Project 3: Body & Space

November 5, 2012

Introduction: Part 1: The Space of Bodily Movement

The human body is a complex organism. Even the most common or everyday experiences – such as sitting down on a chair or taking a single step up a flight of stairs – describe an intricate choreography between a human body and an immediate constructed environment.

The limits of the human body are prescribed and inscribed in our constructed environment through social contract. If we want to make new designs, or challenge the existing order of things, we must first understand the limits of human body prior to challenging the notion of “inhabitation”.

In this project, we will inquire into the limits of the human body through a spatial study of movement. Historically, the human body itself has been used as a unit of measure for the construction of buildings, fabrication of goods, and trade of materials.

Movement studies – from Marey to Muybridge to Duchamp to Forsythe – have expanded historical understandings of the body, through the production of new recording and sensing instruments, methods of representation, and in forming connections between arts and sciences.

Students will be challenged to develop a model and drawing that describes the space of movement of the human body.

Download project brief for part 1 as .pdf file.

Objectives: Part 1: The Space of Bodily Movement

The objectives of this project are to study the space of movements of the human body through drawings and photographs, that will provide us with a scope and framework for the second part of the project.

  1. Develop techniques to record, trace, inscribe the movements of the human body using drawing, photography, and three dimensional models.
  2. Develop methods to represent the space of human movement.
  3. To inquire into and define a space of human movement through a material and spatial investigation.

Constraints: Part 1: The Space of Bodily Movement

In this project, students working in groups of two, are asked to study the space of movement of the human body using photography, drawing, and three dimensional model making techniques.

Students will be challenged to define an area of the body that includes at least three (3) joints, that will serve as the site of inquiry. Once an area of the body has been determined, the students will document the extents of that movement through photographs. Using these photographs, students will develop hybrid drawings and a model from the hybrid drawings that demonstrates the space of movement, proportional relationships, and limits of the space of bodily movement.

  1. The “site” of inquiry should incorporate at minimum three joints of the human body.
  2. In the minimum case, the three joints must be connected (i.e. Hip, knee, ankle). If more than 3 – the additional need not be connected in series.
  3. Models are to be produced at 1:1 scale.
  4. All models are to be made using corrugated cardboard and balsa wood members as specified in the “materials” section.
    Drawings are to be made using pencil, straight edge, and compass and can be combined or overlaid with photographs on vellum.

Deliverables: Part 1: The Space of Bodily Movement

  1. One model of the space of human movement at 1:1 scale.
  2. Hybrid drawings of the space of human movement, using photographs.

Introduction: Part 2: Inhabiting 5cm x 10 cm x 2.40 meters

Inhabit:
To live in or occupy a place or environment
To exist or be situated within; dwell in
Origin ~ late Middle English inhabite, enhabite, from Old French enhabiter or Latin inhabitare, from in- ‘in’ + habitare ‘dwell’ (from habere ‘have’).

In this project, we will take what we have learned from our project on the study of the space of human movement to investigate the notion of inhabitation, in working with a given volume and constraints of a material. In this project the initial given volume is a 5cm x 10cm x 2.40 meter section of pinewood.
On the tangible level this project requires one to develop a system that informs the transformation of the given member of dimension lumber. The student will be required to use the entire piece of wood – meaning that no material can be thrown away or excluded. Also, students must carefully and critically consider the joints, seams, or connections in the fabrication of the construct.

On the conceptual level, we will investigate the definition of inhabitation. What does it mean to inhabit a volume, and what is the intimate relationship between the body and material that is developed in the act of inhabitation? What are the various ways in which one can define inhabitation?

Download project brief for part 2 as .pdf file.

Objectives: Part 2: Inhabiting 5cm x 10 cm x 2.40 meters

This project seeks to extend our investigation into the relationship between body and space and to define inhabitation through a spatial and material exploration.

  1. To define inhabitation in the relationship between the human body and the given material.
  2.  

  3. To create a construct that demonstrates a spatial inhabitation through a physical transformation of the given volume of material. This construct should be inhabitable/wearable/performable.
  4.   

  5. To understand the material constraints and learn new techniques of fabrication in the shop.
  6. To define “inhabitation” through a material and spatial investigation.

Constraints: Part 2: Inhabiting 5cm x 10 cm x 2.40 meters

  1. Each student must use the entire given material volume.
  2. A secondary element or material is allowed, but this secondary connective device/material must truly be secondary in nature and not structural.  For example, glue, a steel bolt, felt, leather, or string/rope could be used as secondary material but should not be the primary material used.
  3. All constructs must be made by the students in the Chulalongkorn wood shop. The wood shop will be open and available for students from 08:00 until 18:00 Monday to Friday throughout the duration of the project.

Deliverables: Part 2: Inhabiting 5cm x 10 cm x 2.40 meters

  1. The physical construct that uses all of the volume (except for kerf eliminated in cutting processes) of the given material at 1:1 scale. 
  2. Drawing of the transformation of the given material into the final construct at 1:2 scale with pencil, compass, ruler.
  3.  

  4. Photographic documentation that demonstrates or defines the notion of inhabitation and the relationship between the construct and the human body. These could be considered as a scenarios of inhabitation. Minimum 6 photographs to document final construct and a set of photographs to define scenarios.
  5.