Seeking to trace the Urban Interior as a point of origin and departure for Cinema

20. 09. 21

Building up the developments within my design project…

For our online studio session this week we were briefed with a context talk surrounding design development and our ability to continue building up the developments within our design projects and narratives. In preparation for next weeks Co-Design workshops, we are to establish a series of documentations of our current design in progress in order to get the most valuable feedback from experts within the field. With their advice, help and guidance it will be incredibly beneficial as we will have the ability to get their feedback surrounding either our overall project or instead specific aspects within it. They will be able to help us develop and build on our design proposition.

However in order to fully prepare for this workshop I must continue making these crucial design decisions as a means of gathering, creating and enhancing the relevant documentation for my design project. How can I best showcase my project narrative and design intentions at this stage? Even though these documents will not be my final designs or outcomes, it is still important that I work to develop and produce what is most relevant for these communications to happen, both with feedback and expressing my clarified ideas. For todays online studio session, we were given an array of prompters to help us to reconsider, reestablish and redefine our ideas so that they are synthesised and can be easily manifested within our documentation. What has been my take on cinematic space? What angle have I approached this design brief or instead unintentionally responded too? How can I contextualise this within my drawings, renders as a way of referencing back to the site? How can these documents evoke an experience of what it feels like inhabiting this space? What it feels like to be immersed, embodied within in through a multiple view narrative.

An example work we collectively reviewed over as a class which demonstrates and showcases their work with really relevant and clear documentation imagery, is the project I Spy With My Little Eye. A public installation into Aucklands Lower Vulcan Lane that consisted of three pods. Monoculars were fixed to each pod which activated particular moments throughout the lane with small scale wooden mannequins. The documents they produced where incredibly clear as to what they were anticipating to create, compose and implement into the exisiting site space. Through these images it allowed us to understand their design process and how the public installation would work into its context. By taking and using this project as a clear example I wish to create documentation that is clear in its communication and highlights the most important aspects of my design narrative, just as these designers have done so here.

In order to prepare for this workshop, I need to construct a spatial narrative of my design intervention and its proposition through a sequence of visual imagery. These documents should be inclusive of both qualitative and quantitative information which include the following:

Site + context (make the exisiting buildings visually distinct from your design interventions), Materiality (texture, colour, detail), Light + shadow (texture, colour, gradient, tone), Atmosphere/ mood (setting the scene, mise en scene), Experience (spatial sequence, journey), Scale, Figures (inhabitation), and Event/ programme (24/7 activities, events, occupancy).

Some of these developed, comprehensive and evocative design documents that should selectively be included to help communicate all the facets of my design proposal are:

Project title, project description, curated selection of process work, site research and analysis (including site plan where appropriate), perspectives, floor plans, sections, elevations and detail drawings

In coherence with visual imagery, it is important that I have a clear and concise text description for my design project. This will help to clearly articulate and easily frame my project for the collaborative workshop when I share my ideas. Along with this it will also allow me to have a greater sense of clarity about my intentions and aims in order to make decision making easier which is crucial at this juncture of the design process. A concise project description will help to determine if each decision (placement, material, duration etc.) are more or less in alignment with the core concerns of my project. It is also important that I consider the ‘why’ of my project. Why am I creating this or doing this and not something else? This why could stem from a number of angles such as a practical observation, a sense of poetics, something conceptual or even pragmatic.


Located within the interiors of Imperial Lane, an unsuspected dance studio awaits as a space supplied for choreographers to expose the naturally performative enactments of dance practices. A carefully crafted yet striking pavilion façade situates itself between where the interiors intersect into Fort Lane, allowing for these traditional conventions of a dance studio to be open to the laneway, the passer by, the public. By drawing insight to reveal what occurs behind the curtain, the pre performance, the rehearsal space, Dancing Into the Building aims to invigorate the city by providing a platform for expressive, dance practices to shape, redefine and reconsider urban environments in a completely new way. This design introduces an unfamiliar form of programming into the city, one that intends to serve its inhabitants in an unaccustomed way, eliciting a transposing in habitual worlds where they become captivated by the unexpected gestures composed within these transitional spaces.


