I enjoy experimenting with various aesthetics and pushing the limits of what is practical as a designer and craftsman. Therefore, when I set myself the job of making an abstract geometric rock for a lithophane, my head began to buzz with ideas. I was intrigued to consider, though, “What if I went in a totally other direction?”
I looked into two radically contrasting aesthetics for the project with that thought in mind. Retro-futuristic styling, influenced by vintage science fiction films and books, was the initial concept that entered my mind. The second concept was to give the rock a more organic, natural appearance that would make it seem like a naturally occurring formation.
I pictured the rock as being made of glossy, metallic materials with elaborate geometric patterns engraved into its surface for the retro-futuristic appearance. When touched, each panel would emit a neon glow that gave the appearance of advanced technology in action. I drew up several concepts for the base of the rock, which would be made to appear as though it were hovering in midair, to further emphasize the sci-fi appearance.
My second concept, which was a total reversal of the first strategy, was motivated by nature rather than by technology. I imagined the rock to be constructed of a combination of elements for this aesthetic, such as wood, stone, and moss. When touched, the individual panels would still light up, but the effect would be more subdued and the rock would appear to be a naturally occurring formation owing to the gentle, warm glow.
Despite the fact that these two aesthetics diverge significantly from the initial concept, I believe they both have the potential to be incredibly intriguing and original approaches to the project. I can challenge myself to think beyond the box and generate truly original ideas by investigating these “what if” scenarios. Who knows, perhaps one of these crazy concepts will end up being the finished product!