Intro To Design

Response to the brief 

For this project we were asked to explore the essential visual meaning of a word… the word being ‘Structure’. We are then required to conceive, design and produce a reduced scale Maquette of a piece of interior public art based upon and conveying the theme of structure. The structure has to be inventive and creative as possible. Use any materials, techniques and processes, considered to be practical and relevant.

What is structure? The way in which a word is constructed, the elements of which it is made, is an important building block in our understanding of our language. Although it is often easy to refer to vocabulary, which is a word and its meaning, it is also important to consider the construction of a word. Here are a few references…

Idea’s and Concepts

The first piece of public art I found is designed by a man called Stephan Siebers, I don’t know the location of the sculpture. The structure/sculpture works with the laws of gravity. The structure creates games of balance between volume and weight that surprise and question the viewer’s expectations. The cubes seem to fall and, nevertheless, stand solidly on each other. The structure is fixed by the defiant indestructibility of the steel. The second piece of public art has been created by Isamu Noguchi its called “Red Cube” and is located in downtown Manhattan. The Red Cube stands out in strong contrast to the blacks, browns, and whites of the buildings and sidewalks around the sculpture. It is constructed out of red painted steel. It is surrounded on three sides by skyscrapers, the height of which draw a viewer’s eye upwards. The sculpture itself adds to this upward pull, as it balances on one corner, the opposite corner reaching towards the sky. The third piece of fine art I found is called ‘Cloud Gate’, It was designed by British artist Anish Kapoor. It is 110 ton, 66 feet long and 33 feet high. The elliptical sculpture is made out of highly polished stainless steel. It reflects the Chicago skyline with its liquid mercury surface. Visitors can walk underneath the Cloud Gate, which is surprisingly concave. Kids especially enjoy the fun house mirror effect that this creates. People can walk through the 3.7 meter high central arch, where they can look up to the large dent and see numerous distorted reflections of themselves.

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Idea 1 – I came up with at least 5 ideas. One of my first recommendations was to create a structure in the form of a little girl wearing a gas mask, the girl was going to represent the people that died in the blitz war. I think this would of been a good idea, but personally I don’t think it would’ve of answered the brief in making a structure.

Idea 2 – I started thinking of a concept that can be easily looked at as a ‘structure’ I came up with the idea of building a  shape out of empty walkers crisp packets, If I’d have gone ahead with this idea, I would of placed the structure in Leicester because that’s where walkers crisps are made and originated from. However I think this idea would of been hard to construct and make in to a professionally presented structure.

Idea 3 – I came up with this idea when I read that sheffield is the greenest city in Europe, I came up with the idea of having recycled cans formed in to a structure. The cans will be stacked in cube shapes, each cube of cans will be placed on top of each other. The cubes will look unstable, this will show that the sculpture has structure. This is my strongest Idea because I think it explores the visual meaning of the word ‘structure’.

Idea 4 – This idea came across when I found out Liquorice is originated from Sheffield, I was thinking about building a large structual statue out of liquorice to commemorate this. The liquorice pieces will be stacked up to build a tail thin structure. The structure will be very stable, it will be stuck together with a glue gun, to build up the liquorice. I personally think this will look good as a structure. However this idea is not the one I want to pursue with because, I don’t think this idea will become the strongest outcome.

Idea 5 – My fifth and final idea is to build a structure remembering Don Valley stadium in Sheffield. My main plan is to having someone throwing a javelin, the purpose of this is because Don Valley is the home of athletics in Sheffield, hence the javelin thrower. This will be placed out side the stadium. I will use layers of paper to make the structure, I will draw out the javelin thrower, and use a kraft knife to cut through all the pieces of paper. It will look 3D once I have finish cutting the structure out. Overall I think this is not my strongest idea, hence why I not going to choose to create this idea, the process of cutting the layers of paper will be very time consuming, and could easily go wrong.

My Final Idea – The best idea in my opinion, is idea 3, recycled cans structure. I’ve chosen to create this one because it is the strongest, the one with the best purpose, and I think the one that will create a sound basis for the structure design. Here are some examples below of what my final structure might look like.

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Sketches and Concepts

Maquette sketch 1 


This is the first sketch I have come up with. Each cube is made up of recycled cans. If I am going to make this maquette I will stick the cubes on top of each other, some of the cubes will be overlapping, this will show a balanced effect, which will show that the sculpture has structure. I will spray paint the cans a silver colour to cover up the branding of the cans. I will also make a stand for the maquette to go on, this will be also spray painted silver.

