Mary Lim

Monday, February 08, 2016

Sunday, February 07, 2016

spatial: alice's hotel

Work in progress presentation below:

Friday, February 05, 2016

week 2: 3d printing is...

cooool it's cool

a week in a paragraph
Still currently lost at the moment, but less lost than last week. I've mostly been researching about museum environmental design and interactive design. My 3D printing class has been informing what I want to do and what's possible, and I talked with Steve Whitacre about my idea. Whitacre reminded me of the importance of considering the viewer/audience so that the artist and viewer meet in the middle. I think I've come to a narrower question, which is still a bit hazy at the moment: My objective is to inform about the visual language of 1960s art through the medium of dimensional space. 

3d printing
We've started to make 3D forms in TinkerCAD and I just finished my first 3d print. It's not completely fool-proof though, and has some limitations you have to put into consideration before printing. Things can't be floating in mid-air, and there has to be supports for parts that jut out or are not supported by something underneath.

museum experience design
After talking with Kelly a little more about narrowing down my degree project question, I started researching into museum experience design.

This gave me the idea to create something interactive using multiples of something
...Maybe through using the CNC router

City Museum

visual language of the 60s
Steve Whitacre has a background in architecture and sculpture, so I thought he would have insight on what I want to do. He brought up important points about experiential design and how user-centered it is. This sounds obvious, but architecture should 100% cater to people in the space. When I showed him photographs of the City Museum, he first responded by saying it looked dangerous. He emphasized the importance of making the viewer feel safe, meeting them to where they are, and fulfilling their needs/wants when going to the space. He asked me to consider whether or not I would be approaching people in an environment where they expect a certain type of experience, or whether the piece would be subtle and stumbled upon, relying on the "glance." When I told him that I was interested in 1960s art history, he gave me the idea of researching the visual language of the 60s and visualizing that through space and graphics.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

t4: iterations

iteration #1: dots

iteration #2: book and borrowed type

iteration #3: repetition

dfab: first 3d print

Monday, February 01, 2016

dfab: remarkable thing #2

3D printing poses a couple of implications for how we consume/produce objects. It can potentially allow things to be printed or manufactured "at or close to their point of purchase or consumption." In other words, people could create their own objects right at home and the production of usually outsourced materials could be made locally. Labor costs will significantly decrease, allowing for cheaper, and customizable, products. It will be most interesting to see how mass customization will play itself out, and how businesses and companies will respond to this technology. With objects being able to be printed to fit a person's needs, very specific shapes can be created.



Video of my 3D object I'm currently creating:

spatial: alice

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass is a goldmine of possible ideas, which explains its relevance even after 150 years. While this book is not the only book that has survived this long, a unique aspect of this story is the wide range of mediums it's been referenced in. After I read the book myself, I realized why it's maintained its status as an influential novel: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has all the ingredients for an unforgettable story. From strange, iconic characters (the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, the Queen, the an unhinged imagined world where anything is possible, Alice in Wonderland acts as a launching point for inspiration.

In other words, I am so excited about this project!

So so many different renditions of Alice in Wonderland, but here's three that I like:

Lisbeth Zwerger
Tove Jansson

John Vernon Lord

I also have three ideas*

a place to escape from reality
I'm learning toward this direction because of the branding possibilities.

learn how Alice may NOT have been in Wonderland, but in reality
(how nothing is as it seems in real-life)

a tool for kids to learn basic skills through Alice's adventures

Elements I definitely want to include/Inspiration:
+The feel of James Turrell's Installations (full immersion of it, whole new environments)

+A playful way to spark curiosity
826CHI's store, The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. (or Boring Store)
on some sites, a link to the store redirects you to a weird Japanese site, which I thought was so endearing.

I really like the idea of temporary, nomadic shelters.

Friday, January 29, 2016

week 1: slow but exciting start

to sum it all up
This week has mostly been about narrowing down my idea and finding what I'm most excited about. As I have been stuck for the past few weeks, I needed to get excited about design again. After talking with JC Franco, a recent grad from KCAI, I began to consider doing my degree project for social good and starting a collaboration. After doing some research, and delving into Kotz' Words To Be Looked At: Language in 1960's Art, I decided on exploring the intertwining relationship of language, space, and sound.

glance into sketchbook
question holes
My original degree project question was: "How can I use design and technology to visualize the paradox of flat but dimensional in order to visualize the relationship between graphic design and architecture?" I knew I wanted to merge art history, space, and motion into the project because these are three things that have consistently come up in my work, but I did not know how or in what way I could do so. There were also a couple of things that were problematic about the question: it was too broad, there is not much of a tension between architecture and design because the differences are clear (apart from spatial design), and the paradox of flat and dimensional has been thoroughly explored and widely known.

a possible collaboration
With these things in mind, I researched about type and its relationship to space. Before going back home to Chicago, I talked with JC Franco (Tori Wheeler referred me to him because many of our design objectives align). He is in a group, which he and other people created, to bring together creatives with the intent of helping Kansas City using art and space. Some examples he cited was The Boston Big Dig and Klyde Warren Park. Both were simple solutions to a complex issue that could unify specific communities within the two cities. My degree project may turn into a possible collaboration later on.

