Planning the exhibition space with 'Play' modeling.

I needed to start planning how the exhibition space would look before rendering it digitally. Although I have never properly rendered a 3D space like this before, I have created lots of app and user interface designs so adopted a similar approach for this. When designing interfaces, I sketch out my ideas in full and make sure I have a clear understanding of what I will be creating on paper so that when it comes to making the design digitally, the whole process is incredibly fast as I have made a lot of the design decisions on paper in advance.  I created lots of sketches of floor plans,  many of them over ambitious and unrealistic however from the ones I liked I was able to refine down features to create a more realistic exhibition space plan.

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From the Human Centred Design course I enrolled in at the Design Museum,  I learnt about the idea of ‘ fantasy’  or ‘ play’ modelling to help come up with ideas for new designs. The process involves using ordinary objects such as paper clips, Post-it notes, dried pasta, Play-Doh and any other small objects you can get your hands on. Using these objects you now have to create the space you are imagining and using your imagination, pretend it is a real space and imagine how people walk through it and experience its features. This idea links back to the way we create and imagine ideas as children, where technical processes or modelling techniques do not limit us. In the mind of the person building this play model,  it is 'real'. By using random objects, I was able to move things around and experiment with different ideas to see what works best.  I had a lot of fun doing this as forces you to use your brain differently. 

After creating my physical model of the exhibition space,  I rendered space digitally in SketchUp. Below you can see on the left my physical model,  which I know looks utterly ridiculous;  but on the right the final exhibition layout model that was in my submission images. As you can see despite the production quality,  the exhibition layout is incredibly similar. 

By using this non-technical process to imagine up the space,  I was able to reasonably quickly think of ideas and test them out and see how they would work. Having the physical object to refer back to you when modelling in the digital space was useful if something didn't work as I could move a wall here or reshape some Play-Doh to create something else.  it was a flexible  process that takes advantage of the right brain to create without any limitations 

D&AD, PracticeAdam Marsh