Maquette sketch 2


This is the second sketch I have come up with. For this idea I think it would be good to have an unstable maquette, the maquette will consist of 5 rows of cans, there will be around 6 cans on each row. I will glue each row on top of each other, but each row, will be overlapping to cause an unstable look to the maquette (as you can see on the sketch above). I will have wooden platforms for the maquette to sit on. I think this is a solid and simple sketch of what it would look like, it also responds to the brief well as it represents the word structure.

Maquette sketch 3


This is the third sketch I have come up with. I like the look of this one because its a simple but effective idea. If I go ahead with this one, I will glue together 6 cans in to a cube shape, glue another 4 cans together to make another cube, then glue the 4 cans on top of the set of 6 cans. This will look like the cans of 4 are balancing and unstable, the next step is to glue another set of 6 cans together and place that set on to the top of the 4 balanced cans, this will then look like the sketch above. I think this is the best idea so far. If I go on to build this idea, it will visually communicate the meaning of the word structure the strongest.

Maquette sketch 4


This sketch I have attempted create a falling structure of cans, If I choose to create this maquette, I will start off by merging 10 cans in to a cuboid shape, this will be fairly tall, next I’ll merge 8 cans in to a cube and 6 cans in to a smaller cuboid shape these two will be glued together, and will be placed on top of the other cuboid. To make sure the maquette is stable I am going to place a metal rod through the middle of the cans, to get the rod to fit through the middle of the cans, I will drill a hole through the top and bottom can, the rod will help the maquette keep its upright position.This does communicate with the word structure in my opinion, so it would be a good idea to generate.

Maquette sketch 5


This sketch is a little similar to the last one. This maquette will consist of twelve cans merged together, to create a medium sized cube, I will then create another cube with the same amount of cans, twelve. Both cubes will be glued together to create the shape that is pictured above. I will create a platform for the maquette, the platform will be two blocks of wood placed on top of each other. Once the cans and platform have been constructed, I will spray paint the whole maquette a silver colour.

Maquette sketch 6


This is the final sketch I came up with, this is a little different to the other concepts. If I’m going to go ahead with this maquette design, I will firstly drill two holes through the top and bottom of each can that I am going use (4 cans), this is so I can fit a metal rod through the middle of each can, the metal rod will keep the maquette stable. The maquette will be spray painted silver, and I will also making a platform for the cans to stand on, a hole will be drilled through the top of the platform for the rod to fit in.

Which concept am I going construct?

After talking about each sketch and how I’d create each one, I have chosen to take sketch number three further, I have opted to construct this idea, because its the one that will visually communicate with the word structure the strongest. My inspiration for this sketch came from Stephan Siebers, who’s work I researched on the public art section, I admire how each structure creates games of balance between volume and weight that surprise and question the viewer’s expectations. This is what I am hoping to create with my recycled cans. As my maquette is celebrating that Sheffield is recently the greenest city in Europe, I’m going to superimpose my maquette in Sheffield Peace Gardens. Peace Gardens is a big green open space, it is currently one of the most visited places in Sheffield, it is also one of the greenest places in Sheffield in terms of litter, cans, bottles being recycled and binned, hence the reason I want to put my Maquette/structure in the peace gardens.


Constructing my Maquette

To construct my maquette/structure I used 14 cans, I started off by gluing each can together with a glue gun. Using the glue gun was the best option in my opinion, it made the cans very sturdy. I used two cans for each section, I placed each pair of cans on top of each other to build my maquette/strcuture up.

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The image on the far right, is showing what my structure looks like when its been glued together, you can see that in this  particular image that the structure is similar to the work of Stephan Siebers which is who I got my inspiration from.

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These images are showing the finished structure, the first image is just showing the shape and balance of the structure. The second image is from a first person view, this is what the structure will look like looking at it from the floor. I like how it looks stable and unstable at the same time, especially with the 2 cans balancing in the middle of the maquette, it forms the shape really well. Most importantly my maquette answers the brief in exploring the visual meaning of the word ‘structure’.

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When I chose my final idea I had the idea of building a stand for my maquette/structure, I decided to take this forward and build a small platform. I found 2 different sized blocks of wood, they were the perfect shape to build my platform, so all I had to do was glue the pieces of wood together. I added a varnish cover to the pieces of wood to give a professional look.

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This is what my final maquette/strcuture looks like. The final stage of completing the structure is too spray paint it silver. This will give it a realistic finish to my maquette/strcuture.

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This is the last stage of completing my maquette/structure I sprayed it silver to reenforce the realistic finish I was looking to achieve.