In order to prepare for the upcoming co-design workshop, I began mapping out a series of key documentation I wish to produce for not only for this workshop but for the communication of my entire designed proposal and narrative. Documents in progress that I can keep developing and enhancing as my design evolves. Featured below is a list inclusive of an array of visual documentation I wish to draw upon, manifest and create for my own work.

Planning of Documentation

These documents will be inclusive to a studio identity (for programming, performance space, awareness and establishment within the dance community/industry), contextual relevance through a site map and site location in context, my discoveries and developed process work, a set of drawings containing floor plan, sections and elevations, a series of perspectives to show inhabitation of design and a journey through proposed spaces (key moments in design narrative), along with design details and materiality elements.

A major part of producing an expressive, evocative and captivating series of design documentation is through building a strong visual language that collates each document to create an overall coherent body of work. For my visual imagery and language I wish to uphold an aesthetic relative and supportive towards my proposed design, driving conceptual narrative, along with my self influential design decisions and approaches. Drawing from all my previous site studies, observations, conceptual frameworks, explorations, interests and aesthetics, it is conclusive that my design proposal was fascinated and stemming towards a more unexpected, radical approach which I aim to evoke within my communication methods and visual language. My documentation style is already informed by avant-garde performance art events that established this approach to space making as an art form. So as part of my visual language, I wish to adapt a more playful style, one that is suggestive towards this avant-garde way of making but with a minimal, monochrome palette throughout. One that utilities drawing, image, montage, layering, collage and texture.

However in order to create a more comprehensive and in depth plan of each document, its various elements, requirements, details and aesthetic, I further mapped out each specific document and how it needs to be considered. By doing this it allowed me to fully recognise and understand what components still need to be completed, created, developed or even reconsidered in order to be included in each document. It helped me to clarify an almost to do list of what needs to be established to build up this array of imagery.

Detailed Plan of Documentation and its Relevant Elements

Firstly I began sketching out an array of potential design ideas for how my dividing thoroughfare wall detail and its screening pattern may manifest into the existing Imperial Lane site. For the partitioned wall feature dividing the dance studio and the thoroughfare access into Fort Lane from Queen Street, the main purpose of this designed element is to firstly established this division between function of spaces but also to cut out, filter and screen off where needed. By doing this it will allow for anticipated intriguement and curiosity, where subtle details allude to the dance rehearsals taking place behind the screen. They will be captivated by glimpses of screening movement, subtle articulate dance cues as well as music filtering through and around the space. For this detail it is import that its design remains semi transparent to allow for these sensorial moments to occur, which is why I began to sketch out an array of forms and surfaces that explored these frameworks in order to try visualise my ideas.

Once I had established and started to frame out my specific design intentions and its details, would I then be able to start manifesting these ideas and shaping them into a digital modelling world. Reflecting back over my floor plan designs into the existing interiors it allowed me to recognise how each of my designed architectural elements would situate together. I will be able to use these plans to help structure, layout and compose the new Imperial Lane site into its digital model form.

All the relevant elements that need to be embedded into the modelling and structural composition of my proposed designed spaces are inclusive of the following: The Studio and The Structure Itself.

Design Details for Studio Space + Structure

This plan consisted of the traditional dance elements to be implemented down the track into the design, along with the structural changes and additions I wish to make into Imperial Lane and Fort Lane. Whilst constructing the digital model of these spaces will I be able to refer back to these documents in order to have clarity towards what parts need manufacturing or consideration. The main two spaces that I am working into consist of Imperial Lane and the junction from Imperial Lane out into the Fort Lane site. In order to begin constructing and formulating my design into these exisiting spaces I started with a base model of each site.

