Teaching Associate, Cornell University
Student work by Jacqueline Liu
This first year design studio began with the selection and documentation of an object. These objects were once components of a tool, yet no longer resemble the original device – as fragments, once dismembered, can no longer serve a functional role. While some students sought to re-create the original tool either intentionally or subconsciously through drawing, successful projects accepted the object in its current state, seeking to re-imagine new mechanical and functional roles driven by a formal re-evaluation of the object itself. From this initial documentation, the objects were then sited in a material that allowed for the housing of this re-evaluated mechanical fragment. Some were sunk, some were buried, suspended, framed or bound.
The second assignment asked students to create a flying machine. These flying machines were modeled out of wood, paper, plastic, and string and tested on campus during a studio-wide flight competition. Like all things, what goes up must come down. When it does, the destruction that occurs can create surprising and often unanticipated effects. The deconstruction of these flying machines created an opportunity for the tool to either intervene or embrace its altered state. The mash-up between sited mechanical tool fragments and lightweight flying machines created the basis for the final semester design project. Emphasis was placed on design through making, with physical models, hand drawing, and mixed media.