UCLA Design | Media Arts


This page is updated weekly with projects and assignments.

Project 1: Exploration of Representation Techniques

Due: April 9, 2017
Pick one of seven ‘primitives’ from a hat. Make the chosen object out of solid wood to the best of your ability,  primarily using the assigned tool. Pay close attention to form and texture. Draw and document your primitive.  When illustrating your primitive think of ways to express ideas that cannot easily be expressed through the object  itself. 

Materials:Poplar 

Objects (PDF)

Questions to think about:

How would I create an object using the tools availalbe in the fablab?

Consider the hand tools at your disposal:

- Band Saw
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Belt Sander
- Scroll Saw
- Panel Saw
- Drill press
- Chisel
- Hand Drill
- Hand Saw
- Wood file



Project 2: Mutations

Due: April 18, 2017

Create a mutation. Half of the class will again pick one of seven primitives from a hat (the same from project 1)  and partner-up with their newly chosen primitive. Join your primitive with your partner’s, sharing the skills and  techniques you learned from your project 1. Think about the different ways the two pieces of geometry can be  joined - conjoining, booleaning, mirroring, etc. Pay close attention to the new types of forms and textures that  present themselves when combining the two primitives. Draw and document these mutations building on the  representation skills you developed in project 1. Again, when illustrating your mutations, think of ways to express  new ideas that cannot easily be expressed through the object itself. 

Mutations and Combinations (PDF)

Materials: Poplar, TBD 

Deliverables: One final mutated object from each group member (show trial and errors as well); Plan and elevation  drawings of object 

To think about:

Consider the origins of each of the joining methods:

- Is the method organic such as growth or enveloping?
- Is it created mechanically such as brazing?
- How might this influence how you join the objects?

Consider the tools you might use:

- Band Saw
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Belt Sander
- Scroll Saw
- Panel Saw
- Drill press
- Chisel
- Hand Drill
- Hand Saw
- Wood file



Project 3: Monstrosities

Due: May 7, 2018
Create a monstrosity. With your partner, give your mutation a purpose. Take your mutated object and assign a  function to it. Does the form of the object lend itself to an obvious purpose or does the object continue to  mutate to conform to an alien function? Pay close attention to scale, weight and material. Is it hollow or solid? Is  it a doorstop, a hydra? Does it have a story? 

Materials: Chipboard, Plywood, Solid Wood, MDF, Clay, TBD 

Deliverables: Scale model of mutated, functional object; Plan and elevations of object showing purpose, material  thickness, and weight (i.e. how do you use object) 


Project 4: It’s Alive!

Due: June 6, 2018
You and your partner will now bring your monstrosity to life by building a working prototype. Think about scale,  weight, material feedback, thickness, structure and context. How does your monstrosity respond to these realities  when scaling up? 

Materials: Plywood, Solid Wood, MDF, TBD 

Deliverables:b> Working prototype; Large scale developed plans and elevations of monstrosity showing function,  material, weight, size, location, narrative, etc.