February 1, 2023
Department of Design, School of Design and Creative Technologies
Designed for Objects and Spaces, UT Austin, Fall 2020See the Final Result
Create something original, with a concept in toe, using LED lights.
The idea of me as a designer started with my parents. They literally had me, and without them, I wouldn’t exist. I want to create a piece that showcases this unification with a backdrop of Texas. Both of them (except my mom, who moved to Texas when she was 1 or 2) have lived in Texas for their entire lives, both coming from different towns and walks of life. I want to create a piece that showcases and visually traces their origin story across Texas to show how I and my sister were created. Mapping the journey that my mom and dad took through Texas to meet each other allows us to reflect on our primitive roots and understand how blessed we are to exist as a family unit, and helps illustrate the strength and resilience of our tightly-knit family.
I have always been a designer for people. With an opportunity to design, practically, ANYTHING for ANYONE, I want to design something for my family because they mean a lot to me and are willing to provide anything for me. I want to return a favor by creating a piece that’s sentimental and allows us to see and reflect on how strong, resilient, and determined we are as a family unit, and how we can rely on each other when the going gets tough.
The space I will utilize will be the outdoor patio in my family’s backyard. It’ll be a hanging mural with depth to it, along with LED lights on the rim of the interior, so it can light up and provide shadow against the landscape for a more dramatic effect during the evening hours. The fountain area already has LED lights, so the piece will complement the fountain space very well.
For the rim/mainframe, I plan to paint it blue in color to tie in well with the main fountain pots. This will help ground the piece in the space that it’s mounted in. This will take the form of a Texas shape. Both my parents grew up in very different regions of Texas, each having different lifestyles, and met each other in college.
Given that Texas is big, I will paint/raster etch some major landmarks/identifiable roads or other way-points for people to associate and ground themself in where the location is on the map, without labeling each city, keeping the design minimal. For each important city, a label will be created and a simple illustration highlighting the significance, personally, to the location in the narrative. I also want to include some labels of important cities/towns throughout Texas that mean something to us as a family--be it a tradition we hold, where family members live, or something of significance to us. Finally, the waypoints will be connected using “fairly twinkle lights” of two different colors, one representing the track of my dad, and another of my mom. LED lights will outline the interior rim to help illuminate the map in the outdoor space where the work will be installed.
The final renderings and construction plan embraced the idea of flexibility and weather resistance, while also creating a new way to enliven a common meeting space of the family. It adds a touch of personality to an otherwise plain wall, both in the day and during the night.