Space Construction // Phase One

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

Through both primary and secondary research, I concluded that the desirability of interior design in the current age and their inherent Instagrammable qualities tend to come from their raw, somewhat industrial aesthetic. Therefore, I made the decision to use OSB3 board, a more affordable chipboard often used in the construction industry, and copper pipe, an aesthetically pleasing material which also shares connections with the material make-up of mobile phones and modern technology as well as being a fashionable interior design choice. Still hoping to abide by the inspiration of Wes Andersons colour palettes, I intend to paint sections of the OSB3 board accordingly in the future - something which I'm certain will feature in phase two.

Initially, I had intended to use more reclaimed material within the build, hoping the use the existing boards already at college to form the wooden section of the structure. However, after difficulty getting this onto the online system and then the later acknowledgement of how much work and how awkward it would be to neatly achieve the precise measurements I required, I chose to go to B&Q. Here, I was able to choose the specific material I desired and was able to use their cut to measure service free of charge. This saved a lot of time, and was even cheaper than using the boards provided by the college, so was ultimately a successful decision.

Whilst I had initially toyed with what material I could use to form the non-wooden structures, I decided over a conversation with Chris Alton that ultimately, I really did want copper pipe. Luckily, having a dad who is a plumber made this a lot more achievable! I was able to source the material through him and he was even so kind as to assist me in tailoring the material to my specific requirements, which meant that all the appropriate tools required were at hand. On designing the space prior to it's construction, it seemed wise to essentially construct the form as a flat pack. This would make the set-up and take down of the work much more achievable and make any sort of transportation much easier - something that is vital to consider especially regarding Free Range. In saying this, the first major construction did come as a slight panic as we soldered the section together, a piece 210cm x 220cm, and then feared whether or not we could even get it through the double doors of the space of which the piece was constructed in. Luckily, we could, however it was a bit awkward to achieve. We remain in discussion of whether or not we should cut the piece in half and solder on some straight joints which would allow for the piece to come apart and be put back together in a stable condition easily.

The majority of the cutting and joining was a simple process, the awkward part was achieving the sweeping bend of which was necessary in order to achieve the desired look to be conceptually appropriate. This had been a concern since I first shared the construction design with my dad; whilst he has a pipe bender that achieves a particular bend, somewhat close to 90°, this would not be suitable for this curve. After discussing the desired curve with Martin, he thought that a particular tool in the workshop might be successful in achieving what was wanted. However, on practicing with a smaller off cut of pipe, we realised that whilst it was capable of bending it to a somewhat bespoke curve, it was going to dent the pipe as it did so. This potentially would have made this section of the structure look a bit shoddy and unprofessional. Having worked with the material for years, my dad took it upon himself to create the desired bend by hand, just relying purely on physical strength and lots of checking it against the to scale, paper floor plans I had drawn up. This was a slow process with lots of adjusting as we went, however, credit to him, he achieved it without denting the pipe at all! Given the time that it took to achieve the curve, I decided to reinforce the strength of it by adding extra pipe, evidenced in drawings and photos below.

Whilst I am yet to fully construct the piece in it's entirety, I have faith that it will be even better than I had hoped. In real life, the scale, particularly the height, seems far greater than I had imagined but I think this could help to create the uncomfortable atmosphere Chris Alton noted that I needed to create. Hopefully once properly installed, at least for the test session in the Hay Gallery after the Easter break, I will be able to gauge a better idea of how to make this a slightly more uncomfortable space.

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