The language of design


During October we were visited by Filip Claes a lecturer from Thomas More University Belgium delivering a week-long workshop on the Semantics of Design. Semantics is, in essence, the language that objects speak e.g. how would you know to pull a door opposed to pushing it without the obvious and unnecessary push/pull sign. semantics are responsible for  readable and understandable design opposed to design that requires an instruction manual.

Human communication is 7% words 38% voice and 55% body. When we contrast this with design and object, we understand that objects communicate 100% through their body, proving why good design and consideration is important.

We were tasked with communicating a motion through a blue foam block. Through storyboarding everyone in the class came up with a unique motion to communicate, mine was pull.




Initially, after storyboarding, prototyping seemed like a good idea. Experimenting with cuts and crevices to encourage pulling but not picking up of the block. Pictured below is the final block and the desired motion to be undertaken.






CAD – Barcelona Pavilion


The Barcelona Pavilion was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the German National Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition, held on Montjuïc.


The Barcelona Pavilion, an emblematic work of the Modern Movement, has been exhaustively studied and interpreted as well as having inspired the oeuvre of several generations of architects. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) as the German national pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Built from glass, steel and different kinds of marble, the Pavilion was conceived to accommodate the official reception presided over by King Alfonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities.



After the closure of the Exhibition, the Pavilion was disassembled in 1930. As time went by, it became a key point of reference not only in Mies van der Rohe’s own career but also in twentieth-century architecture as a whole. Given the significance and reputation of the Pavilion, thoughts turned towards its possible reconstruction.

In 1980 Oriol Bohigas, as head of the Urban Planning Department at the Barcelona City Council, set the project in motion, designating architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos to research, design and supervise the reconstruction of the Pavilion.


Work began in 1983 and the new building was opened on its original site in 1986.

The materials
Glass, steel and four different kinds of stone (Roman travertine, green Alpine marble, ancient green marble from Greece and golden onyx from the Atlas Mountains) were used for the reconstruction, all of the same characteristics and provenance as the ones originally employed by Mies in 1929.


Mies van der Rohe’s originality in the use of materials lay not so much in novelty as in the ideal of modernity they expressed through the rigour of their geometry, the precision of the pieces and the clarity of their assembly.


The Barcelona chair

Mies van der Rohe designed a chair, especially for the Pavilion, consisting of a leather upholstered metallic profile that over the years has become an icon of modern design. To such an extent, in fact, that the Barcelona chair is still manufactured and marketed today.


Georg Kolbe’s sculpture
The sculpture is a bronze reproduction of the piece entitled Dawn by Georg Kolbe, a contemporary of Mies van der Rohe. Masterfully placed at one end of the small pond, the sculpture is reflected not only in the water but also in the marble and glass, thereby creating the sensation that it is multiplied in space, while its curves contrast with the geometrical purity of the building.

all text extracted from here

all images are own CAD work undertaken as a semester 1 technical skills project

all structural work own – furniture work added from 3D Warehouse

Crisp Photo Series

A series of 36 photos taken over the course of June to August 2016 as part of a project investigating residential building typologies. Over 200 images contributed to this project although the majority were taken over a one day period in my home Village of Catrine – A Historical Mining town. Ranging in focus from individual elements and features to whole buildings and streets I chose all the final 36 images from clear days where I could contrast the human elements of the images with the surrounding nature and in most cases clear skies, highlighting, the overall place of these residences.

Journey Box- Reflective Post

Pictured above is a selection of sketches taken from my initial research into individual elements such as plane, stair, ramp and door. Looking back now at my research and development I find it increasingly interesting how “Chance” as it is, came to be. If I were to initiate this project again even with the same research pictured above I doubt I would arrive at the same outcome, this is because even now looking at the development I’m able to see new shapes and forms forming that I didn’t see before. Proving that this process is  interesting and adaptable in its application and something I would enjoy adopting and expanding on in future projects.

Journey Box – Chance

The model of Chance can be found and explored on Dropbox in order to properly explore it as a journey it may be beneficial to “hide” the walls and ceiling in order to get an idea of each of the elements within and to view it as a journey and not just a box.

looking back at my research it’s hard to see how I came to this outcome because each time I look at my 3D sketches I draw up a different conclusion or lead as to where it could go, which what is so enticing about this process – even after you’ve looked at something once, you can see something completely different the next time you see it. Nothing is lost in the translating of 3D to, in fact, I’d say there’s more to be gained.

Journey Box – Going Digital

Transferring the knowledge gained from 3D sketching with paper I created a digital model of my Journey Box using Google Sketch Up Make. Titled “Chance” my box adapts methods of chance and abstraction to create a collective collective of paths and planes that appear in many different shapes, forms and directions due to their begging’s. Initially begging as lines on a page and then becoming fluid strips of paper free to fall in any order possible. These strips were translated from 2D to 3D back to 2D before being re-enacted three dimensionally as Stair, Ramp, Bridge and Floor.

Journey Box – Developing A Prototype

Finalising the 3D sketching to an appropriate scale. For this final model/plan or more accurately prototype I used 25mm strips of paper inside a scaled kappa box at 200mm (meaning scaled to 8x8x8m), 25mm is the equivalent of 1m a suitable length for any Path/Bridge/Stair/Ramp.

For the prototype I used a thicker paper than my initial plan as it was at a larger scale and had to be more rigid. I also opted for grey rather than white as I felt it contrasted with the white kappa and gave a better understanding of the edges and elements held within the box.