Thursday, March 5, 2009

Interior Architecture

The first thing you see as you walk out of the elevator and into in the Interior Architecture Department is a small materials library/collection. Each sample has a printout explaining what the material can be used for and it’s applications in interior spaces. This one seemed to focus on options for flooring. It looks like it is set up as a rotating exhibit. As a daily encounter, I wonder if it influences how students are thinking about materials in their work. It would also be interesting to find out if they feel that seeing these materials in such a way prevents them from using them in ways other than what is already suggested or if creates a rut for the designer. How can a materials library be set up to inspire instead of direct?

These two sculptural studies caught my attention because I suddenly realized the process designers go through when choosing materials and shapes. We are trying to interpret an image, feeling, sensation or other intangible moments and make it into an object, no matter what its size or purpose. Each designer goes through their own set of considerations in deciding how light is reflecting/refracting off the angles in the form and the material and if/how/why that will correctly translate their initial objective. I think both of these are successful interpretations considering I immediately saw and understood a connection between the objects and the images that were behind them.

It is now easy to understand the importance of the study shown above once I found these models of loft spaces. As these are models, the materials used must try to create the same emotion, feel, style the imagined full-scale space will have. If all of these were done in chipboard like the one in the lower right corner, they may not stand out as much. The addition of specific materials and shapes, helps sell the design. The choice of materials, color, textures and the amounts of each all affect the overall spaces and all were individual choices/decisions done by each designer to interpret their point of view into the design.

When I first saw this from across the room I wasn’t sure what I was approaching, initially I thought it was scrap from a furniture project and as I came closer I realized it was a city map in progress and each of these blocks represented a building. This misreading opened up a whole set of possibilities of explorations that could be done working with this kind of material and I was suddenly caught myself zooming in and out of this space at different sizes, from furniture to urban environment. The gradations of color on the sides adds an aesthetic to it as well as create a shadow and add contrast therefore elevating these objects from the map board. It would be interesting to see if students in this department are now so accustomed to using this type of material in recreating city spaces they are now bound by that association?

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