Over the course of this semester, we have discussed a multitude of topics, ranging from Gestalt theory and how it plays a role in every aspect of design, to Biophilia and the incorporation of eco-living dwellings for urban environments. Sticking with the themes from this semester, our first task as a group was to establish a Gestalt theory that we wanted to represent. In unison, we agreed on closure as our primary focus for design to remain simplistic without leaving extensive room for questioning. Through our research and discovery process, we began to pull inspiration from existing installations or architectural designs. The first of our muses was Marfa, TX. This desolate town in the middle of nowhere in Texas covets a reputation for its bizarre yet precisely executed installations of art. Most notable would be the stand-alone Prada store, however, for our project, we focused on the giant concrete shells that lay in the desert. Completely interactive and yet nonfunctional as a shelter because of its lacking accommodations, these structures captured gestalt theory in a very elementary way.
The second point of inspiration for the project came from an architect by the name Ta Dao Ando. He is considered to be a master of the theory of closure in many of his existing buildings, and he has a classic minimalist style that makes use of concrete as the main building material. Though his designs are not showy by any means, he captures the patrons of his buildings by molding light through various spaces. The stark contrast between the brightness of the sun against the coldness of the concrete always creates an awe-inspiring environment around us today. For this reason, and many more we decided to model our project using Ta Dao Ando's techniques, making use of a concrete like texture to create a heaviness to the pieces and deceive the viewers. By creating a grouping of similar shapes, we intend to allow light to pass through and cast shadows on the adjacent piece. This practice would create a sense of closure through the uniformity and varied scale of the project altogether.
We started the project by gathering our materials and cutting the wood frames we had acquired. The box dimensions are 2'x2'x1', 1.5'x1.5'x8", and 1'x1'x4" because we felt that was a manageable scale to work with. Originally, we intended to use concrete to cover the wood raming of the hollow boxes we assembled. There were several challenges in using this material due to the lack of adherence concrete had to the wood. After a lot of trial and error, we resulted to using muslin fabric and plaster to coat our boxes instead. The plaster would still give us our desired texture, while also keeping the project lightweight and moveable. Overall, the goals of creating a sense of closure was accomplished, and we ended with a high quality and aesthetic design.
Interior Design, Gestalt Theory
Architecture | Interior Architecture
Alberts, Zach; Lockman, Justine; Steines, Savanah; and Myers, Anna Grace, "Passive Closure" (2022). Theory In Action 2022. 12.