Sunday, November 30, 2008

Desert:Interactive-Progressive-Gateway: One of our test models

This is the desert groups test model. We mixed plaster and concrete and used pea pebbles as an aggregate.

For our mold we used a cardboard box and reinforced it with concrete. We then to insulation foam and cut it to fit all the sides and the used an xacto knife to carve out the ripple, so that we could achieve the ripple texture. And we made the cast hollow by creating a smaller rectangular prism out of the insulation foam. This is a representation of our smallest platforms.

However, there was a flaw with using the cardboard box. It was not quite strong enough to support the strength and bond of the concrete and it let the concrete seep into the edges enough...that it did not quite create the edges that we had hoped for.

We all worked cohesively to create this test model. Some of us mixed the concrete, while others of us carved ripples into the foam to get the texture that we wanted for our platforms.

Finishing Touches

Pictured above are Chey & Kristina sanding down the final, dry and casted molds for presentation. The square square model had zebra like stripes that needed to have foam and concrete pieces removed from each of them. Due to the pine needle and Ginko leaf aggregate, the sanding removed parts of the exposed aggregate. 

With each of the molds: Circle & Circle, Circle & Square, Square & Square and Square & Circle Models all needed to be individually tended to and smoothed down to a certain extent. Depending on where in relation to what island, the sanding technique was different. For example: the square & square was across from desert, so it was not as sanded down as others were. The models each have a special touch or design added to them for visual interest. 

Making the Molds to Cast

Creating the molds for the main form and the bases too much time and lots of trial and error. We used wood from the woo shop, tubes, cardboard boxes & plastic dishes from Target. We had some wood forms & some cardboard box molds break during the casting process. 

Building Edge Model for Initial Presentation

For our first model presented to the class, we made our model out of: foam, cardboard and the actual leaves of the plants from the side of the building. The model was to scale at: 1/2" : 1'-0". The individual molds were made of clay that represented our final models. 

Square & Circle Mold

This is the mixing, pouring and final dried model of the square & circle mold. Foam was used to create the circles and squares within the square design. This created some visual interest and turned out great. 

Square & Circle Mold by: Charese + Annie + Greg

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gateway [3 cont.]: Semi-circles & Sphere

Semicircle/Bubble Group

In order to make these molds, the group had to figure out how they could make or get a mold to make a perfectly rounded semicircle. From research throughout stores like CVS and Walmart most bowls that could be bought had a flat bottom to them, which was a competing problem for the overall design. Knowing this the group searched more and came up with the idea of cutting a basketball in half (which could make two molds in one) for the bigger 'bubbles' that would edge the pathway and cheap lighting shades in the shape of a semicircle to make the smaller 'bubbles'. The aggregate used for this group was perlite because it provided just enough strength to hold the forms together and not crumble. They did not need to use pea pebbles because the semicircles were not for walking on.

The design on the inside of the basketball proved to be rather interesting and was incorporated into our design to go with the stepping stones shaped as squares and yet had circle designs with semicircle forms with square designs in them. The holes seen in the photo above were a problem with air bubbles which we addressed by tapping the air our of the concrete and adding wood glue.

Sphere Group

Originally we had another sub-group called the sphere group that was responsible for coming up with a plan to create a concrete sphere that would be placed on the outer side of the ginko tree on our island. This sphere would go along with our concept of circles and would mirror a similar sphere from the Living on the Edge group. Many problems arose such as how would something that big dry fast enough and most importantly what could be used to make such a form? Would an exercise ball work or would the form need to be something else?
Phillip thought that he could maybe make a sphere in two halfs rather then one, so he purchased two red collinders and duck-taped the outside holes so he could pour the concrete into the new mold. He was successful in creating a sphere with two forms but the proportions of the sphere to the island and the rest of the artifacts proved to be way to small to be used in the overall composition.

