This project was based on our previous library research task, where we had to do a lot of research on a practitioner (Stefan Sagmeister), a material (paper) and a process (stitch). After having done a lot of research, we came to class and drew up 15 ideas in an hour and a half (see Class 2 Reflection for more detail). After that we presented 3 to our group and chose one final idea to develop. In my case, I chose what I now call the Munsell Terraces.
Let me first off explain to you the origin of the terraces. Using Stefan Sagmeister's idea of happiness not only in art and design but in life, I decided to create something that makes ME happy (hopefully it makes others happy too). I thought of my childhood almost immediately and decided to go off with that. I used to live in the forest and climb trees everyday so heights had to be a part of my project. I also thought of the fact that being in a huge city makes me happy too. Using the process of stitching, I merged those two together and created the idea of a garden high up in the skyscrapers. If you would like a more literal interpretation of the process of stitching, if you look at the Munsell Terraces from a side view, it looks like the buildings have been stitched together. But that is purely aesthetic and has no real meaning to the final piece. Anyways... moving on!
I took the idea of having a kind of skyscraper garden and tried to find a way to make it unique, since skyscraper gardens already exist. I took Sagmeister's graphic design illustrations and decided to create a sort of floating mandala that looked completely different from above, under and in it. In addition, I would make the terraces staggered so that you could get a different view from any point. Furthermore, I would tie (or even stitch) the idea of happiness and my childhood by making each terrace a colour from the rainbow. Not only does this make it suitable and fun for all ages but it creates a pattern on the streets below it when the sun hits the terrace. I thought that was one of its coolest features and I truly wish I could bring it to life in the future. It would be more of an interactive art piece that a functional terrace.
Since I've talked about Sagmeister and stitching, onto paper! When I was thinking of paper and its qualities during class, I was trying to think of its most appealing features to me. I finally settled on volatility. What makes paper such a timeless utility? The fact that you can get so much across on such a thin and light tool. So the aesthetics of my terraces (thin, light and translucent) were inspired by the volatility of paper.
If you were ever wondering about why I chose circles as the shape for the Munsell Terraces, it has to do with what my mother told me a very long time ago. According to her theory, circles actually remind us humans of our time in the womb. They remind us of motherhood, and that's why we feel comfort in oval or circular environments. She may be wrong, but she's my mother so up to you to decide. I incorporated that into my terraces to, once again, create a sense of happiness.
As for the name "Munsell Terraces" I chose it because it had to do with the rainbow. Albert Munsell created the Munsell Colour System to distinguish different colours on a three dimensional scale: Hue, value and chroma. This is mostly used for soil research but we use it everyday and I thought it would be cool to incorporate a more scientific aspect into the terraces.