3D UNIT III: Space Frames

Project IIIA

 Pavilion for the Opposite Sex

"A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability. We are constantly re-imagining its reality: to distinguish all these images would be to describe the soul of the house; it would mean developing a veritable pyschology of the house."

--Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


formal: to introduce the studio fundamentals of point, line, plane, and volume.

conceptual: to explore the concepts of viewpoint, empathy, and gender roles and their relationship to art practice.

Project Overview Your challenge is to create a "pavilion" for the opposite sex using a vocabulary of points, lines, planes.

Project References


(in Shaping Space): Wharton Esherik (1.20), Chartres Cathedral (1.33), Hiroshi Teshigahara (1.40), Helio Oiticica (2.3), Christo (2.4), Kenneth Snelson (2.7), John Matt (2.25), Jean Muller, Brottone Bridge (2.32), Max Bill (3.11), Michael Singer (3.12), Mark di Suvero (3.16), Naum Gabo (3.19), Sylvia Stone (4.3), Shiro Kuramata (4.8), Tournament Armor (4.9), Antoine Pevsner (4.25), George Ricky (5.4), Eero Saarinen (5.12, 5.13), Andrea Blum (5.14 and 8.18), Gebruder Thonet (6.2), Lynda Benglis (6.11), Joan Michaels Paque (6.14), Jesus Rafeal Soto (6.3), Alexander Calder (6.4 and 10.10), Pilobolus Dance Theater (6.5), David Hammons (6.20), Toshio Odate (6.21), Poul Henningsen (8.4), Frank Lloyd Wright (8.5), Larry Bell (8.6), Linda Howard (Plate 14 and 8.17), Aiko Miyawaki (8.20), Jose de Riviera (10.6), Simon Rodia (11.15), Norma Minkowitz (12.13), Joyce Scott (12.15), Hiltrud Schaefer (12.16), Edward Livingston (12.21), Carol Hepper (12.26), Georg Jensen (12.27), Liza Lou
Vocabulary point, line, plane, volume, negative space, positive space, implied line, implied plane, psychological space, gender roles, empathy, borders,





1. Before coming to class, review the thematic concept of Border Crossing as found on the website. Also read the discussion Space Frames for Unit III. Review the Project References above.


a) Generate four word lists that are "gender coded" : 1) materials, 2) processes, 3) connectors, 4) places. If you are a woman, make "male" lists. If you are a man, make "female" lists.

b) Experiment with word combinations of materials, processes, connections, and places. For example, for "male" you might come up with "steel, bent, riveted, bomb shelter." For "female" you might come up with "silk, fertilize, braided, garden." Some combinations will sound cliched, others not.

c) Try to translate your better word combinations into drawings that contain spaces or depict "places." Relate your palette of materials, processes, connections and places to the spatial building blocks of "points, lines, planes, and volumes".

d) Make a sculptural space (a "pavilion") for the opposite sex. Consider both the inside and the outside of your sculpture. How is it presented? On a 10 foot high pole? At the end of a dark hallway? On a simple white cube? In a bucket of hair?

Final thoughts:

Remember, the challenge is not to simply translate conventional architectural spaces into a small scale sculpture. Rather, we are looking for "psychic" spaces that are emotionally charged and perhaps even tell a story about their inhabitants. No figures please.

Critique Ideas


When you have completed your sculpture, divide into small groups and exchange artworks with another group from the class. Within your group, work together to respond to each sculpture in turn. Consider the following:

1. Describe the techniques used to create the pavilions and explain how various problems were addressed: implied lines and planes, gender roles, design, function, response to problem, etc.).

2. Point out any personal symbols or marks the artist used to indicate a particular meaning or sense of identity.

3. Discuss ideas the artwork seems to communicate. After some sharing of interpretations, attempt to state the "message" of the design in one sentence. (This artwork is about. . .)

4. Explain how the shapes, symbols, or other elements of the design support its message.



Your notebook should include the following:

1. Evidence of your research (print-outs from magazines, web searches, interviews with artists, etc.).

2. Your design process (drawings, computer-printouts, photos).

3. Supplemental materials (receipts, notes about technique or materials)

4. Documentation of the final work.

The above project was developed by Dan Collins.

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