Finishing the Morphology course at my university is a BIG deal (I study industrial design). We finish with a 5 month proyect in which we design a concept. We call it the "space ship" project. We start by designing lines, then surfaces, then shapes. Then we convine our shape with our partner's (we team up into groups of two) following both shape's inner logic. We are designers so everything must have an explenation. Later we assign a function to the resulting shape. This is the thoughest part since all shapes at first look like space ships. Ours, after a long time thinking and designing, was going to be a snowblower.
The exercise was about using our knowledge of the culture we live in to connect a designed shape with a function. It was basically the opposite of what we designers often do. So it is not an exercise as "form follows function" but the other way around, just because it was a Morphology course. Not the Design workshops we are use to. In Morphology we study shapes, lines and surfaces so that in the Design courses we can come up with just the right shapes for the solutions we suggest for each project. This is why this design will never fulfill the needs of a machine that moves snow as good as a real snowblower would.
Our justification for a snowblower started with the big hole our shape has. Something important needed to happen in that hole. We didn't want to put the human figure inside of it since it was too obvious and we wanted to do something more interesting. We went from water, to bacteria to finally snow. The remaining parts of our machine were determined by the needs of the blower: a mean to transport the machine (caterpillars), a mean to eject the collected snow, somewhere the human figure will stand and command.
The project not only consists on designing a concept machine, but also on building a model. Building models in Morphology is part of the learning since by getting your hands dirty you understand the shape, how it was made and how you can make it.
Building the model involved laser cutting wood, thermoforming plastics, shaping styrophoam, lots of glue, fiver glass and resin, lots of sanding and car paint.
After days of designing and a whole month of building here are the results, enjoy!
*the pictures include two adaptations, a small and a bigger one, of the thermoforming machine we saw on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3fk7YjZ9uA
A HUGE thank you to Maca, my partner in this project and Jime, Dani and Aye! My loving friends who were also involved in the making.
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