Category Archives: Unit 1.1: Input

Squares around me.

The second part of the Design Literacy brief requires me to explore the wider cultural contexts surrounding the square and and to critically examine its use as a representation, sign, or symbol.

To start this section of experimentation, I dedicated 1 hour to go for  a walk with my camera and take as many pictures of square things I could and compile them altogether in a reel. This included items from my room, in my building and outside.


Construction and perception.

During experimenting with the shapes attributes, I came across some research that I found interesting and helpful.

Firstly whilst experimenting with line and plane, I came across Point and Line to Plane by Wassily Kadinsky. In the text is says how a point is 0 dimensional. A line is 1 dimensional and it is a point pushed by some force. A plane is 2 dimensional and it is a line pushed by some force.

Secondly, whilst looking at mass and what happens when I changed an attribute of my shape, I came across What is the Meaning of Shape? by Baingio Pinna in Gestalt Theory (2011) Vol. 33, No. 3/4, p.383-422. In this journal, Pinna talks about how a square can be distorted, and we will perceive it as a square with happening, rather than see it as a new irregular shape (fig 2.)

Gestalt Theory

I wanted to illustrate these theory’s via After Effects. I started by constructing the square according to Kadinsky and then distorting the square similar to the examples in Gestalt Theory (fig 2). I wanted to exaggerate the ‘happenings’ by using sound and colour.

Collaboration workshop with Branding and Identity.

To help get some more ideas for our unit 1.1 projects, today we grouped up with students on the MA Branding & Identity course to produce visuals in response to three questions.

group work

Each group had an hour per question and the aim was to discuss our ideas and produce short experiments visualising what we had discussed.

Q:  How can I illustrate the inherent, emotional properties of my shape?

A1: Protection.
As a group we agreed the square is the most protective shape. The idea of ‘backing yourself into a corner’ to protect yourself, four walls acting as a barrier, and also battle formations involve soldiers standing in a square.

A2: Restriction.
We also considered that the four walls could also be a negative property. It can be restricting and can give the feeling of being trapped and limited.

A3: Claustrophobia.
This idea stemmed from the one above. The idea of feeling trapped and the walls closing in on you.

Q: Illustrate the process of formation or the effect of duplication, division and rotation. 

A: Division.

A short video showing cutting up a square creates other shapes, and no longer remains a square.

Q: Explore structure. Look at the physical structure of the form as an object. Comment on it’s position within society.

A: Balance & Structure.
For this topic we looked at how squares and cubes are used in building and architecture and used cubes to demonstrate how they are easy to balance and build upon each other. We also compared balancing a square on a triangle to emphasise that squares are the better shape for support.






An introduction to stop motion animation.

Today we had a great day playing around with the iMotion app. The objective of the day was to create short films animating squares, triangles and circles.


Lana, Ester and I created 3 short clips trying replacement, involving hands and using our surroundings.

Video 001. The aim of this video was to get from a black square, to a triangle, to a circle, and then back to the original black square.

Video 002. The aim of this video was to replace the shapes with food that was that shape and animate it so one shape/group of shapes defeated the others!

Video 003. This video was just to look at using our surroundings as a background and try different camera angles.


I have started experimenting with squares in relation to time; rhythm, order, motion and sequence.

This video was based on overlapping squares in order of size. I then tried slowly rotating it and it looks similar to an optical illusion which makes the eye think the image is spiralling.

What happens when I add motion to my shape?

Rotating my shape at different speeds and scales:

I noticed the faster the rotation, the more circular the shape looks.

Rotating at different anchor points:

Even though the rotation is set the same, the change in anchor points affects how long it takes for the shape to rotate once due to the longer distance it has to travel.

Can I create meaning or portray a character by combining motion with colour or speech?

Using a rise and fall motion, with rotation to create the sun/star like shape and colour to imply a sunrise and sunset.

Using a colour that represents cold, a shiver like motion and text to imply a character or feeling – being cold.

I started looking at repeating a the square fast and in different ways to create patterns.






For the first set of experiments for my unit 1.1 design literacy project, I have been looking at shape. Specifically looking at line, plane, mass and void.

Point to line to plane.
I first looked at how a square is constructed from point, to line, to plane. The square starts with a point, then forms into a line, then forms into a plane.

I then also experimented with the concept that a line is an infinite set of points. Below are some images of my experiments.






I then looked at mass and how to make a square without actually drawing the outline of the square. I tried using different media; first a stencil of a square and playing around with Sharpie’s, pencil crayons and fine liners.










Then I looked at watercolours and inks, wet a square shape on the paper and experimented how the inks and paints will stay within the watered shape.





I used the same methods and techniques to experiment with void, however this time coloured the area outside the square so the negative space would create the square.