Day 5

We finished gluing up the legos and with that the path with more legos was done. We moved on to do the next path and then considered how the second path will be laid out with legos. We were thinking about the idea of keeping the number of legos as the difficulties in the life of  the two brothers. We increased the legos on the end of the path of the harder one, to represent that the struggle became more intense as the elder brother understood his responsibility. For the easy path, we had one long lego base in the beginning, which shows the death of their mother and the fact that it was very hard for him at that young age to live without his mother. The elder brother had not understood his responsibility until a little later, which is when he started caring for his brother and sacrificing for him.

1up95   ilksy

Our next concern after we finished glueing the legos was to find a way by which we will make the rope pass through the railing. We were really concerned about the railing at this point as it was looking to be very unstable and could break at any time. This was a learning experience for us were, after we completing making the railing, we realized that it was not the right material to use and that now, we have to think of an alternative.


We all were thinking of various different ideas. One idea that we agreed with was of using pipes. Using pipes would give us a smooth surface were the rope can pass easily. However, we didn’t have enough time to buy pipes and find a place were we can get them. When we talked to Charlie next class, she said that she can get it made from a wood shop close to QF. We made a quick decision here and just went with her idea.


We all came in on Saturday to finish with the railing. This day was the day were i can say i learned the most in this whole project and even in the whole semester I can say.

Things that we accomplished were:

  • Vinyl cutting the type instructions for our installation
  • sanding the wood to make it smooth
  • drilling nails into the wood to connect the three pieces that Charlie had got made from the wood shop
  • painting the wood with colors from the anime
  •  drilling the wood again with the help of an MFA, who had experience in this and making it stable
  • making concrete to make a stable base

Firstly, we had no clue how vinyl cutting worked so we asked a junior to help us show how it works. We learned how to use the vinyl printer, how to cut them and how to stick them on the floor. It was pretty easy but something new to us. I was glad that we learned to do something that was required of us later in Graphic Design and we got to try it out.

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Sanding the wood was a tiresome job that we did to make the surface smoother. it took a lot of time and effort and in the end we managed to make a good surface that we next drilled.

After sanding, we painted the wood. We looked for a scene in the movie which was very colorful. We found a scene of the sky and thought of using those colors on the wood. We really liked how it turned out as now our idea was clearer and everything seemed to be coming together harmoniously.



Drilling was a scary job. I had only done it once in my life and had no other experience whatsoever without another persons help. Thankfully, Charlie had some skills and we got her to do this part. However, we couldn’t manage find the right way to drill it inside so we asked an MFA student to help us. This was very helpful for us especially at a point were we were so close to the deadline.


After drilling and painting the wood we made it stand. This was our biggest concern–the fact that the wood will not be stable and we end in the same scenario as before when we made the modroc pipe and it was not stable. To our surprise, the wood was stable and standing perfectly except that it would fall if someone put weight on it. We were very concerned about this and again asked our friend from MFA. She gave a brilliant idea to add more weight. She taught us how to make concrete using sand and cement. Me and Aaqifa were working on this as the others had already left and we had to do it on that day because concrete takes 24 hours to dry completely.

We both managed to stay long on Saturday and finish this job. It was great learning to use a material like concrete which we can definitely use for our future projects.

To make the perfect base, we collected the paper boxes in the printer rooms and cut them into a rectangle were the wood can stand on. This was creative solution we learned again for our friend. We first used the normal cardboard box to mix the concrete but then realized that it saturated the box and started leaking. Sultana, our friend gave us a warning about not touching concrete as it can become hard and be dangerous. We used gloves for this but needed to come up with a better solution.  So I stuck the extra pieces of vinyl we used and used it as a waterproof base.


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This process was very tiring as mixing the cement takes a lot of effort and time. we worked till night on Saturday and cleaned up so next day we could start sticking the vinyls.


I was thinking about the rope that we were going to use, we don’t have to make it go through the railing, we just had to have it there to make sure they connect with each other and one guides the other. I thought of just laying them on top of the railing and  not making it go through. Others agreed with my idea.

