Author Archive


September 21, 2009


I feel that one of the most relaxing and soothing sensations is the feeling of the body resting on water. With small waves crashing slowly around you and the feeling of sun on your face as you completely let the water support you, your mind is able to wander and stress begins to leave your body. However, the actual act of finding a pool or something similar to lounge in, let alone the time it takes to get back to normal life after being wet, is usually too inconvenient for people to do on a daily basis. Thus, I propose a somewhat mesh of a waterbed and a lounge chair that sinks into a grassy hill or backyard, or could even sit up on its own like a blow up chair wherever one may have the room, to help simulate the feeling of laying on waves and letting yourself go.


This lounger would allow you to lie down and both see and feel the water underneath you without having to actually get into or have access to a pool. Ideally, the chair could be inflated with water whenever you needed it and sunk into a carved out pit in the ground or just set on a flat surface.


Depending on where you locate your water-lounger, you could create different experiences that lean more towards nature or a private bathing experience. If set outside within the grass or on a hill, the chair would provide a very natural experience as if laying in a lake or in the ocean with grass, sand, or gravel around you and the sun beaming down on your face. With the 3-D aspect of the chair, the sun would also become absorbed into the water and create a self-heater within the chair. This could also bounce back up onto you and help you get a more even tan if laying out for vanity purposes. If the water-lounger was set up inside or in a more shaded area, the experience would be more spa-like where there is a more intimate atmosphere. With certain sounds both inside and outside, the experience could be enhanced even more and make you feel like you are really immersed in water and relaxed completely.


The water-lounger would allow someone to feel as if they are relaxing in a pool of water with the smooth movements and slight rush of small waves beneath them as they become completely supported by the inflatable chair. Depending on the location of the product, two very different experiences – one vacation and beach-like, the other more intimate as if in a spa – could be explored and enjoyed.


My Bedroom

September 14, 2009


BedroomPicsAfter thinking about and reconstructing my bedroom from memory in class, I felt pretty confident about the accuracy of what I thought I knew. Granted, I do spend a good amount of time in this space and since I am a design student, I should be pretty familiar with the layout and general organization of my own room. As far as the plan and general perspectives, I think that I was pretty close to reality however some of the proportions and more specific aspects were a little bit off. Overall, I observed that there were two main differences between what I remember and portrayed and what actually exists.

             First of all, I’ll apologize for my room as seen in these pictures – it’s a little messy. But as I compared these to my drawings I realized a major difference. All of my “things” besides furniture and a few carefully decorations, the room is blank in my memory sketches. I think this is interesting – when we draw, draft or render a space that we are designing for someone else, we keep it clean and somewhat “unlived” for a new and versatile feeling that allows the client to have a sense of control. But what about spaces that are ours? I’m not sure if it is just habit now to only portray the large and seemingly important anchors of the room or if that is how we all think of spaces. Do we mentally skip over the small, every day things that move around and are somewhat temporary, at least in their placement, just due to the fact that we use them and discard them all the time? Or is it something we just don’t want to portray – that we are messy and complicated individuals who personalize our own spaces without so much as a conscience effort? Granted, my room is usually a little more kept up, but still, I find the complete disregard of personal objects pretty interesting.

            Secondly, I realized that at least in one of my sketches, I included way too much information. That is, I extended the view more than any camera or single glance could reach. I think that due to the fact that we know our own personal spaces so well we try to communicate all of our knowledge as quickly and expansively as possible, especially because to us its just one large space with smaller components. However, to anyone else going to this space, they would take things in one view at a time and understand everything in parts, rather than as one large, cohesive and familiar space.

            As far as just the facts go, I think I was pretty accurate again with the color coordination of blues, browns, and beiges, and light levels (room is about 300 lux average through out the day – the average for an adult bedroom). With feelings of comfort, relaxation, and motivation while in the space, I usually am very calm and spend most of my time in my bedroom when at my apartment. When thinking about it from afar, I find it to be very functional for what I need (I realized that I left my desk area out of all of these representations – I never work there, I always work on my bed), usually aesthetically pleasing (when not incredibly messy) and a safe place for a few people to hang out or do work. However, I have also noticed that with more free space than I’m used to around my bed and the rest of the furniture, my tendency is to fill that up with random stuff I leave out leading to more clutter rather than a more open feeling.


