Seeing the Invisible explores the concept of scale, within the context of objects relating to people in space. Task one involved building our own microscope machines using our phone cameras and small lenses. Task two was to take pictures of very small things using our microscope machines. Task three was to build a 1 to 1 scale model of one of the photographed objects; I chose a safety pin head. Task four was to make a hand held scale model of the object. Task five was to make a 100 to 1 scale model of the object. The final task was to render the model at 1000 to 1 scale using Photoshop.
Phase 1: Building a Microscope to Look at Small Things
In order to “see the invisible,” we each created our own microscope machines using our cell phones and a small magnifying lens, which we placed over our phone camera lens. Since manually holding the phone while trying to view small objects wasn’t precise and caused blurry images to be taken, we had to find a way to stabilize the phone and develop a mechanism that allows the user to view the object from various small distances. Assembly of the microscope machine involves 1. Inserting the glass slide into the slide holder, 2. Placing the slide in the main body of the machine, 3. Placing the phone into the large slot of the main body, and 4. Adjusting the elastic connected to the holder and main body to focus lens.
Phase 2: Observing and Photographing Small Things Under the Microscope
During this phase, I gathered lots of things from my house and studio, and began to look at sections of them under the microscope. This phase of the project was very interesting to me, as I was able to develop a newfound understanding of what each of these objects was, how it was manufactured, and how much detail went into it. I eventually chose the safety pin head as my object to model, as it had the most interesting form and did not rely on color as its most distinguishing feature. Numbered items are arranged from right to left (1: Nail Clippers, 2: Pink earring, etc.)
Phase 3: Modeling the Safety Pin Head at Hand Held Scale (10 to 1)
Experimenting with materials, abstraction, and technique were some of the most interesting and important components of this stage of the project. Iterating on the hand-held size model of the safety pin head forced me to consider how close in appearance and quality I should represent the form and when an element is not true enough to the original form, as these judgements will change as the scale of the modeled object changes.
Modeling "Pea Sized" Scale Digitally
While working on the hand held model, I rendered the safety pin head on SketchUp and later on SolidWorks, so that it could later be 3D printed. This model represents the 1:1 scale model, and is depicted in the final prototype images below.
Phase 4: Modeling at “Fiat” Scale (100 to 1)
One of the biggest challenges that I experienced during this project was finding ways of dealing with the curves of the safety pin head form. I experimented with many different techniques and found several that had potential to create the form I was intending. I worked with circular forms to help create the curves of the top part of the form, and iterated on it many times before finding a shape that truly embodied the essence of the curve.
Final 100 to 1 Scale Model
Materials used include corrugated cardboard and packaging tape
Phase 5: Modeling at “Blimp” Scale (1000 to 1)
To visualize this scale, I created a Photoshop rendered model of the safety pin head and placed it in the context of people as a reference for size. This was a simpler way to understand how the scale of something affects the way people interact with it. One can imagine that someone looking at a safety pin head that is 1:1 scale would handle it with greater care than if it were 1000:1 scale.
1 to 1, 10 to 1, and 100 to 1 scale models of the safety pin head.
Univers Typeface Study
During my Communications course sophomore year I studied Adrian Frutiger's typeface, Univers. The first exercise involved examining the entire alphabet and number sequence of this typeface and finding particular parts of a character or number that truly embodied the essence of Univers. Some commonly identified features of this typeface include it's thick and uniform strokes. The second exercise involved creating a video using AfterEffects that includes the history and important qualities of Univers.
The Final 3 by 3 Grid
Phase 1 of the assignment dealt with creating a grid of letters and numbers of the Univers library. The grid is a visual representation of the essential qualities of Univers. We were encouraged to explore different relationships of foreground and background, text and the space around and in between it.
Developing an Understanding of Univers
Sketching, hand-lettering, and research on the typeface as well as exploration of different cropping techniques; this helped me to gain a deeper understanding of what makes Univers a unique typeface and what components help to develop these individual qualities.
Univers Typeface Video
During my sophomore year at CMU I studied under Mark Mentzer in his Color and Communication class. Here I was able to apply some of my understanding of color theory, which I acquired while attending my high school arts program.
Leaves- Exploring Transition of Color in Fall
This study involved gathering different types of fallen leaves (vibrant, dull, from similar or different color families) and explore how the colors react to each other and to different backgrounds.
Color Squares- Finding Color Contrast Relationships
This study is an exercise that trained our eyes to understand when a color is being pushed back or brought forward in a composition. It also explored various color principles such as contrast of hue, saturation, intensity, extension, and simultaneous contrast.
Mood Boards- School of Music & School of Architecture (from top to bottom)
Within the College of Fine Arts at CMU there are 5 schools: Design, Art, Architecture, Drama, and Music. During this study I explored several different magazines and compiled sections of images that I felt fell into the color spectrum of each school's identity.
Transition- Performance Art at CMU
This project is a continuation of the mood boards project, as it divides the five schools into two categories; the visual arts and the performing arts. The purpose of this exercise is to find foreground (text) and background relationships through a color palette.
Painting with Color
Several weeks into the course we were encouraged to experiment with colored paints. During this exercise, I created three different color compositions and cropped each composition multiple times to find different color relationships.
Petals Flower Shop Project
Petals was one of the final projects I completed in this class. The focus of the project was to explore unity of a theme through color that could serve as a platform for a particular brand, in this case the brand is a hypothetical flower shop. From left to right and top to bottom I have created a poster with an in-context photo, a card, a "flower of the month" card that gives background on the flower on the back and an image of the flower on the front, and four patterns for the wraps that go around the flower upon purchase with their in-context photos.
The Petals Poster
Compilation of Color Work
The animal project was an assignment from second semester of my first year at CMU. The project was an exploration of 2D and 3D design with the prompt of embodying a specific animal, specifically your "spirit" animal. The 3D portion of the project taught me how to take everyday forms, that are recycled or thrown away, and find similarities within the animal's structure.
The antelope was a very interesting animal to explore because of its facial structure, intricate antlers, and defining ear shape. I learned how to take these physical features and represent them in various ways, while still embodying the essential qualities of the animal.
The graphic translation aspect of this project allowed me to explore various concepts that helped me to decide how to best convey the essence of the antelope and its natural habitat. I applied my knowledge of various principles, including use of negative space, color relationships, and scales at which the antelope should be viewed. This project also allowed me to perfect my craft of paper cutting and showcase my ability to transfer a paper illustration into a digital and perfected format.
Final Graphic Translation on Illustrator
I constructed my animal out of an old detergent bottle, the tops and caps of orange juice and water bottles, plastic spoons, and wire.
Developing the Concept for the Graphic Translation
Ideating for the Recycled Animal through Sketching
During high school I attended a magnet arts program where I studied painting, drawing, and various other mediums. These explorations helped me to develop a voice in high school, mostly influence by my travels. My perspective, voice, and passions shifted greatly during my time at CMU, however I still value much of the work and exploration I did before attending university.