Wire Mobile Assignment


This assignment serves as an add-on for the one before it, project 4. As it adds onto the concept of reinterpreting a two dimensional stimulus into the three dimensional plane and factors in the concept of a shared weight between these objects. Since they’re suspended and not rooted to the ground by gravity, the position they intentionally fall into displays the invisible but essential relationship between objects that are reliant on balance and weight distribution. However still they seem to be, the preservation of balance between two correlating objects means they’re always in motion. which is interesting because the idea of a perfect resting state, where they are not moving at all, would imply that all objects depending on one another are compensated to the point of extreme precision, which would be incredibly difficult to achieve, if achievable at all. Motion implies energy, the alignment of balance relies on the motion of gravity, as said in The Culture of Time and Space, “If there is no clear distinction between the plenum of matter and the void of space and if matter may be conceived as a configuration of energy alignments, then the traditional understanding of matter as made up of discrete bits with sharply defined surfaces must also be rejected […] and argued that the division of matter into independent bodies with absolutely determined outlines is ‘artificial”. This is interesting because these wires do exactly that, they’re artificial forms that “outline” an object that existed in a position at a certain time, serving as a three dimensional “freeze frame” that copies the said object. It however is not a carbon copy, as the hand is not a real hand hanging from a mobile, instead it is a form that implies the idea of a hand. As Scott McCloud once stated, the simpler something is the easier it is for the human brain to make an assumption regarding it, so something that is literally a wire frame of something is recognizable to the human brain. Now the addition of positioning the mobile above a person changes the effect the wire frames had beforehand, as instead of a person actively looking down at a surface to see this wire frame lying on table, it is now hung in front of them, immediately taking up space in the viewer’s psyche. It now engages with the viewer instead of the viewer taking the effort to take it in.

Wire Contour study



Within this project, we essentially visualized the concepts explored in project 3, only this time manifesting them into physical versions. Which is interesting because it originally worked as taking something that is purely three dimensional and representing it on a two dimensional plane, now its taking stimulus from the two dimensions and reinterpreting it into three dimensions. Now the original object and representation can be immediately compared as they inhabit the same plane. the effect of empty space is interesting, as these are just wires bent into shapes. However, once they’re closed off, the space “contained” within its frame creates a form of reference that works as a symbol for the human psyche. This same effect was once achieved with the construction of the skyscraper, as described in The Culture of Time and Space, ” liberated from the need to construct solid supporting walls, architects could use sheets of glass to open interiors and scenery of the outside world.” Now this project didn’t open up a view of the city to people living in the interior, however this relates to the assignment because the way architects achieved this effect. That is, building what they call bare skeletal structures that supported itself to the point where it didn’t need a solid wall to keep it standing, and therefore could have walls with spacious views. Here we can see that the usage of a frame, wire or steel girdle, displays an intentional window into a selected span of space.

Haptic and blind contour drawings


Within my chosen text, there is a line that states, “natural scientists began to investigate the relation between the structure of living organisms and their spatial orientation“. I believe this relates to this assignment because of the word “spatial orientation”, as it sounds like the organization of something, or rather how that organization is interpreted and presented. When somebody see’s an object, for an instance (or for however long the individual is in front of the object), they can verify its shape and form because its immediately within view, any incorrect assumptions are corrected in reference to the real object. However when that object is no longer there, the individual is left with an outline of where and what it was, allowing for the mind’s eye to warp and change the perception of the object, depending on how intently the individual observed it. Now this assignment twists this principal in an interesting way, as all the information on the paper is purely visual information in reference to the object being drawn, it largely excludes subjective or conscious influence as corrections cannot be made to the drawing. More often than not the drawing looks incorrect in comparison to the real object, however the individual who created the drawing can still identify the drawing as the object. This spatial orientation of lines in combination with the psyche allows for the individual to pair a loose scrawling of lines on paper with a real object occupying the three dimensional plane and call them the same, which I think is what the passage was getting to.

Orthographic Projections

Orthographic Projections of components from the metal fan


within this project, I learned the specific layout and language of technical drawing, as orthographic drawings serve as a multi viewed document that details the dimensions of an object. With a document like this, a manufacturer would have an idea what a certain product would look like, not so much being able to construct it as it does not supply instructions to do so, but more of a “ideal outcome”. In my opinion, creating multi-viewed technical drawings functions as the “first step” into any sort of manufacturing or constructing profession, as it serves as an introduction to how their systems work. This idea of manufacturing and the language that comes with it relates heavily with the text I chose, as it discusses the period of awareness between 1880 and 1918. This awareness being the gradual but also exponential growth of the Industrial Revolution and the sophistication of technology it brought with it. I’m sure the prowess with technical drawing was fundamental during that time as technology, and therefore the means to put it together, was constantly evolving. I just find it interesting how the means of designing such technologies with technical drawing styles (such as Orthographic) have remained in tact for the most part, as people design and communicate with them to this day. However, at the same time, you can view Da Vinci’s notebooks and have a fairly good idea of how the mechanisms were supposed to work.

Take Something Apart

The Object

A metal (Aluminium most likely) Fan

The process of deconstruction

tools used:

Long screwdriver, normal screwdriver, and needle nosed plyers

Material index

Arranging the parts


In total, this assignment has demonstrated to me the level of complexity that goes into manufacturing and assembling a product. Something as simple as a desk fan houses small mechanisms and design choices that have been described to me, but have never physically seen, let alone deconstruct them. The motor of the mechanism was the most interesting part, as the axle that rotated the fan blades operated with what appears to be some sort of magnetic set up with a copper coil housing. I never would’ve expected something like that from a simple desk fan, it makes me wonder about all the complexities I’ve missed in the objects I’ve used or seen thrown out. As all these objects occupy space, with an intentional design constructed by a designer of some sort. Within Stephen Kern’s work titled The Culture of Time and Space Kern quotes Einstein’s statement from 1916, “We entirely shun the vague word of ‘space’, of which, we must honestly acknowledge, we cannot form the slightest conception and we replace it with ‘motion relative to a practically rigid body of reference”. Essentially, I think this means when you try to determine what space is, you can really only consider it in relation to an object or “reference”. Which is an interesting thought, as the complexity of space is something the designer of this fan had to consider. The housing around the fan’s revolving mechanism is dome-like, but when opened up was incredibly spacious in terms of interior components. It makes me wonder, at what point does a design choice become too much of an obstruction to the space around the object, and when is there not enough space for the interior?