Scale of red (measured) floor plan: ½” = 1’


September 7, 2009

 According the Reiss’ Sixteen Motives, independence is the desire to control our own destiny. While this can have many other implications in life, the way certain spaces are designed can help to enhance or detract from the feeling of independence. By allowing someone to control others’ access to them and their possessions, they can feel more comfortable and free in a space. While independence doesn’t directly correlate to privacy, the option to create it at one’s will encourages freedom. Along with this desire to control comes the desire to be on one’s own without control from others. Being autonomous and self-reliant leads independent people to tend towards certain spaces. Along with this push away from authority and towards freedom and control comes a tendency towards certain kinds of interiors, such as that of a home or someone’s personal area that they can customize and control as they please. Because of this, a very independent person may attempt to make certain impersonal places more of their own through decoration and customizations within their own area, whether a cubicle at a commercial space down to even the clothing a person wears to show their independence. In addition to tending towards certain personal spaces, Reiss also discussed how independent people shy away from more authoritative spaces that require a certain behavior and attitude in the environment, such as a church or political atmosphere.

For my examples, I looked mostly at the personal spaces that independent people would lean towards. Therefore I found mostly home-like atmospheres that allowed complete control in both the design and the way the interior was used and grew throughout its life. Since the “animal” instinct of an independent person is to “leave the nest” and get his or her own place first and foremost, I looked at an efficiency apartment. Compared to any other sort of apartment, an efficiency is mostly for one, maybe two, people where everything is open and there is complete freedom in decoration and personal division of space. Secondly, I found a customizable houseboat that has one bedroom and a large great room separated by a bathroom. This allows even more freedom than one’s own house because not only do you control the interior, but due to its mobility, you also control the exterior experience. Lastly, someone who is independent in other forms of their life could possibly have their own business and therefore their own home office. This begins to tell more of a story about the rest of their life as they can customize, decorate and organize their space to their own tastes while also controlling their work schedule and business practices completely on their own. Included is a collage of the houseboat along with pictures of it in different countries.Judge_Erin_02

Harry Potter – Staircases

August 31, 2009

HP StaircaseHarry Potter is a series of stories for young adults that follow the magical education of three young wizards. Transformed from novels to the big screen, the set designers had a lot to live up to as readers usually imagine their own idea of what places look like, forming an unspoken standard and sense of expectation. This creates quite the challenge as the scenes are interpreted into a visual field and must not only match what is written but also add another layer to the overall story.


The staircases in the Harry Potter films exemplify the importance of set design to the feeling and reality of a movie. The staircases in the book are known as being a very magical and confusing experience as they change at random intervals to lead to different levels and passages. In the movie, these grand staircases are portrayed as heavy stone and literally take on a life of their own as they transform in the middle of scenes, interacting quite realistically with the characters and the story. The large atrium, in which these many intertwining staircases are built, is also adorned completely with assorted picture frames that bring about a random, paranormal sensation. This helps to perpetuate the insanity of the story as the subjects of the paintings travel from one picture to another, seemingly in a world of their own. The design of the actual space is relatively dark, heavy, and traditional, adding to the mystery and sense of history in Hogwarts, the school for wizardry. The haphazardness of the hanging frames creates the sensation of misdirection, deepening the confusion of the ever-changing staircases.


Another challenge the set designers faced was the mere technology and set up of the staircases and the mechanics behind their movement. Since the entire basis of the story is magic, there was no room for error as far as the systems that the stairs moved on. While a lot of this can be done now with digital effects, making the large stone staircases move with such a magical ease still takes a lot of effort and special skill that the set designers had to consider at every stage of production.


The stairs in the Harry Potter films are just one of the scenes in which the set plays an important role in the story. With such a unique baseline, the set designers had to consider many aspects of the environment besides a simple backdrop. The period in which it is set, along with the grandeur of size, weight, and mystery create an amazing atmosphere that allow the story to come alive in more than the two-dimensions that the original books offer.