For the concrete, Sultana had later called and said that concrete pushes things up. So i had to run back and put weight on the wood.


I really found that group work was very motivational and stopped procrastination as we encouraged each other to work. For me, the fact that both of us decided to work, there was no procrastination and we worked continuously to complete the work. If we had not done the work this day, it would have so much more hectic the next day and we would be stresses out for sure. Also, learning about so many things in one project made me think that this project really helped us in terms of understanding graphic design as a wide and open platform where you are free to use whatever material you like. For me, this was the biggest difference I felt from other majors that I will have freedom of choosing different materials and get to learn about so many things.



Day 4


In the Theory and Philosophy class, we watched a video in which Candy Chang an artist created this huge blackboard in her abandoned neighborhood. She had faced a big loss in her life, where she lost her mother. This was a big hurdle in her life and she wanted to spread her message across to everyone.  Her intention was to understand peoples thoughts and see how they react. It was a great success for her as many people had written on the board and in one day the entire board was filled.

I was inspired by this and thought we should have something like this in the end of our installation, which allows people to reflect on what they experienced. I thought of the place outside the MFA department which had a glass wall. This looked perfect for what I was talking about and so I thought of telling everyone else about the location.

black board.jpeg



Group Meeting 5:

We decided the location to be that place and soon after started dividing the work. We had to wait for someone from our group to buy legos so we started working on the railing idea.

We all decided to work in the dorms in mine and Aaqifa’s room, as it would be very messy doing it in the class room and we did not have a space to put our stuff. We thought of the materials we could use and the first thing that came in mind was using modroc. We had loads of modroc in our dorm which we had stored for future use.

The idea of the railing was mainly to divide the two paths and have ropes on top of them which the pair will wear when they are walking across. unadjustednonraw_thumb_a02

From the beginning, we were thinking of using things that we already have and not purchase anything new except the legos. So we looked for material that we already had. We collected a lot of small bottles in our dorm to storing water. We thought of using these bottles to make the railing. We connected them one by one with tape and used modroc to cover it up and make it strong.


And this had to happen, of course!


We were proud of what we made and now just had to wait for the next step of combing them together. This, we were thinking to do in VCU as it would be harder to take back if it was all connected. Meanwhile, we also cut the blindfolds which would be used for the one walking on the easy path. unadjustednonraw_thumb_a12

We planned out the arrangement of our installation. For this we had to go back to our location to figure out how everything will work. We realized that planning it out on paper and doing it in real life were completely different. We had to measure the whole area, figure out where people will be standing, were the instruction will go, how the railing will fit etc. The railing was a big problem at this point as we wanted it to curve so we can use a larger area. This did not work out because of the fact that it was simply a complicated task.


We did try using a metal wire and getting  a curved shape but it was a failure so we just left it. We decided to just use a straight path and no curves or bends. This made me think of the idea that less is more and that we should keep it simple. unadjustednonraw_thumb_a0a

Sarah bought the legos and found these puzzle mats and we thought it would be a good idea to have them as a base. Initially we were just thinking about having a lego path but now that we has a base, we could thinking of arranging the legos in different ways and can also glue them onto the path to keep them stable.


This was also perfect for idea of relating it to childhood and using the color palette which used pastel colors from the anime.


We also bought lego and started working on how to place them. The strategy we used was that we walked on the path, and kept the legos in places that the person would put their step, therefore each lego placed on the path was thought of and considered in terms being in the way of a person walking. We also made sure that the pieces looked ‘random’ and so flipped some pieces, glued a pile of legos together, made some towers out of lego etc.


The most amazing thing about our project that I loved the most was that we got to play with legos! this made us a little relaxed. Everyone who passed by were super excited to know what we were doing even asked if we were from painting and printmaking department. No one was thinking of this as  a graphic design project and to me that was surprising and I realized that what makes it a graphic design project is the fact that we are creating an experience for people which communicates something. The installations not just had a message but also involved the requirement of touching, seeing and listening to the everything that’s happening in the space.

I learned in class about Experiential Design, which we were designing in our installment. Everything in our project was meant to give an experience to people.


