Modular Design Project

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1. How is your modular design open for future evolution?

More new objects could be put in the cubical spaces, the squares could be taken apart and put together in a different way and it could be covered with new paper to change the colors of it to fit different seasons or shapes, like a melting snow man or a tree or a smiling sun. It could be made more three-dimensional with the addition of more cubes.

2. How did the strength of origami benefit your modular design?

It made the modules feel very symmetrical and sharp and even and the patterns enhance the sharpness of it. The folding of the origami helps bring the piece together as a whole, since they are all made in a nearly-identical way.

3. How is the scale relationship of the modules to the sculpture working?

The bigger cubes take up most of the design, but the smaller cubes down the bottom center break up the pattern of the bigger cubes enough so that it doesn’t repeat too much. The smaller cubes also give it a bit more depth. The varying patterns also help to break it up and keep the eye moving around the piece.

4. Did the ritual of building create an aesthetic experience?

The squares create a sharp, consistent quality in the snowman since they are all folded the same way with the same craftsmanship. The constantly piecing together and peeling off the squares and changing things up and correcting mistakes helped to get the best layout possible. Since we constantly were adding and changing things as we built, it made for good problem-solving.

5. Did you successfully engineer a system with a workable function?

We improvised throughout the project. We got a good system of cutting and folding and gluing going but ran into problems and were not always satisfied with the appearance of it, so we kept having to think of ways to improve it. We made decisions throughout the project to enhance it, such as doubling up many of the square shapes into cube shapes to make it more stable and less incomplete-looking. We also had an issue with keeping the rows of squares glued down even, so we decided to make smaller squares in between since the larger cubes wouldn’t fit. It ended up being a nice touch that enhanced the design and broke up the repetition in the design enough. We also decided at the end to add a face and put origami cranes and goldfish into some of the cubicles and that really added a pop of color to the piece and helped carry the eye throughout the piece.

6. “Natural patterns and shapes represent some of the basic functions of the work of the universe:  they move, store and connect energy.”  Designers have the ability to see systems and patterns, creating good design.  Were you successful?

Yes, we were successful in using patterns and combining them and breaking them up enough to make the piece interesting. It could have been a very childish and overly simple-looking type thing with block colors and such, but the patterns we used and the time we spent getting the folding craftsmanship right made it look more intricate and professional and college-level, rather than looking like something that looks like it would hang in an elementary school. Overall, we were successful in designing a very simple concept into something interesting and more intricate.

7. Reviewing pages 152-160 in Design by Nature write a paragraph describing what you could learn from your sculpture. 

The square shape is very durable. A bit safe and boring, but durable and reliable and sharp. By varying it enough however, it can be made more interesting. The use of patterns greatly enhances the shape when used the right way, because it helps take away from the hard edges of the square and allows the eye to move around the piece. Another advantage of using squares is because of how easy they are to fit together. There is little to no space left between them, which allows for more stability. The disadvantage of this is that this means you need more paper to cover the same space than with other shapes that could have more space between them.

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