discouraged; instructors engaged the students in elaborate post-production processes that included vacuum-forming, casting and hydro-graphics. These processes allowed further integration of the drawing with the object, such as explorations in translucency, color, and patterning. Some studios focused on the resolution of edge conditions in patterns, oscillations between stereotomic operations within masses, and the reading of the pattern as a plane.

    One student proposed, “I’ve got access to dental plaster for cheap.” Just like that, dental models were born. Other students used aluminum, polyester, and acrylic.

    Christian Coley Drawdel. Vaccum Formed PETG, Acrylic, Aluminum

    Christian Coley
    Drawdel. Vacuum Formed PETG, Acrylic, Aluminum
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Daniela Palomino Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Daniela Palomino
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA
    Instructor: Sona Gevorkyan

    Spencer Thornton Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Acrylic Paint, Polyester Resin Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Spencer Thornton
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Acrylic Paint, Polyester Resin
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Jessie Hertz Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Acrylic Paint Instructor: Garet Ammerman

    Jessie Hertz
    Drawdel. Acrylic, PLA, Acrylic Paint
    Instructor: Garet Ammerman


    For the concluding reviews, drawings were produced with annotations, offering students additional opportunities to create a dialogue between typeface-originating model, drawing and annotation. Drawdels, hybrids between models and drawings, were paired with corresponding drawings, focusing the discussion on consistency, intention and composition. Drawdel relief models, hung alongside drawings, focused the discussion around consistency, intention, and composition.

    Connor Katalbas Unrolled Drawing Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Connor Katalbas
    Unrolled Drawing
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Sebastian Waller Unrolled Drawing Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy

    Sebastian Waller
    Unrolled Drawing
    Instructor: Kirill Volchinskiy


    Juror comments during reviews included Bryan Cantley asking, “What is the difference between ‘curvy’ and ‘very curvy’. Can there be straight and very straight?” The student had humorously imbued his drawing with criticism of the annotations themselves, opting instead to employ descriptive annotations as an added visual layer.

    Sebastian Waller addresses the semantics of the annotations during final reviews at CPP ARC

    Sebastian Waller addresses the semantics of the annotations
    Photograph by Karen Meza-Morales


    The panelists reinforced a key takeaway for the instructors of this class: the need to disrupt the linear process of delivery of the work. Perhaps, favoring iterative processes over sequential ones would generate a very different outcome; templates could become part of the work rather than frameworks to place the drawing within.

    In retrospect, would it have been intriguing to study the impacts on the geometry produced by the introduction of serifs?

    Christian Coley and Sergio Haro Banda discuss their work with panelists at CPP ARC

    Christian Coley and Sergio Haro Banda discuss their work with Bryan Cantley and the panelists at CPP ARC
    Photograph by Karen Meza-Morales

    Sophia Alcaraz presents her work to the panelists

    Sophia Alcaraz presents her work to the panelists
    Photograph by Karen Meza-Morales

    Leilani Gonzalez uses an augmented reality overlay during her presention

    Leilani Gonzalez uses an augmented reality overlay during the presentation
    Photograph by Karen Meza-Morales

    CPP ARC second year students deliberate with the panelPhotograph by Tom Zasadzinski/CPP

    CPP ARC second year students deliberate with the panel
    Photograph by Tom Zasadzinski/CPP




     
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Investigating architecture's ability to reach a broader culture.

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