Understanding and Creating 3D Forms Using Familiar Objects


A fundamental for first-year design students is to express ideas by drawing and creating volumetric models. Traditionally, this education includes spatial geometry and generation of forms whereby students learn to appreciate intersections of volumes and projections to describe three-dimensional (3D) forms in two dimensions. However, given the aptitude of today’s students to operate 3D-modelling software and the general accessibility of current technology, spatial geometry as a core subject may seem less relevant. Our goal is to re-engage students in learning required basic knowledge and skills through a complex multifaceted design process. We have designed a first-semester course of four project-based learning activities that apply learning- by-doing methodology. For each of the past three years, 65 to 75 students have participated in our 3D Expression studio course, in which they develop understanding of design process, vocabulary, and skills to create 3D models with precision, refinements, and high-level visual impact. This paper reports on the successful results of activities conducted during the 14 full days of this studio course.

Mithra Zahedi.