Final final ever

Well, it’s over.

My journey as a student at ITP, that is! It’s been three years of part-time study and if anyone asks me, I would say don’t do it part-time. But hey, it’s over, and I’m glad that PiT will be my last impression of ITP. No matter how it goes, no matter what happens, it was an interesting, mixed group of people and I couldn’t ask for a more-ITP experience. Now, onto the final!

I had a really tough final month of the semester. Along with thesis and starting a new job (stupidly), some pretty painful personal stuff happened. And it was really hard to focus where I needed to focus, and ITP, especially, got even harder. There were just so many demands and most of the time, I felt completely overwhelmed–and not in a “ooh, I’m learning so much” way, but in a “I’m a heartbeat away from a really bad meltdown of some sort”. So when the time came for the final, I wanted to reflect that somehow. I wanted to show my frustrations over my life somehow–the frustration of possibly having totally short changed myself by doing ITP part-time (I can’t ever quite immerse myself in projects as I wish I could’ve), the frustration of never quite having enough time, and the frustration of the idea that other parts of my life, which I fought so hard for, could fall apart despite my best efforts.

Anyway, as I mentioned in class, one of my first major coding assignments in ICM had to do with Zeno’s Paradox, and I wanted to honor that somehow, and what better way than with a gear mechanism and projection mapping? Using a mechanism that spun two gears in opposite directions, I projection mapped myself “climbing” the teeth of the gears…only to go nowhere. Only to never catch up to myself, to never half the distance, to never imply any motion whatsoever.

Is it perfect? Far from it. You can see the glue I used. I messed up the wheel in the back so I have to turn the mechanism using a third gear. I just ran out of time. With defense this past Tuesday, it really became about how I could, once again, navigate time and motion to my benefit. And for my final hurrah at ITP, it seems I still haven’t figured it out. Zeno’s Paradox, indeed.

3D Puzzle Ideas and Prototype

Katie and I teamed up to tackle a 3D puzzle.

Per usual, we were thinking more fun and whimsical than brainteaser and frustrating, as we are both wont to do, so we settled on an 8-bit Super Mario puzzle!

The idea is that we can build Mario out of little cubes, but join certain parts of it and create and use different depths to bring more challenge to the puzzle. Here’s the Tinkercad model. Katie has a paper model. Once we have more of the paper model finished, we will make decisions on how to use weight, size, and depth in order to bring more dimension to the puzzle while allowing it to still hold itself together.




Tinkercad HW

Before I begin, yes, I still need to post my midterm documentation! I know! I have it, I swear! 🙂

As for the Tinkercad assignment, can I say that it was oddly difficult? I’m used to Rhino and having so much more power and influence over the design that the simplicity of Tinkercad kind of drove me a little up a wall. I couldn’t do things like contours and curved surfaces, or maybe I can and I just don’t know how on Tinkercad, but I was getting really irritated.

Either way, here is my fun jaunty dog’s head!

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Midterm Prototype

OK, it’s time for honesty: I don’t actually know what I’m doing. And thank gosh we made paper prototypes, because now that I know for sure that I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m spending time talking with incredible builders in order to figure out what I’m doing.

Let me actually explain how I approached my midterm:

  1. I knew I wanted to build it only with 2D slices, mostly because I think that was part of the requirement. Heh.
  2. I knew I wanted it to be useable by my dad.

I’m in thesis this semester, and while this midterm doesn’t quite apply to it, it’s adjacently related. See, my dad has Parkinson’s, along with a HOST of other diagnoses, and I’m facing all of the issues that being a caregiver brings. I was his caregiver in my early 20s, until I swapped places with my sister and her husband, and as my dad has gotten worse, the caregiver burden has gotten worse and worse. So while I’m dealing more with caregiver burden and what’s called existential distress, I wanted to use this class to come up with interesting physical solutions/interventions for my dad in order for my sister to have less to worry about.

My dad, despite his extreme physical limitations, insists upon cooking, and not only cooking, but wielding a knife in order to chop and slice ingredients. I can’t tell you how horrifying it is to watch him with his tremors, shakes, and spasms, clutching a cleaver and cutting into a carrot. It’s freakin’ terrifying. And so I wanted to come up with some sort of handheld “device” that when placed over a vegetable, takes the shape of it, holds it in place, and keeps the hand safely out of the way while the cleaver chops one end.

Here’s how it went as I used paper to build the prototype. First, I simply printed in cardstock each slice. I printed multiple pages so I would have many slices:


Next, I cut each out with an xacto:

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And used Sobo to glue the slices together:


I realized that I didn’t print nearly enough slices, so I printed and cut more, and then tried to assemble it:


But with a little bit of patience and assembling it with one hand while holding it steady with the other, I managed:


And look, it moves around!

