Coming up with an idea for the main project presented quite a challenge for me in the beginning. Due to the fact that there were so many options and possibilities out there, it was hard to narrow it down to something that was realistic yet interesting. A couple of preliminary ideas that I came up with was to make some sort of fixture that allows water to flow in a consistent and artistic manner. The image below shows some of the ideas I drew inspiration from.
Having always been a fan of the simple and natural design of Japanese gardens, I made the final decision to base my project off the Japanese water fountains known as Shi-shi Odoshi or “Deer Scarer.” Growing up, my mom would always have miniature models of these around the house and being able to create one of my own felt very fitting for not only the project but also for myself. Anyways, these fountains are relatively simple because all you need is a water source and a frame to hold a water container. The main function of these fountains is that the container will fill up and tip over when it is full, but then once it empties out again the container will return to its original position. The image below is an example of a Shi-shi Odoshi fountain.
In terms of aesthetic that I plan to apply to this project, I found many examples of metal fountains while I was performing research. I really enjoyed the cold, metal look that they had so I decided that rather than using the traditional bamboo, I would use PVC, acrylic, and metallic spray paint to create this metal aesthetic. The main idea here is to maintain the functionality of the fountain while changing the material. The image below is what inspired me to pursue this aesthetic.
As I started the design process for this project I noticed a number of constraints that needed to acknowledged in order for the project to be successful. These included:
First Constraint: Size
The overall size of the project should be fairly small in my opinion. The classic, bamboo water fixture is often associated with a petite and compact size, therefore, in order to fit the aesthetic it should be the same.
Second Constraint: Material/ Resource
Although I plan to make a Shi-shi Odoshi water fountain, I will be using PVC, acrylic and spray paint to create a metallic aesthetic for the project. These may not be difficult materials to obtain, but it is important to find the right sizes and colors for my specific project.
Third Constraint: Location of Setup
This project deals heavily with the flow of water and will therefore need a water source to be properly setup. Creating a built-in water tank is an idea, but in order to keep the project simple we may need to be located close to a sink or some other water source in order for it to function properly
Fourth Constraint: Functionality
I feel that a big part of this aesthetic or more particularly, this Japanese water fountain is the sound of container hitting the ground. The design of the fountain must calculated corrected so that the container will be able to tip over and empty out. For this reason, one of the constraints is that the final project must work. It has to channel water from a source and be able to recycle it so the water can flow constantly.
Fifth Constraint: Aesthetic
As previously stated, the main aesthetic of this project is the style behind Japanese water fountains. The key here is to use minimal but tasteful cuts in plastic and PVC to create a working fountain. The minimalistic approach to the design is then exemplified by the flow of the water and the rhythmic sound that the container will make.