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SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING & DESIGN
Modern Architecture Studies in Southeast Asia (MASSA) Research Unit
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture
ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO 1 [ARC 60105]
Project 1: Self-Expression through Object
Project 1 Individual
1:1 model +
This ice-breaking design project is an introduction to elements and principles of visual art through designing
a mask. A mask is an object normally worn on the face for protection, disguise, performance or
entertainment. In contrast with its main usage to covering and hiding, here you are required to use that for
You [students] will dig deeply inside yourself, remove the ‘masks’ of the characters you are wearing, identify
your true self and then design a mask that reveals your most powerful identity.
In making the prototype of the mask through hands-on and process-driven design method, students will
explore materials, joints, surfaces, form and positioning of the ‘mask’ on the face.
Objectives of Project
The objectives of this assignment are as follows:
1. To explore the elements and principles of art
2. To explore applying aforementioned principles to communicate subjective ideas through objects
3. To introduce the basic methods of generating ideas and abstracting conceptual narratives for
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Learning Outcomes of this Project
1. Draw students’ attention to subjective matters which play a major role in architecture
2. Produce objects to communicate ideas
3. To explore one form of generating design concept/idea
4. Construct a representational piece of art based on the initial ideas that have been abstracted and
redefined through the process of translation and interpretation
Tasks - Methodology
Be adventurous with your ideas and execution
Experiment and explore
Just start somewhere (rather than continuously being nowhere)
Sit around waiting for the BIG idea to arrive (it never will)
Forget that your biggest enemy is a blank paper
Aim for perfection (it’s the journey that matters, not the destination)
End where you began (your idea for artwork should evolve and transform along with the journey)
Individually, you will deal with the issue of self-identity. “Who am I?” Analyse and interpret your self-identity,
list things to describe yourself which differ you from others or what others know you as. The identity has to
be specific rather than general. You will develop one key idea. You start by depicting in 2D and then
develop to 3D model. Having this question in mind during the design process will help you stay in the right
direction: “With the mask on, is this me?”
You are free to choose your techniques and materials. There is no limitation for the dimension of the mask,
as long as it can be worn properly. It can be in contact with your face, head, neck or upper shoulders.
• 1 final model of your ‘mask’ at 1:1 scale (the mask is to be worn during presentation)
• A2 board; consist of drawings, diagrams and write up (50 words)
• Verbal presentation
Written and Verbal Presentations
The following questions may guide your presentation:
-what is your design idea or concept?
-how have you translated your concept into the design?
-what techniques/process did you use to express yourself?
-why this form and shape? How does the ‘mask’ present your identity?
-how does it engage with your body? Why?
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Marks shall be distributed as follows:
Has the initial idea of the ‘self’
been thoroughly translated and
richly interwoven into the final
artwork/piece; or is it a direct
These will be assessed via the
Ability to identify and extract key
theme or ideas of the ‘self’ to
Ability to creatively translate
theme or ideas into
Vigorous process of design 10
Quality of final model 20
Clarity of visual and written
Classmate’s judgment 10
1. Otto G. Ocvirk, et al., 2012. Art Foundations: Theory and Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill.
2. Wucius Wong, 1972. Principles of Two-Dimensional Design. Canada: Wiley & Sons.
For references and inspiration for this project, GOOGLE the following:
1. Ai Wei Wei and his project, “Sunflower Seeds”
2. Marina Abramovic and her performance art work, “The Artist is Present”
3. Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh and the self-portraits from the Impressionist era
4. Olafur Eliasson and Andy Warhol and their interpretative sculptural and visual art pieces for the BMW
Art Car series