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Once I had finished constructing my maquette/structure, I started to focus on editing it in Photoshop, I wanted my structure to be a little brighter and more realistic, I decided to up the contrast of the maquette in Photoshop, I also improved the brightness, and darkened the shadows on the cans. I finally covered up any scratches and hot glue marks, this is so it looks proffesional when i super impose my maquette/structure.

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Here is a close up screenshot of my maquette, this is showing a glue mark that needs editing. To get rid of the glue mark, I used the patch tool, this was very simple too use, all I had to do was select an area of the can and duplicate that pattern using the patch tool, it took a couple of attempts but I managed to blend the colour, and get rid of the glue mark as you can see on the image on the right. I also used the clone tool to edit small areas of the maquette such as dints and discoluorations, this was a little easier than using the patch tool.

Before –                                                                           After –

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This is the before and after screenshot of my edification on Photoshop. Changing the contrast and hue saturation gave my maquette/strcuture a different effect which made my design look better. By changing the colour of my maquette image has given the design a more resplendent look, which will look better when the maquette/structure is superimposed. I chose to use a similar model and unstable like shapes that Stephan Siebers used which is who I looked at in my research. The next stage is to superimpose my maquette image

Super imposing my Maquette

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Here are some images I have taken of the peace gardens, this is where I am going to superimpose my maquette structure, these are the three of the best that I have taken in my opinion, I have chosen the Sheffield Peace Gardens because it communicates with my maquette structure in a contextual way. As my maquette is celebrating Sheffield being the greenest city in Europe, I thought the peace gardens would be an appropriate setting as the its one of the cleanest places in Sheffield in terms of litter, cans and bottles being binned an recycled, this shows the contextual link between my maquette and the Peace Gardens. Out of the three images my favourite is the middle one, the reason is because its the most striking and has a large open space for my maquette to be super imposed in too. Its also the one that will look the strongest on its final outcome with my maquette.


This is the image I have chosen to super impose my maquette on too.

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Before super imposing my image I had to edit the base of my maquette structure. I had to remove a part of the base, this is so when i super impose my image, it looks like its on the ground. Once I sorted the base of the maquette, I started to super impose it on too the base image, editing the maquette made it look a lot better as it looked a lot more realistic.

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Once I placed my maquette in position which was the strongest, I decided to focus on the lighting on the base image and my maquette, to do this I used the hue and saturation option, I dimmed the brightness so it would look a similar colour to my maquette. This worked out pretty wells my maquette mixed in with the base image.

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I started to focus on the shadowing after I had positioned my maquette. the left screenshot is showing the Gussian Blur tool, this tool enabled me to blur each shadow, this helped a lot because it made the shadows look realistic. The image on right is highlighting the shadows I have created, the shadows work well, and serve a positive purpose in making my maquette look realistic in my super imposition.

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These screenshots are showing the size change i made. i decided to shrink down my maquette a little, because it looked very unrealistic in place where it was. The shadows did help maquette fit in with base image a little, but it still looked improbable. The image on the left is showing the change in scale, as yon can see this looks a lot better, its improved the outcome of my super imposition.

Final PDF photo –

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Final super imposed PDF –

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This is my final maquette structure super imposed in to the Peace Gardens Sheffield. I decided to do recycled cans, because Sheffield has recently been voted the greenest city in Europe. My aim was to create a balanced structure made out of tin cans, the reason I chose to do a balanced structure was because it would make the maquette more interesting and better to look at, my inspiration for the shape came from Stephan Siebers who specialises in making balanced cube sculptures. I started creating the /maquette/structure out of recycled cans, I glued them together with a hot glue gun, I then spray painted it to give it a realistic effect. I then finally took photos of my maquette/structure and then super imposed it too the image of the Peace Gardens.

One of the areas that was particularly strong for me on this project, was how my maquette/structure turned out, the overall maquette looked great, it came out better than expected if i was being honest. Another area I thought in was strong was the editing my maquette image on photoshop, I personally think I patched up the glue marks and scratches very well. One of my not so strongest parts was super imposing the maquette/structure on to my image, it wasn’t necasserily hard get the imposition right, it was hard to get the maquette/structure to look realistic, and fit in with the base image, so I was a little disappointed with the over all super imposition.

If I was asked to do the project again I would definitely try and make the super imposition more realistic, I would also think more about the final result more, this is so i can add more detail to it.

I overall think I have answered the brief in making a structure, I have also linked my final maquette design well with my peace gardens image, they are both related to sheffield. The peace gardens is also one of cleanest places in Sheffield in terms of litter, cans and bottles being binned an recycled, this shows the contextual link.