Day 3

Group Meeting 4

We had some new ideas in this meeting where we changed to a different way, moving away from our initial idea of the maze. Aaqifa brought up the idea of  using legos in our installation as it relates to childhood and and we were discussing about some ideas like using colored film to create beautiful reflections. Sarah suggested scratching the pieces of the colored film paper to show the pain and sacrifice done by the elder brother.

The reason behind this was that when we watched the anime, at every point we felt like it was heart breaking and very unfair to the elder brother. Aaqifa said that we could relate this idea to breaking glass, and have glass pieces stuck together and color them to give a reflection. We then discussed and decided that we can use plastic instead of the glass, hence we came to the idea of colored cling film. We had ideas for hanging things off of the ceiling so it reflects on the ground.



We selected this space as it was good for hanging things as it had a railing on the top. Also, there was a lot of empty spaces and so this was looking great.


We developed a sketch to combine everything that we talked about. This helped us know how much space we will need and  how the installation will look like.


I liked this idea because it was relating to one of my initial ideas which was about the rose, which is plucked from a plant, to beautify something else. This idea was similar because the plastic itself was going to be scratched and yet create beautiful reflections on the ground.

After talking to the professors, we again were told that this idea wasn’t working as good, we still had to improve it. The fact that the reflections were there, really made it more confusing and did not give a clear idea. Also, having the path rounded was not very clear. So they suggested that we can consider the struggle part of the sacrifice and can have just a path of legos , which is divided into two paths. The difference between that will be that one person will have more obstacles in his path and the other will be safe and wearing slippers. After meeting them we confirmed what we were doing and so finalized the idea and started thinking about the mechanics.

Day 2: Concept ideas

Class Discussion

In today’s class, we each had to present our idea in front of the class. With me, I wasn’t clear with one specific idea and so was very hesitant about what theme I should choose. Eventually we would be selecting one theme, which we will focus on for the installation. Till my turn came for presenting, I was trying to think of which were the themes that I liked the most in the movie. The one that stood out the most was the theme of attachment. As a whole, the movie is based on how the human is  cared by a wolf family—a family that is not of his own. The whole emotion in the movie was about how the boy was closely attached to the animal family in the jungle and so I decided I will focus on this.

After presenting, it was clear to me and the professors had agreed on my idea and It was just a matter of knowing what we had to do next. I was really confused at this point as I did not know what I will be making, my idea was very vague. I was thinking of things like making sculptures, especially, the one called pieta-by Michael Angelo was something that kept coming to my mind at shows the bond and attachment between the mother and son. I was not sure how I can deconstruct the idea of attachment.

Group work:

After break, we got to know that this was a group project. To me, this was very confusing and I had questions in my mind about the fact that if this is a group project are we all combining our ideas? or do we have to leave and idea and follow someone else’s. During the presentation I had taken a few notes about different people’s ideas. This helped me understand the range of different ideas we all have.

My group members were; Aaqifa, Sarah and Charlie. Soon after we met, we all briefly explained our ideas.


I presented my idea about the attachment in The Jungle Book. I was nervous at first because I loved my idea and I didn’t want to give a bad explanation. I prepared myself quickly to explain as best as I can to make sure they understand every single aspect.


Charlie’s Theme: Preserving childhood, Movie: Peter Pan. Her idea was about how children escaped their homes to live in a new land without parents, where they never grew up. As she explained her idea, we all started discussing how her idea is similar to all of our ideas in one way or the other. It related to my idea because Mowglee was living without his actual parents in a jungle, which had different rules and he was not dependent on his parents,

Sarah’s theme: Sacrifice; Movie: Baby and Me. The theme here was the idea of sacrificing between an elder brother and a younger brother. The sacrifice was by the elder brother who had to give up a lot of things because their mother had died and he was the one who had to take care of him. Themes such as jealousy, sacrifice, sibling love came up in her story which related to my idea in many aspects. This includes the sacrifice by the wolf family which was to protect the boys(mowglee’s) life.

