3/30 Pearl’s Progress Report

I have come to a larger roadblock in my design process at this point. I had high aspirations and hopes before Spring Break, but now I am feeling the pressure of time and getting my project done. I wasn’t able to work on my project much over break due to the lack of equipment available to me. I was planning on 3D printing my buildings for my project and letting the LED lights shine through them, but the 3D printing is proving too be too time consuming to get done in time due to not preparing the buildings ahead of time to be printed accurately, not to mention the time it takes to print. I have decided to laser cut and stack my buildings out of clear acrylic to get the gesture of the building across which will cut down on time and allow me to work on something I am more confident about doing. I hope to work on 3D printing in the future, but realize that the project must move along in a timely manner and adjust to the challenges along the way.

I don’t see the time I spent in SketchUp working to try to 3D print a waste of time either. Through this challenging process I have already learned so much. I have gotten more experience in a 3D modeling software and have gotten to learn more about circuits and how they logistically work. I have loved seeing how the function of my design is really shaping its aesthetic and the way my design will turn out in the end.

Besides this stumbling block in my design process I have made significant progress. I have the street layout ready to be laser cut/etched on a piece of acrylic and have the LED’s ready to be wired up. I have made a map of what colors will go where as well, creating a whole new piece of art along the way. I still have to buy the switches and more perf. board to complete my project. My next step will be getting everything laser cut and glued together and getting the circuits to be aligned under the correct buildings.

Pearl St whtie buildings and context
A SketchUp model of all the buildings and street context.
Pearl Diagram
This is a plan view of Pearl Street with the different program uses overlaid on top in Illustrator. This will help me visualize where the LED’s will go and analyze more about the site overall. From this I derived my featured photo which is art in itself.

I am not sure if my aesthetic cleanly fits into any of the design movements we have studied the past couple of weeks. The function is really driving the aesthetic right now though so I could argue that I am following a modernist ideals, but perhaps not the direct aesthetic. I would like my design to be clean, neat, and simple, much like modernist work, but it is the thought process during the modernist and international style that is really driving my design. Form following function is really the concept and aesthetic I am going for. I am excited to see how the requirements of my project influence its aesthetic as well as my own personal touches from what I find visually appealing.



illustrator, LED, pearl, progress, sketchup
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3 Comments. Leave new

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  • Peter Brunsgaard
    April 4, 2016 12:20 pm

    Elyse, your project is coming together super nicely. Have you figured out where you plan on placing the switches/controls? Will there be a control panel or are the switches right next to or on top of each building? I think the laser cutting approach is a great compromise to your project goals.

  • Elyse,
    I think that it is a really creative idea to laser-cut the buildings. I am wondering how you will keep them in place (ie, will you use a kind of glue or plastic cement)? Are you worried about the layers of the acrylic showing up when you light it up? If they do, maybe you could use them to represent stories in a building and highlight certain areas in a particular building.
    I think that this will still take a lot of time but will be really cool once you have it done.


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