Bridge 5 Part 2 – Final Reflection

1.What learning/ learning topic or learning process did you find yourself using throughout the semester?
For me, the concept of simultaneous perception was instrumental in becoming more aware of the connection between myself and others.

2.Where did you use it (in life, in class, in other classes)?
I used this learning in the Integrated Studio class to make my pieces. I thought of my audience as a crucial part of the outcome. For example, for the Bridge 4, I created a participatory piece to make my audience feel more included and engaged with my work. Moreover, while critiquing my classmates work, I became more aware of where they were coming from with their thinking before interpreting or giving an opinion about it. I also used this concept outside of class by trying to be more aware of my assumptions of those around me. I became more curious about that around me.

3.What learning did you make about systems or strategies (in society, in making, in research, etc.) do you want to bring into your future semesters, dig into deeper, or explore with other people?
I learned that everything is constructed, and has politics behind it. Everything from public parks, the visual culture of a neighborhood or the gentrification of a deteriorated area are constructed by a group of individuals, many times of the elite. I will like to bring with me this learning to future semesters because I want to explore in which ways as an artist and designer I can contribute to the creation of more diverse constructed environments.

4.What is one ah-ha that you had? What did you learn?
One of the most significant ah-ha moments I had during this course was when we learned to critique each other’s work with the DAI (Describe, Analyze, Interpret) formula. I learned to stop and look at each other’s work from its most basic elements or principles of design and to do not give an opinion brusquely. Before taking this class, I used to say the opinion of the piece we would be critiquing without analyzing how it was constructed or noticing the decision making behind it. After taking the Integrated Studio 2 class I feel I became a more thoughtful critic, and I understood how critiques could be constructive, and not only opinion based.

5.Select two highlights from your first year. These highlights might consist of significant projects or papers. A highlight could also be a productive class debate, a journal entry, a materials experiment, an illuminating course trip, or a new skill. This is a deep look at your work.

Highlight 1: From my Sustainable Systems class. Construction of a shelter structure for an extreme flood situation in Faizabad, India.

a) Planning: Show your preparatory steps. What initiated this? How did you plan for the different steps? How would you prepare differently next time?

To create my structure, I first decided which flood situation I wanted to tackle with my design. I then connected the concepts that we learned in class about sustainable practices (such as energy sources, and of natural materials) with a hat that I constructed before based on the Fibonacci Spiral. For this project, I first created the map of the intensities of floods in the world in which I signaled where Faizabad was. Then I constructed the shape of the structure (based on the Fibonacci Spiral) with wood and canvas. Afterward, I thought sketched how the structure would serve if built (how it would be attached to another structure, create energy/water/and food production, and how it would be deployable and transportable. Further, I added these elements to the actual structure and I constructed a human figure that would give the audience an understanding of the proportions of the shelter. Lastly, I thought about which materials I could use to build the actual shelter. To do this, we went to the Materials Library.
If I had to create an architectural structure again, I would probably focus more on the issue we want to solve based on the particular location. I would deep more into research about the area affected, and I would find solutions that serve this situation in particular rather than making it more generalized.

b) Outcome: Show what was explored/ made/ written/ researched. Write a clear description of each item. Add media components (images, galleries, video, excerpts, etc.).

I  made a 3-dimensional component, which was the shelter structure. I also made 2-dimensional structures such as sketches, and the map. There was also a written part of what is the purpose of the shelter, how it will be used, and the different materials with which it would be done. Everything is below:

Highlight 2: From my Space and Materiality Class. STALAG: A sculpture made with plaster and wood.

a) Planning: Show your preparatory steps. What initiated this? How did you plan for the different steps? How would you prepare differently next time?

For the assignment, we had to make a piece out of plaster. We learned the techniques of how to create the mix in class. My piece started with a parabole I drew. I drew the parabole in foam board and created two molds with it. I cut the lines of the paraboles and prepared the mold by adding water and plaster in a cup. Once I added several layers of plaster to the foam board, I took the plaster out of the foam board. I thought about how to arrange my pieces. To me, these seemed very organic. They reminded me of stalagmites and stalactites. With that in mind, I thought of composing the sculpture in a way that some of the plaster pieces will be hanging, and others would come from the bottom. I also added some extra plaster on the outside to make the surface of the parts to be rougher.