Aaqifa’s theme: The relationship between a father and a son and how the son was obedient to the father all his life.

After this discussion, we all ended up to be very confused and did not know which one to choose. One thing we discovered was that all our ideas were closely linked to each other and the only thing was to decide to one. This was very difficult for us and so we asked our professor to help. After talking to him we started to see if any one idea has a common theme of all our themes. We started with mine–the theme of attachment was there in Charlie’s idea were the children were closely attached to each other related to mine in some way. Aaqifa’s did not attach so much to mine as it was more about the obedience of the son to the father. So, we stopped there and skipped to Sarah’s idea. Her theme of sacrifice was there in everyone else’s theme  and so we decided to choose baby and me which we will deconstruct.

The next stage was to gather ideas and start brainstorming about how sacrifice can be deconstructed.


My part of the research included looking up the different meanings of sacrifice. I looked for keywords that helped with imagining something else. To make it easier for me, I thought of having my ideas in the three categories of poetic, pragmatic or persuasive.

Definitions of sacrifice:

an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure: they offer sacrifices to the spirits | the ancient laws of animal sacrifice.

• an animal, person, or object offered in a sacrifice.

• an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy: we must all be prepared to make sacrifices.

Chess a move intended to allow the opponent to win a pawn or piece, for strategic or tactical reasons.

offer or kill as a religious sacrifice: the goat was sacrificed at the shrine.

• give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations: working hard doesn’t mean sacrificing your social life.

Chess deliberately allow one’s opponent to win (a pawn or piece).

After looking at these, I did what we did in M and P’s first project, which was about reinterpreting the keywords. I remember I had done a representation of relationship, where I modroced both my hands and made a small sculpture of holding hands. I thought I could use it in a different sense this time where we use the hands and tie them together to show the act of suicide or hanging.

These were some sketches I made for the concept ideas.


The idea in the sketch below is that a rose plant sacrifices its own beauty to beautify something else. 


This idea was was the sacrifice that a mother does for her child and I was thinking of having an abstract representation of a mother, where she is getting smaller s her daughter is becoming like her and it is all because of the sacrifices she made.


Group meeting 2:

We all met before class and discussed our ideas together.We started with Aaqifa. She had an idea of the sacrifice of time by people in the past, where they had to wait in long queues to use the telephone which she interpreted as a sacrifice of time. Sarah have an idea about having a game where people will loose something. From this, I remembered a reality game show called Takeshi’s Castle, where people had to face many challenges to reach the end. This required struggle and many sacrifices by the people where they have to fall in water or dirty mud if they don’t make it to the end. This was a great idea and everyone agreed about it. we also talked about the chess game and how it was all about sacrifice and thought of having chess costumes were people could actually play chess in our installation. We also thought of monopoly, as a game where you have to sell properties and sacrifice your wealth to continue the game. All these ideas seemed to be great and we now only had to discuss our idea and start working.

After talking to the professors, we realized that we were heading on a wrong path. We were not deconstructing the anime Baby and me and focused more on just the word sacrifice and how to represent it. I was very confused at this point because we had to rethink about it from the beginning. But one positive thing was that they liked the maze idea, which we had as it had an element of making choices and this was somewhat related to the anime.

We realized that we need to focus on the sibling relationship and somehow think of how we can design a situation where students get to feel the emotion of sacrifice.

Group meeting 3:

to understand the theme better, we all watched Baby and me together and made sure to look for elements in the movie which we can use in our installation. We came with with a color palette of pastel colors as the whole anime was using these colors. We also recorded a few soundtracks that would be good to use in the space.

After watching all of us were really touched by the theme in the story and were thought of coming up with more ideas related to this theme.



At this point I was really out of ideas and did not know the next step. I was just thinking of spaces that we could use and so I thought of some areas like the 2nd floor, which had a lot of empty spaces. I thought that the MFA will be a good place to have as its usually empty and not occupied by many people.

