Friday, 7 November 2014

Space and Environment: Concept development of Treacy's City

    After recieving feedback from my OGR I decided that I needed to try and break away (at least a bit) from being too literal with my designs. Simon helped me work out common shapes and patterns in Philip Treacy's designs, both of us eventually concluding that several of the hats, due to their size and shape actually draw attention away from or in some cases completely aobscure the peron's actual face. So we talked about form over function, and he helped me to work out that perhaps what I oculd try is a city that was highly aesthetic (a far cry from something I was told in my first term of Architecture at Canterbury, where I was advised that I should aim ot make every innch of the building useful), and indeed several of Treacy's designs looked as though they were sculptures atop their wearer's heads. Some surrounded, some accented, others drew the eye away from the face.

    I was still keen on finding some way to use the lotus somehow, I don't normally delve this far into the fantastical (that I am aware of) and I did get a sense of enjoyment from exploring complately fantastical spaces. One thing I also had to get my head around was how Treacy's hats could be whimsical. To help me, I was shown a recent design by BMW known as the GINA; a car whose outer body was a gloss canvas stretched over wire, giving it a very organic and minimal shape with minimal seams, the opening doors worked by the material flexing, allowing the outer body to "bend" as the door opened. It was a neat and intriguing idea if a little impractical as I can't imagine such a material as very protective. Funnily enough this is how treacy makes a lot of his hats: stretching fabric over a frame, but using a liquid solvent to harden the structure.
(BMW's design director Chris Bangle talks about the car (BMW web TV, 2008)

    So that is what I have to look for in my own designs: Something fanciful, beautiful, but in the end, more visual than functional; perhaps a popular trend in this city is that perhaps only a small amount of the volume is actually useable, most of it making way for sculpture or an addition to the facade.

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