Elise Malterre

Haptic Space - Saint Nigel's New Home

Class of: 2024

Major: Integrated Design BFA

Medium: Sculpture/Construction

Faculty: Micki Spiller

Prompt: We were asked to bring in a 3-dimensional object that represented our interests or background, then construct a case to a house that object. As an added element, we each chose a different art movement to base our design and materials around. We created three iterations: linear, planar, and volumetric, in addition to our final piece that could be an improved version or combination of the iterations.

For this first assignment of the semester, I brought in one of my plants, a spider plant named Saint Nigel, that I carried with me from Idaho to New York. I felt that it represented me through my passion for environmentalism and a little piece of my home. When choosing an art movement to design with, I chose Art Deco, which has an aesthetic far from anything I had done before. I loved the concept of creating a facade of elegance and regality and using very geometric, straight lines to contain a very organic object that almost explodes out of the top. In my research, I saw a lot of shapes with cascading layers, use of parallelograms, metal, intricate and bold embellishments, and statement pieces that inspired the design. I started with a linear model, using wire, to construct the outline that would eventually become the shape of the final, and I began to add embellishments. I then moved on to a planar model made out of reused paper and a volumetric model out of recycled foam core. The final model combined elements of the linear and planar iterations. Seeing a lot of silver and metal used in art deco architecture and aligning with my environmental theme, I collected empty soda cans from the recycle bins in my dorm hall as the main material. I cut, folded, and punctured the material to allow me to sew pieces together with wire. A thicker wire was used to add the detailing that really makes the piece art deco inspired, and creates the intended facade for my plant, Saint Nigel.