Theodore Kimble

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Fabricated Insert

Broken Glass in Wood Frame

The aim of this project was to explore how design can manifest from bottom-up thinking. In this case, materiality was the source for the bottom-up thought process. Of the given materials, glass stood out for its exceptional light transmission qualities. By experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what glass could do, be, or appear as, new routes of design thinking could be explored.

When experimenting with the material, it was the goal to uncover latent material properties. That is, what property emerges during exploration and experimentation that is not generally associated with that material? What qualities emerge that can best illustrate a theme or intention? In my experimentations with glass, the edge condition of broken window glass provided a texture perfectly suited as such a quality.

In addition to the latent material properties, a meaningful theme was selected to further push exploration and exploitation of the material and its latent properties. This project aimed to explore the theme of the ethereal surface. With these intentions, design decisions such as stacking density, orientation, and depth were made to pull forward the most exaggerated qualities of an ethereal glass surface.

Formal Shapes Of Glass

As a material, glass can be formed into just about any shape. During the initial experimentation stage I tested a variety of these, including glass tube, glass jar, and window pane glass. With an assortment of forms available, narrowing done the selection was a difficult process. In the end, the ubiquity of the window pane glass gave it a unique characteristic the other forms lacked. With its close tie to windows, studying pane glass gave me the opportunity to rethink what a window surface could be. Specifically, by stacking pieces horizontally, a new surface emerged from the edges that was in stark contrast to the traditional window surface. This edge condition was then studied to develop an entire window surface.

Exploiting The Edge

Continuing previous stacking experiments was not without challenge. The greatest obstacle apparent was the large weight issue. Simply continuing the stacking would ultimately prove too heavy for the purposes of the installation. To reduce weight, different methods attempted to maximize the exploitation of the edge condition while minimizing the amount of material used. The first attempt took the emphasis away from the edge, while not reducing enough weight. The second attempt reduced weight significantly but lacked the power of the first experiment. Finally, it was discovered that by drastically reducing the depth of the material, the same surface effects could be achieved. This complete coverage also maximized the installation’s ethereal nature.