Prompt: Using chipboard, matt vinyl and window screen, along with the building methods explored, students will design and build a form tting helmet. This helmet should not only protect the students head, but also protect their memories, their sense of self, their heritage, while at the same time protect and prepare them to move into the future – head on.
I wanted this piece to explore the of dichotomy or balance of protection and practicality and of rigidity and softness. I spoke earlier with my professor Charles Goldman on the concept of the military helmet brim and he proposed that I extend it to past the shoulders. I thought about that and while it was an intriguing idea, but I remembered that my main goal was to make a functional helmet. It got me thinking about how if you have too much of a good thing it can turn against you like adding too much protection to a helmet would make it too heavy and impractical to wear. As a compromise, I chose to pursue that perfect balance to create a protective helmet that is also practical to use. This segued into the concept of rigidity and softness where the hard chipboard composing of the skeleton of the helmet acted as the rigid part of the structure. This can be contrasted to the soft nature of the human body that the helmet rests upon. I chose to add layers of fabric and vinyl to further bridge that gap between the dense nature of the chipboard to the more vulnerable skin.
I was pleased with the final result. I think that I executed on my vision well and created this beautiful helmet that not only serves to protect the thoughts, memories, and senses, but also acts as a channel to create new experiences. I deliberately covered all possible openings on my body that experienced the senses which were the eyes, nose, and ears. The sights I saw were now blurrier, the sounds I heard were muffled, and my breath escaped through the multiple crevices magnifying the sound.