The parabole drawing initiated the process, but the inspiration from nature rose in the middle of the making process. The next time I would probably think through more about what is it that I want to convey with my piece before knowing the shapes of the parts. I think it could be interesting to create a more conceptual piece out of plaster.

b) Outcome: Show what was explored/ made/ written/ researched. Write a clear description of each item. Add media components (images, galleries, video, excerpts, etc.). 

For this piece, I explored the use of plaster and wood for sculpture making. I also inquired about different ways of attaching my pieces. There was not a research aspect for this project, but I did have stalactites and stalagmites as inspiration. Below you can observe the process with photos.

6. Thinking: Show your thought process. What do these two highlights represent? Why are they important to your learning? What is most successful or interesting about this work?

The highlight 1 represents an important step in my artistic practice because I got to design something with a social cause in mind. This project inspired me to get more interested in sustainability and social change, and to want to create social capital with my work. Also, I think it was successful how I got to put all my research together on a design proposition.

The highlight 2 is essential for my learning because it took me out of my comfort zone to not only create a three-dimensional piece, which I never did before but also to work with two new materials for me (wood and plaster). In the making of this piece, I learned about the composition of a sculpture that has more than two planes. I also learned to think about the positive and the negative space between each part of STALAG. This is the first sculpture that I made that I felt proud of.

7. If you could tell future students anything from what you learned during this year, what would it be? (Not just in this class – but overall in life about first year at college.)

Even though this is not my first year of college since I am a transfer student, I did learn a lot in my first year at Parsons.

a) If you feel that there is something you should do, it is probably what you should be doing. I was studying Business of Creative Enterprises at Emerson College and thought my classes were not creatively challenging me. I wanted to do something different. It was very risky for me to leave everything I created in the school, and in Boston, however, I decided to move because that was not were my heart was.

b) Everything is possible with organization. Procrastination happens to all of us. I feel that the power of our minds is very powerful and can make us create healthy habits. Throughout my time at Parsons, I learned to find time for that which I enjoy doing, and that to do that I need to try to do my school work the sooner, the better.

c) Be curious and not to take what surrounds us for granted.

d) Try something new even though you think it might not be for you. The first year courses at Parsons can sound very challenging for you if you are coming to the school with one major in mind. For me, the drawing class seemed particularly challenging since I had never before used Illustrator. Is ok not to know everything that is why we go at college.

e) Save your inspiration. When you feel something is intriguing for you, look it up. Then save it.

f) Take care of yourself. Find something that makes you sane. For me, it was exercise and hanging out with my friends. This is crucial for your mental health.


8. Write a conclusion that looks toward future interests, questions, and courses. This is where you’re heading.


a) What new questions do you want to pursue in the future?

I want to know: How can I better connect with a broader audience with my designs? Is there a way for my art/designs to bring social capital? What new mediums can help me with my pieces?

b) How might one project generate another?

One project inspires another, and it lets space for improvement. This can result in a more significant project or a series of pieces. I am interested in keeping my work saved in my Learning Portfolio to in the future become inspired to generate new projects from it.

c)What new skills/techniques do you want to learn?

Some of the new techniques that I am interested in learning are film photography, after effects, typography, and how to use metal and biodegradable materials for 3-dimensional sculptures. Also, I want to become a better team worker by having more empathy for individuals different from me. I also want to put function first then form in my future works, which I find hard. Lastly, I want to reinforce the DAI (Describe, Analyze, Interpret) formula when looking at my own or other’s work.

I am an international student from Venezuela that desires to communicate with the world around me visually. I hope that I can become a part of the global conversation where I can tell stories that are untold. With a background in business and languages, I have experienced how different fields will always connect at some points, and I aspire to reinforce that connection in my work. I believe that there is not one pure aesthetic, and therefore I have chosen to collaborate and learn from those around me to every day grow as an artist.

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