JC Franco's work can be found here:

researching and experimenting
Over the break, I felt very stuck, as the pressure for a good idea was paramount. As I started out very general, I sought to narrow down my idea over the break. The problem was I did not feel excited about any of the ideas I was coming up with. I then remembered my Art of the 60's Seminar class where a reading briefly mentioned Dan Graham. Originally a poet and then a fine artist, Graham thought of the magazine page as a gallery space, or a piece of artwork in of itself. In describing the work, the author called the magazine spread a metaphorical "architectural container" for Graham.

Dan Graham's magazine spread from "Homes for America"

I realized, then, that the translation and relationship between language and space intrigued me. I began to read excerpts of Words To Be Looked At: Language in 1960s Art by Liz Kotz. She reveals how some artists unintentionally used text to inform their actual works, showing a clear relationship between the two. While language can be referential, it at the same time is limited as a mode of communication. Language “structurally entails certain gaps, between “word” and “thing,” between “meaning” and “intention,” that cannot be eliminated in even the most precise communicative act…” (188). Kotz points this out in her book, highlighting the ability of language to paradoxically both refer to something and yet remain objective, and how artists used this to their advantage. Particularly telling was Andre’s referral to words as particles and as poems in of themselves. The way Andre views his poems as the remains of what was removed, as “cuts,” undeniably points to his sculpture practice. Kotz clearly demonstrates too, how Acconci’s poems “performed actions resembling the quintessential procedures of postminimal sculpture: cutting, moving, removing, interrupting, joining, separating…” I realized that graphic design is directly related to this, since design often involves type. 

Acconci's This Word

Kotz wrote also about the relationship between language and sound. Fluxus artists would often hold "concerts," where the artist' instructions to the musicians acted as a musical score for the performers on stage. An example of this would be John Cage's 4'33". Musicians were instructed not to play their instruments, and simply let the sounds of the environment take over.

John Cage's 4'33" music score

more research–ING

This led me to edit my art history-space-motion triangle to language-space-sound. Martin Venezky was particularly excited about Ashton and my –ING platform project from MX, and suggested we explore how sound is and can be visualized. Taking this into consideration, I want to explore not only this relationship but also how sound can create space. Over break, I listened to a quick 3D Audiobook, and realized how the volume of the sound, and varying the sound from the left ear to the right ear can create a sense of space for the listener.

This led me to wonder about the language, space, and sound triad interaction, which leads me to my finalized question:

How can I create a new spatial experience where language, space and sound all intersect?
(I am currently thinking about doing this for social good for Kansas City.)

interesting spaces

steps forward
I need to rapidly start gathering information about the relationship between language, space and sound and start experimenting. This will involve interviewing professionals in all those fields: other designers, architects, and...a musician? Maybe a radio talkshow host. Knowledge about 3D Audio is also necessary.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

t4: research & quote

Before starting any project, I try to ground myself in the objectives. For this one, it's to break the rules of typography and to illustrate the meaning of the type through image. Generally, the point of this project is to experiment and visualize. Upon first receiving the project brief, I felt as though I had already done this sort of project in sophomore year. However, I chose to take this chance to give myself a challenge and make it harder for myself.

I don't know why, but I do not like the idea of living by an inspirational quote. Maybe it's because most of them are either really corny, really general, or gimmicky one-liners. Not to say there aren't any good quotes out there, there are just a lot of quotes with fluff. I know I need to choose the right quote that is can set myself up for my own take on its meaning.

Possible 7-words-or-less quotes:
"You are what you think."
"What's essential is invisible to the eye."
Another possible idea is using the words Ed Ruscha (below) used in his single-word series and making them 3-dimensional, or, visualizing them in a different way.

I may go with this quote, "Read this word then read this...," an excerpt from Vito Acconci's "Text." As both poet and fine artist, Acconci was interested in how language takes on meaning and its implications. It's very literal and abstract, but I thought it would be interesting to take on.

OR I might go with "What's essential is invisible to the eye." This has lots of possibilities for my own interpretation of the quote.

OR I may do an onomatopoeia series again (look at previous blog post for Beer Packaging).

This sort of project brings to mind the relationship between text, image, and meaning. While text can anchor or relay images, here text is treated as image or as word within image. How can I stretch, break, or put my own spin on these concepts of text as image/word within image?

Moodboards for different styles

quirky, fun, playful

hand drawn,  cartoon-ish, bright

scientific, precise, complex