Devoted to Pattern

You just cannot spend time in Morocco and not be completely seduced by the overwhelming amount of patterns, sacred geometry and geometric features the country is so known for. Everything from floor tiles, wall tiles, carpets to curtains. Even manhole covers and grates over vents have beautiful intricate patterns creating some very unique images. To say this has not been an influence in where this project is heading would clearly just not be true.

As for the projects, so far I have managed to develop 4 out of 5 of the sections. As I mentioned in the previous post, my goal is to loosely base the overall Playspace on the structure of a Moroccon pattern. I have now develop 4 of these areas into opportunities for play, but constructing and manipulating pathways and patterns. Each, also including some form of modularity and interactive movement.

At this point I am just playing with concepts, have not properly resolved the electronic components yet either, but this is all to come in the following weeks, as I build the prototypes. As I’ll explain below, each of these are just the “concept” and not the final design. From here, as I start building and experimenting, it is very likely that these concept will change quite a bit, in terms of build, design and practicality. The concept, the interaction, will stay the same, just visually, some things will change. This will also be the start of working with the tech. Each one of these designs have come from extensive analysis from the board games, listed in terms of their strategy, a research question posed, a small guided brief written for each, and then the designs formed from that.
Route Section – Red component in the pattern
Derived from games that are all about creating pathways, blocking pathways through deception and manipulating routes through mirroring, this image shows the concept as it sits at the moment. The modular component is a third of a circle, that can bend both ways in the middle. Through this format, and repeating the module, it is possible to create a maze of pathways. So far, I imagine somewhat of a forest of uprights on these slats, to hide the pathways, and add to the deception of the maze. Technically, unresolved as of yet, especially how it all fits together, and the electronic/digital component that will be used to encourage interaction and manipulation.

Racing Section – Blue component in the pattern
The racing design so far derived from all the racing board games is quite the tricky one. This design will probably be quite easy to make from big tyres and straps, which would be ideal. The game itself, is designed to be a bit of a manual obstacle course, where each of the circles are pads that can be run and jumped on, jumped over. The objects on either end can be pulled in either direction with the strap, or shifted around the side to create pathways. The centre shape can also be twisted on it’s side to create a higher part to jump on

Alignment Section – Orange component in the pattern
A bit of a change in tempo, as this one is more of an intimate game compared to the two earlier examples. In this game the aim is to complete a three in a row based on patterns. The patterns themselves on the inked of the structure will end up being quite 3 dimensional. In terms of electronics, the wheel in the middle is designed to be attached to a kinetic energy motor, powering the structure. As pieces are connected in the right order, they light up, finally lighting the last section indicating who won. Ha, maybe not as sprightly forward, but it’s nice to pretend! This shape has some issues in terms of height, construction and design, but as an overall concept, could work very well

Entrapment Section – Brown composed in the pattern
Again, aiming to design something a bit more intimate and low key, the game is to guide a ball from the top to the bottom into a specific little trap. Each of of the little pattern shapes is meant to be manually rotated, so that the player can guide the little ball down to where the need it to be. A shape at the top, releases the balls once thrown in. It would be quite interesting not knowing where the balls might come out, and if the top spinners are a bit too high to reach, the ball could take a very strange journey down. Again, it needs some work in terms of the final layout, but all in all, heading in the right direction.

That’s where the design sits at the moment. The fifth category is still en route to becoming something more formalised, so for now, it’s just a massive array of scribbles on paper.

Having worked my way completely through one sketchbook in just two weeks, it’s perfect timing to take a little break. I’m heading out to Marrakech this evening and making our way back through the Atlas mountain. Maybe, just maybe, some fresh mountain air might just notch that final one into place.


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