Spring 2018 6 x 12 inches (closed dimension) Found books, maps, Washi paper
Winter 2017 8 1/4 and 7 1/4 inch diameters Cotton floss on cotton and linen blend
Spring 2018 Aluminum wire, cotton rope, tissue paper, found bicycle wheel, acrylic beads
Moods are amorphous and often ephemeral, chaotic and uncontrollable. Their flowering nature does not fit well within rubrics or other quantifications. Our moods are affected by our routines and surroundings in complex ways.
I have been collecting data about myself every day for the past seven months, including sleeping, eating, and exercise habits and moods. In total, I collect personal data on twenty-two different topics daily. Looking at roughly four-thousand, six-hundred and twenty entries of personal data from the past seven months, I was overwhelmed with the prospect of teasing trends out of this chaos.
I chose to select one month of personal data, and visualize it through mixed-media sculpture. The month progresses chronologically upwards. Each mood is represented by a different shape and color of petal, increasing in size and saturation with increased intensity. The petals are suspended by a wheel, to acknowledge the cyclical nature of mood changes. Enclosing the petals, pearls indicate yes/no data entries on behaviors that may or may not affect moods with which they occur. While trends in overall color tone may be visible, any specific patterns remain largely unclear.
In creating this piece, I aim to recognize the challenge, the feeling of being overwhelmed or lost in feeling. However, messiness is what makes life rich. The sculpture’s petals are overflowing with color because of instability. Without any chaos, the piece would be paper-white.
Winter 2018 4 x 6 inches (closed dimension) Printed photos, cut paper
With the opportunity to conduct an arts-related project supported by the Mellon Foundation, I chose to investigate makerspaces because of their potential to be epicenters of art, tech, and learning in a community-focused manner, which enables them to make widespread change. Through this process, I became exposed to makerspaces tackling large scale societal challenges including lack of respect for resources (e.g., fast fashion), the tech industry divide, political apathy, and fractured communities. My main research questions were as follows:
How do you foster a strong and inclusive community in a creative space?
How do you connect underserved folks with resources and make arts/making accessible to folks who have no previous contact with it?
I investigated seven spaces in Massachusetts, with varying target audiences, business models, medias, and interpretations of “makerspace.” After researching, visiting, touring, and interviewing, I identified a handful of specific challenges for these organizations. Most importantly, spaces must be able to articulate what their target audiences are so they can be intentional about approaching these challenges in a way that meets the community’s needs. It is critical that makerspaces be constructed in close proximity to their target audience, as a very space-oriented resource. If users are not able to easily access the resources, they may not access them at all.
Pictured with Diana Coluntino of New Vestures First, third, fourth photos courtesy of Leise Jones Photography
Fall 2017 Hardboard, wooden dowel, rubber tubing
I was given the challenge to create a bio-inspired “hopper” constructed out of limited materials, with weight, size, and stored energy constraints. The hopper was required to have at least a half-second launch delay before jumping substantially compared to its size.
As my design goal, I aimed to develop this object to be a fidget toy that would fit in my hand comfortably, be sturdy, aesthetically pleasing, hop predictably within the boundaries of a desk, and have and additional, more subtle mechanism.
The final model can be compressed repeatedly, or set to hop. The trigger mechanism, using a rubber tube and wooden dowel, is a friction hold inspired by the frog hopper insect.
Pictured last is a sketch model of the design, and second to last is a hand-cut benchtop test. The benchtop test model was only 2 and ½ inches tall, fitting my design goal well, but did not meet the minimum weight requirement. The finished model is closer to 4 inches tall.
Given the challenge to create a bio-inspired play experience for fourth graders, I chose to create a physically active, challenge-driven creative building experience that is inspired by beavers’ drive to construct and maintain their lodges. Design constraints included budget, physical space, and safety considerations.
The experience is timed: 3-5 students have a few minutes to patch up the holes in their dam using cardboard sticks and felt leaves scattered throughout the 9x9 foot play area. The patching materials can be woven into the holes, stuck on to the frames using velcro, or, as some players discovered, thrown onto the roof of the dam. I designed the structure to be conducive to a wide range of physical motion to increase player involvement.
The climax of the game is the “flood” when a bucket of small blue plastic balls rains down on the dam. The rain-like sound of the flood, as well as the balls cascading in through the leaks were the peak of the immersive sensory experience. The flood serves as the “enemy,” encouraging teamwork between all players.
Although the game has a clear goal and the specific holes guide patching, I left the hole-mending method purposely flexible to allow for more creative play. After many rounds of timed play, children who were testing the game started to move into more organic role playing centering around the “flood.” I considered the flexibility of the game to free-play to be its own success.