Hybrid Architecture Exhibition

Designing modular systems to create immersive 3D forms through understanding altered user perception and physical experiences.

Project Brief

Design a temporary exhibition featuring an artist/designer’s work that is presented in the Carnegie Museum of Art. While displaying pieces of the artist’s work, this project also asks to use digital technology to enhance the visitor’s experience in ways that can augment content, increase learning and/or make the museum experience more interactive. With only the first floor of CMU’s Miller ICA to work with, the goal is to both increase awareness of the client’s exhibitions to the general public as well as attract more CMU students, faculty and staff to the museum.

Concept Development

Mood board

The feeling I wanted to convey in this mood board is communicated through the use of textures, lighting, action(or lack there of), and color. Inspired by the PVC net covering the whole structure, I wanted the exhibition to have a breathable and refreshing atmosphere. Just like the warm light that shines through the bright green leaves on a sunny day, the attitude/tone of this exhibition’s message should be hopeful that humans can make a change when we learn to be more aware of the energy we consume and the resources we occupy. This means the material used should be sustainable, such as wood, and cotton. As the visitors see the dichotomy between concrete jungles and living nature, I intend the visitors to find comfort and inspiration through these highs and lows of their exploration. With a neutral color palette and sophisticated textures, this living space exhibition should be welcoming to a large audience that desires a peaceful and insightful experience.

Storyboard

Thinking about how the physical furniture and decorations in the space relate to the interaction was an issue unique to my exhibition, and how the interaction should be integrated has to fit within the narrative of the exhibited work. The overall idea is that the visitor would walk into the

Parti-Diagram

By categorizing the 3 story structure into 3 rooms, I started with a rough diagram of the space distribution and visitor flow. Thinking about how the narrative evolves as the visitor walks through each door, I wanted to take the visitor through the experience of living in there from day to night, and see how the pvc mesh reacts to lighting. This would not only including change of brightness, but also touch, sound, and maybe scent.

Physical Model

Creating a physical model helped me contextualize the space in relation to the person. At this stage, I realized that it was impractical to contain the whole structure in the first floor of Miller gallery. Instead of fixating on a replica of the breathe structure, I should work with the space provided and really think about the main takeaways of this exhibition.

3D Model

I was able to recreate the furniture and decorations by downloading free assets on Turbosquid and importing them into Maya. The flooring was painted in substance painter 3D and the images were rendered in Arnold. I had to visit forums quite a lot to learn more about lighting and material attributes, which made this project quite a learning experience to put skills into practice.

Final Plan & Evaluations

Walk-Through

Concrete wallpaper and flooring and metal pipes to provide context of original environment. This enclosed space creates contrast with the space inside after opening the second door.

This area holds the receptionist desk as well as seating for employees. The first thing that visitors see would be the Mini model accompanied with the title page. As shown in the visualization, the Inner walls are made of pvc mesh (same material as the actual structure), and there is a false window that gives a sneak peak of the outside world.

In this area, we have an assortment of furniture similar to the original structure, where each area is supposed to induce the feeling of comfort and relaxation. There is a Tv that plays a video, which explains the technology behind the sustainable functionalities, and the visitors are able to switch channels with the remote to learn about different aspects. Examples would be topics on material use, air filtration, rainwater collecting system, and reusability.

The first interaction which takes place in this living space aims to prompt a sense of collectivism and family through motion and pressure detection built into the environment and objects. This then triggers a projection onto the dining room table, which creates a playful collage of all the present and past visitors.

Here is an example of how this interaction will be triggered

Integrated naturally into the casual experience of living in the space and creates a sense of collectivism and family. This interaction takes curiosity and interest as input to create a lasting image that visitors can take home. Just like how family portraits are playful, visitors are free to pose for the camera with friends and family while interacting with the space.

Related to the design of the original structure (rooftop), this interaction symbolizes hope when looking into the future of sustainable living. After the visitor enters a zip code, the surrounding view and ambient sound changes based on location, which creates a relaxing atmosphere for visitors to rest and breathe. As a conclusion that revisits the idea of clean city living, this interaction can be imaginative or nostalgic as the feeling lingers even after leaving the exhibition.

see full process here

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