Project 03: Deconstruction


Day 1:

This last project is about deconstruction. When we were first told about it, I was thinking that it would be about physically deconstructing something. But then, we were limited to movies, books and music albums. I was really confused at this point and didn’t know what we were supposed to do. When the professors explained the project, the said that if it is a book, then it can be the physical book, as well as the content of the book. They also told us that this was going to be an installation in a 3D space.

Some examples that we came across were themed restaurants, which used the idea of a particular theme and then created there visuals using the main concept.

I was thinking about which book or movie i should use and I got idea like the Qur’an or the animated movie Bilal. Qur’an was interesting to me because it had a lot of concepts and stories in it and I thought I will have a good place to start. To clear my doubt and to know if I can chose the Qur’an, I asked my professor and some friends. Professor told me that maybe I should focus on one chapter of the Quran and not the whole book. Others suggested and asked if I had a particular story that I wanted to focus on. So I said I was interested in the story of prophet Sulaiman. Latifa suggested that I can maybe find a book about prophet Sulaiman and so i can be more specific. This gave a me a good start and I had more ideas o consider now.

class notes

What next?

So, for next class we were asked to find one idea, and break down its elements based on the concepts in the movie.

After I went back home, I thought about the idea and looked for books. I wasn’t interesting books and so I decided to think of a movie instead. I looked for movies that were based on my initial idea of using stories from the Qur’an. There was a recent movie called ‘Bilal’ which was super interesting and I thought I should watch it and see if i can use it. However, later I realized that I will end up wasting a lot of time if I watch the whole movie. So i thought about movies I had already watched and really loved and understood the concept behind it.

My first idea was  The Jungle Book and I knew that this  movie had a lot of concepts and ideas which I can break down. So I looked up clips from the movie and started summarizing it.


Main Ideas of the movie:

  • Kid(mowglee) left alone in a jungle by his father, attacked and killed by the tiger.
  • Saved by a panther (bagheera) who gave the kid to a family of wolves who raised him.
  • trained to be like a wolf
  • danger of the tiger (shere khan) as he was against man
  • Mowglee grew up and was forced to leave the jungle to save his life from the tiger.
  • He stayed with the bear for some time as he was safe there and did not know how to return back to the land
  • he defeated the tiger with his skills

I did this step to help me recall all aspects of the movie and so I could efficiently break it down.

Concepts in the story:

  • Family/ attachment/bond/love
  • Seperation
  • Adventure
  • Protection
  • Risk of life
  • Safety/defense
  • Fear

I was happy with what I had and was excited for the next class to know what will be the next step. I was still not sure what deconstruction actually meant in terms of our project and hoped that my thoughts about this project would be clearer from next class.

Day 8: Final Signs

Finally I have reached the end of this project, even though I really wish I had more time. I improved all my illustrations for the final submission. The good news was, I had found resin through a friend who bought it for me from Colornote, a place close to her house. I was really surprised that she found it as I had asked for it everywhere and no one seemed to have it. It was too late though and I was thinking of creating the jelly fish as a post project technique which was something I learned through research.

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After printing the signs, I tried added some texture to the sign by using some hot glue on the top of the jelly fish. For me it worked, but I was not sure if should use them as the final signs. At the time of the final submission, I asked both my professors, they both liked the local sign as it had more contrast. Also, I noticed, there was a huge color difference between the epson printer and the laser printer. I ended up choosing the one with the better color and submitted my final signs.



Overall, I have learned a lot of things from this project and the main one being the trial and error, which meant the more I experimented, the more options I would have to work with. For me, It was also a matter of thinking about the material, and how I could photograph it. Experimentation was very important and I needed more time for that. I realized that the more time you have for something, the more possibilities you will create for yourself. This project was a lesson for me about being more consistent and experimental throughout the project. Risk taking was another factor that played an important role for me. In the last stage of my project, I decided to try out something that even though did not work, helped me understand a different possibility. Trying the hot glue was also a big risk for me as I did it at the last minute after my final signs had been printed. I hardly had time but I managed to finish it on time, however I don’t think the quality of the work was the best as it was a scanned version.

In the end, I am glad that I have created something different from my style and that I got to execute my idea through following the intent that I initially had.