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So basically, I kind of sort think I can achieve what I’m looking to do, but with a few essential elements I must figure out by next week:

  1. How do I get a smooth up and down motion on the inside flaps, which should take the shape of the vegetable underneath?
  2. Should the sides holding up the flaps be way narrower? Probably, because then the vegetable could fit.
  3. Do I like that the flaps can also turn and rotate?
  4. The stands are kind of weird. Perhaps with narrower bumpers, the device could stand up on the flaps alone.

Either way, I think this ended up being kind of a really weird idea and a strange midterm. Ha.

Midterm Sketches and Digital Drawings

I’m terrible at sketching things, so please pardon how this one might look.

For whatever reason, I’ve decided to take this midterm opportunity to create a sort of pin art-inspired, laser cut doohickey that may one day double as an assistive kitchen device.

“Why, whatever do you mean, Jerllin?!” you may be wondering in alarm. Or maybe you’re not wondering at all and you’ve just internally nodded, slightly confused.

Well, we all know what pin art is, even if we don’t know the name:


I’m working on something similar, in that the inspiration of the mechanism is the same, but totally different. I’d like to cut a bunch of 2-D slices, arrange them in some panels that, when depressed from below, the slices rise up. Here’s a sketch of what I sort of mean:


In Illustrator, I traced out some slices that I think could make the structure (with a modification of four stands). This is what I’ll use to prototype, likely using cardboard first. Eventually, I would use acrylic of different thicknesses.



Non-rectangular box: Part I

For Part I of this assignment (idea, sketches and/or prototype, and plan), I partnered with Katie Takacs. I’ll handle the blogging for this week, and she will for next week!

Katie is a master of puns, apparently, and I was absolutely delighted when, while brainstorming, she pulled up a picture of a boxing glove and sort of did a *hint hint nudge nudge eyebrow wiggle* thing. I, of course, immediately thought it was the best idea since the dawn of time and we went down the road of planning for a *box*ing glove.

First off, we made a paper prototype, although let’s be honest: Katie sketched it out and cut it, and taught me how to tape it. No, really. Like, she put lines in and I held the paper. Then she assembled it and I ripped the tape. Truly collaborative, yes, but that just means I take direction well. 😉

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We then put together our workplan for Week II, when we’re to actually fabricate the *box*ing glove. We’ve decided to use wood as our medium and to build it similarly to how we did the paper version: start with the outer curve along the back of the hand, fashion the cuff, close off the curve along the front of the hand, and then build the thumb area (which is also the lid).

We’ll trace and laser cut slices of (maybe bass)wood for the base, with each slice getting larger and larger to create a “curved” bottom. Then, we’ll soak wiggle wood in water and use brads to shape and create both the curve along the back and front of the hand. We’ll also use wiggle wood to create the cuff–but will etch the Everlast logo into the wood. We’ll also laser cut slices for the top part, leading into using some sort of modeling clay/Sugru to create the thumb, after which we’ll putty up the whole thing to smooth out the grain. So that’s the plan, and hopefully, we’ll stick to it!

Here are the laser cut files that I’ll plan to test on cardboard to see if the size looks right:


And the Everlast logo to etch onto the cuff:


HW #1: Drawing Assignment

It’s a little odd–when I first tackled this assignment during the in-class portion, I remember having trouble thinking of curves as straight pieces, but I think it was triggered by the fact that I was working on a hollow object. I’m used to thinking of things as slices, and drawing the water bottle seemingly short-circuited my brain!

As such, I went with the idea of a series of ellipses that sit on top of one another, varying in size to make up for the different circumferences throughout the shape of the bottle:


The second object was the weird plastic vaccine prototype thingy. I was so unlucky to get yet another hollow object, and its’ weird shape made it feel even more difficult!


So for homework, I was all “ZOMG GET A SOLID OBJECT THIS IS SO ANNOYING AHHHH” and as I looked around my girlfriend’s apartment, looking for inspiration, what would I happen upon but a HOLLOW OBJECT that caught my eye to the point I couldn’t let it go?:


(Pardon the goshawful picture quality. I’m actually a halfway decent photographer, I promise, but her cat chews my phone every time I pull it out and I had about .25 seconds to snap this pic before the cat attacked.)

It tickled me, for whatever reason, to think that yeah, some product/industrial designer at some point had some 2-D vaguely trapezoidal shapes in mind that he/she put a bunch of together to make this weird glass candle holder contraption. And I would’ve never, ever, ever looked at this object and thought of it as “2D slices” without this class. So, in my amusement, I sketched it and broke it down into slices:


And I’d like to think that some day, this very much non-artist, non-designer, could, through digital fabrication, slap together several dozen vaguely trapezoidal pieces, glue together a bunch of tiny hexagons, then go and glue all of those together and sell it to Anthropologie for them to sell in-store.

One can dream. 😉