Final rendering in Rhinoceros®.

Final rendering in Rhinoceros®.

The Grid

Student work
School: Ohio University
Year: 2015

The purpose of the grid project was to understand the process of designing not as the means to an end, but as an end in itself. This means that the design will drive itself instead of the application of the design driving the design. The learning process was realized through a series of grid sketches and individual research.

First, I developed 10 unique black and white grid structures within a 6.5” square, utilizing 10 to 16 units in horizontal, vertical, or both directions. The results of my visual experimentation were jointly analyzed followed by continued experimentation on one or two directions narrowed from my research results.

Next, the visual research was conducted on the basis of only ‘taking away’ either black or white (but never both at the same time), from the established grid. The concept of ‘taking away’ regulates the mind to expand upon the limitations of that given parameter. ‘Taking away’ is, in a sense, interference to the grid structure. Understanding this process causes the designer to realize the ability to control the variables. ‘Adding to’ the structure becomes a concept closer to painting. A process with fantastic results but one that is less like those conditions often experienced in the design industry. The limitations force the designer to be creative because they give her a problem to solve, and with enough experimentation, she can achieve something great. By having no application for the grid, I could design uninhibitedly.

Next, I tried to achieve unique results of a singular concept affecting the grid within six (even) steps. This required several more rounds of sketching. After sketching, I conducted color studies using 2 or 3 colors. I compared the studies with one another by creating a small shadow box and pasting the designs to the "walls" and "floor".
Then, I photographed the interior and exterior versions of the box. I found that I had created a "room" with my little box, and that guided me toward my final grid application.

Lastly, for the application of my grid system, I decided to develop an intellectual and aesthetic interior space, consider how color affects the mood of the space, how pattern affects dimension, and create an experience for visitors.