Once each site was constructed as its exisiting and current condition was I able to start making the structural alterations and relevant changes needed to implement my proposed design plan into the spaces. The main area I was working into was Imperial Lane as the varying internal structural changes needing to be made were consistent of: the exisiting raked floor to be cut into and flattened off to run parallel with the ground level of Fort Lane, a repositioning of the thoroughfare connecting Queen Street through to Fort Lane, changing the metal gate doorways to glass windows and doors, sectioning off our the dance studio space (internal walls), the hall running from Queen Street into Imperial Lane to have a raked floor to connect the two floor levels using the exisiting spiral staircase. Using these design elements and floor plans I started to intersect, construct and make these main structural changes and alterations to the exisiting Imperial Lane building.

22. 09. 21

For todays studio session I was able to have a one on one conversation with my tutor to discuss how my design ideas and project are progressing in response to my conceptual and contextual frameworks. I had a really interesting discussion with her surrounding the detailing of my dividing wall between the dance studio and thoroughfare connecting Queen St to Fort Lane. I was able to explain my design intentions for this specific detail and how it would respond to the existing site and my intention for its inclusion and aesthetic. How the wall would compose of this patterned screen to form an opening down to the ground where the dancers feet would be, as well as just above their head height to run all the way up to the ceiling. She drew connections towards my previous surface studies and how these are emulated within this detailed design, the cuts spliced into this surface to make an array of openings. These could be informed into my cut out pattern, thinking about how it is looser or more folded at certain points to get the reveal.

However we then discussed the position of this dividing wall where she proposed the idea of widening or narrowing the hall by offsetting the space. Where instead of the wall retaining a straight line, what possibility is there to offset the wall so that its on a steep angle. This would mean that when people enter from Queen Street, there is more distance between the two wall faces (fixed external wall and my dividing wall) to allow for more of a glimpse into the dance space. As they progress down the narrower, tighter end they have already been alerted to whats going on behind the screen so will be more inclined, intrigued to peer under or above at the openings. Instead it is an oblique line to introduce for a potential waiting area before dance classes take place. Along with this we also discussed how the expanse of the wall allows for sectional gaps in between where the wall surface detail is installed as panels that become a rhythmic introduction that invites a glimpse into the space. Shown below is the development of these new ideas and how they could potentially interplay in my design.

As a continuation for developing my digital models, once I had conducted all the structural adjustments was I able to start building the finer details for my proposed design: the dividing thoroughfare wall, mirrored wall, entry way into the studio, storage space, floor surfaces, and most importantly the pavilion structure.

Using the new floor plan consideration above for repositioning the dividing wall to be offset on a steep angle, I played around with this layout using my digital model however I found this placement difficult to work with in terms of the functionality of the overall space. By trying to situate the wall on an angle, while still allowing access to the spiral staircase, the direct cut it made across the space to line up with the threshold into Fort Lane was too large of a divide. This made the space impractical in terms of the dance studio space as it become incredibly small and unusable in terms of the overall purposed of my design intervention. The thoroughfare would become excessively large and the studio would be far too small and practically unworkable. By trialing this design consideration within my digitally modelled space, it made it incredibly helpful for envisioning the design, in order to allow me to make a well informed decision for what would work and function best. As this offset dividing wall idea didn’t fully equate into the existing constraints of Imperial Lane, I proceeded to keep it running parallel to the external wall as this design works best both visually and practically. Firstly I constructed the main featured elements within my proposed design, the dividing wall detail and pavilion design, referring back to my ideation design drawings. From here I created all the designed elements for my dance studio into the building, where I could really start to bring my design to life digitally.

Design Detailing and Construction


My Proposed Design into Imperial Lane + Fort Lane

Digital renders of my constructed design into the exisiting building, along with its design features.

Once I had built up and established all the elements for my proposed design, the next stages would be to material render. As I already mapped out a series of materialities that I wish to explore or potentially utilise within my design I jotted down these main considerations. However for the Co-Design Workshop I wish to showcase a base material render and instead create a materials palette to get some advice from the designer as to their thoughts and opinions on materials and how best to work with them.

Main Material Considerations

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