Initial Ideas

My initial ideas are based around the way the human body relates to architectural form. In my undergraduate dissertation I researched the systems of proportion that have been applied to architecture in the past, from the golden ratio to the Vitruvian Man and Le Corbusier’s ‘Modulor’, focusing on how attitudes towards spirituality in society affected the use of human-based proportional systems. In the initial ideas for the folly project, I aimed to subvert these past ideas of how architecture relates to the body by instead looking at the architectural forms created in nature within the body, using SEM (scanning electron microscope) imagery.

Collage of architectural and abstract elements formed of microscopic images.

I created a series of collages composed of SEM images, formed of elements such as bone, muscle fibers, hair cells and neurons. I found it interesting how these elements, which in a way are familiar to us, become distorted and unrecognisable. The individual forms become grotesque, and in a way even aggressive and ominous. I was interested in creating a flowing, organic shape that has a kind of movement, with the forms compiled to reach upwards, and key elements guiding the eye of the viewer.


In another collage I aimed to introduce a sense of space through the microscopic images, attempting to put together elements that have a clearer resemblance to architectural forms and are somewhat familiar looking, while retaining a sense of the abstract.


I was interested in layering textures, which my earlier initial images also explored. I then wanted to use these images to form a more rational folly. My folly was an attempt to imagine these forms within a physical space, something the viewer could move around and explore. However, I felt that the results did not show the characteristics of the initial images, and lost the sense of abstraction and ambiguity that made them interesting.

Rhino Tutorial


In the first tutorial we were given a crash course in Rhino, quickly covering the basics and then learning a more advanced technique of adding a pattern onto an organic shape. This was my third time using Rhino, however I found it fairly simple as it has a number of similarities to other software such as AutoCAD.

We were able to place the pattern onto the surface using the ‘Unroll surface’ and ‘Flow to surface’ commands, and then used the plugin Multiview Capture to export images with transparent backgrounds, although there were some issues with achieving full transparency. We also used Grasshopper to add the pattern to a more complex, irregular curved shape.

Image as exported using MultiView Capture


After the pattern had been created, we used other tools such as bend and twist to manipulate the model.


The Grasshopper plugin enabled us to add the pattern to a more complex geometry. 


Thoughts after ‘Osaka Follies’

Folly: 1. the state or quality of being foolish; stupidity, rashness. 2. a foolish action,mistake, idea, etc. 3. a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc., built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind. 

  • How will the folly relate to the public space and the landscape, as well as the rest of the masterplan?
  • The folly could have an element of humour, relating to the definition foolishness – could be achieved via a point of social commentary, satire.
  • There could be a contrast between the sculptural forms and a mundane element.
  • ‘There are particular spots from which to observe a folly that must be rediscovered by each viewer each time’ – the folly should be surprising. The viewer should discover new elements as they move around it and experience it from different positions. Each revisit should produce a slightly different response.
  • How will the viewer interact with the space? What kind of paths will be created through and around the folly?
  • The folly structures new meaning through public contact.
  • Quality of impermanence.
  • ‘Fragmentary images extrapolated from a one point source… could regroup in a different configuration’.
  • ‘Poetic tension prevents the follies from being inconsequential’.

Welcome to Unit Fifteen!

This blog is to be a record of work produced in Unit Fifteen as part of the MArch course at the University of Greenwich.

Unit Brief:
Post Continuity Architectures: 21st Century Follies and Fun Palaces

Unit 15 will engage with the idea of the folly through the literal interpretation of their own drawings, and will then participate in RIBA’s Polyark 4, creating a Fun Palace. The unit looks at architecture through the lens of film, and animation will be key to the representation of the designs.