Another attempt at making a larger, more proportioned sphere out of concrete was attempted by Alli. Using a large exercise ball she tested out the theory we had come up with as a group to see if filling the ball as a mold would suffice to create the sphere. The problem with this idea was that the elasticity of the exercise ball expanded as concrete was added and did not hold its form very well at all.
Sphere creation is still in the process, but in discussions between Gateway and Living on the Edge it seems likely we will have to drop this idea because of the complexity and replace it with something else.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gateway [3]: Pathway/Stepping Stones

Stepping Stone/ Pathway Group
Inspired by a video on YouTube, our sub-group that was assigned to work on the pathway decided the most efficient way to cast our pathway was to do it in a mold of threes, 12" x 12" squares that are 2" thick. We built the forms in the shop with the wood board given to us from the department and bought wood boards to cut with a chop saw for the sides to keep the concrete in the molds. In order to make our forms more stable, our aggregate went from cat litter to pea pebbles. We also added wood glue to the mix to help with the issues of air bubbles in the concrete.

To create the specific design in the surface of our concrete stepping stones we cut out cardboard shapes of the negative spaces in order to get the desired effect needed to keep with the circle theme.

To figure out how many stepping stones were needed to cast we set up a mock demonstration with papers that were 12x12 and pinned into the ground.

Gateway [2 cont.]: The results from first cast

Casting from Sunday
+Chip/Dip bowls (Circle imprints)
+Deep Bowl (Circle imprints)
+Square plastic containers (Leaf imprints)
+Plastic cake top

Casting from Monday

+ Plastic bowl (With leaf imprints)
+Basketball (Inside out)
+Basketball (Right side in)

Problems we ran into was with the cat litter from Sunday's casts crumbling, the aggrigate was too brittle. Also by now we still hadn't figures out how to work on the mold for the pathway/stepping stones part of the project.

Gateway [2]: Beginning Molds and Casting

Together, the separate group members from the different groups in the Super Group created over-arching rules that would help us all in the project to become more unified and create our final designs to start making molds and casting.

+ Textures & Aggregate is the be left up to the individual groups
+ No color, no glass, no water, no walls.
+ True circles & squares only. [No rhombus']
+ Progression is shown through proximity of Edges' of pillars.
+ Incorporate pillars as vertically elements.
+ Height Limit- No taller then call button. [4 feet]
+ Dessert=Squares, Mirage=Squares>Circles, Oasis=Square-Circles, Gateway=Circles Only, and Edge=Mirroring other Groups.
+ Super Group reserves the right to veto non compatible ideas.

And with these rules and the geometric concept in mind we began our work on thinking of molds and casting practice pieces.

In combination with Sunday and Monday our sub-groups [Pathway group, "Bubble group, & Sphere group] figured out molds that could be made or used and casted our first pieces.

Aggregate on Sunday = Cat litter [Tidy Cats]
Aggregate on Monday = Perlite

In the end the Perlite proved to be a stronger and better aggregate then the cat litter, which smelled really awful and crumbled easily.

Living on the Edge--2

For the square/square subgroup, we designed a model that was a 1'-0" by 1'-0" with a 6 inch center. The sides would eventually fall off. This trial and error process resulted in a shoe box mold and the result was great! The natural agrigate of pine needles & Ginko leaves from the ground worked well. 

Square & Square Model: Kristina + Bray + Jenna 

Building Edge Group Day One

The first day, we learned the tricks of the trade and tackled the wood shop, building our first molds, tried different agrigates & foam inside the mold, mixed and poured concrete. It was a very busy and productive day and much was learned & edited from the results. 

Gateway [1]: Concepts and Ideas

To start out everyone in the group created a "throw-up sheet" to start the flow of ideas as to what we observed from the space and what could be seen as a possibility for the space. Each member of the group was responsible for this along with helping to create a group parti about our collective concepts to represent a 'gateway' as in the name our group was given. Later on in the project however we became the Access-Crossroads-Gateway because all those words together sounded more like our project and concepts.

After a critique with all the groups together we created another parti of a newer more unified concept, our group created two different ones: One as a geometric concept and one as a organic concept for our parking lot island.

A model of 1/2":1' scale was also in order for all the groups to get a better idea of how all our ideas and designs would fit together. Because while this project was split into different groups it all still needed to be unified.

Biggest issues we ran into starting the project:
- Placement of Trash/Recycling/Cigarette recepticals.
- Trees already existing in the area.