The Final Structure of the Dome

Firstly, thanks for the helps from Yadi Yang, Trade Point, Lasercutworks, 3D workshop in LCC, Jewson and London Art Workshop, they helped me a lot on the structure thing and material thing.

With the help from Yadi, here is sketche and 3D draft of the dome:

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And here is the connection method of the top of the dome and between two slices (dove tail):

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Options (Structures) and Materials of Making a Dome

Depends on different structures, I need to research materials differently. And here is the final three structures that I considered:


Steel Wire Ball



  1. Equilateral triangle by using drain pipes and connectors.
  2. Steel Wire Ball.
  3. Hexagon by using drain pipes / wooden sticks and connectors (looks like a football).
  4. Six arcs for the skeleton of the dome by using wood (timer) / iron wires / steel tube / acrylic / card board. (similar with the structure of umbrella)

For the first one, I went to a building material market (JEWSON) where is very close to my college. I talked with the staff who is from there and she gave some advice to me:
1. To try to use steel sheet to create a ball by using plastic zip ties as connectors.
2. Drain pipes with drain pipe connector but connectors should be reformed by myself – to create a five-opens connector or customise it in a plastic factory.
Problem: I need to customise the connector (with five opens), which is hard to compelete.
Materials Research (below):


Steel Sheet


Steel Strip From The Sheet


Drain Pipe

For the second one, I went to 3D workshop in uni, one of staff suggested me I can use this method to build a dome, please the picture below (the dome behinds the man):

Resource: From Old Tidemill Garden's Facebook

Resource: From Old Tidemill Garden’s Facebook

There is another staff suggested me to use this method to connect arcs together (six arcs’ structure), please see the piceture below:


Problem: For this method, I aslo need to customise the connector (with five opens), which is hard to compelete either.
Materials Research (below):

Wooden Sticks

Wooden Sticks

For the third one: After had a tutorial with Ben, to build a dome by using six arcs is more reachable  with daily objects like wood and plastic wrap.
Materials Research (below):

Medium Density Fireboard 1220*2440mm, 18mm

Medium Density Fireboard From B&Q | 1220*2440mm, 18mm

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There is a company called Trade Point in B&Q, it is doing trade building supplies and can do material cutting service. I went to there and asked for suggestions of cutting and how to use material to build a structure, here is a few suggestions:
1. Bending cooper / steel / stainless tubes to curved
2. Using drain pipes and make them curved by fixing two ending in fixed device.
Problem: For the first one, welding is time-consuming and bending tubes will results in concave-convex surface. For the second one, there is no memory for the material itself, if two ends of the tube coming loose, then it would back to straight again.

Staff from Trade Point

Staff from Trade Point

The Structure of the Dome

If to design a dome that can hold a person (less than 2m heigh), then the minimum diameter would be 2.5m. That is a really big thing…

By using which structure and what material comes to the next question and need to be solved as soon as possible.

There are two options: to build a ball with skeleton, or to design a ball without skeleton. Please see the draft below:



For the final decision, I chose the skeleton one which is strong, stable and looks nice.

And here is the prototype:


Ref: Sublime (Band)

Interestingly, there was a band called Sublime, an American ska punk band from California. And I have emailed to, a fan site for the band Sublime and asking them the meaning of the band name.


Right: BRAD NOWELL (guitar, vocals), Medium: ERIC WILSON(bass), Left: BUD GAUGH (drums) Resource:

“Sublime, Formed in 1988 as a garage punk band, Sublime rose to fame in the mid-’90s on the back of the California punk explosion engendered by Green Day and the Offspring, though Sublime boosted their punk influences with heavy elements of reggae and ska. The band released only two albums during its first seven years, and finally found mainstream success with a self-titled release in 1996. It proved to be Sublime’s last proper album, however, as lead singer Brad Nowell died in May 1996, just two months before the record’s release.” (, 2016)*

The song called “Santeria” is one of band’s signature songs, the another one is “What I Got”. The lyrics of “Santeria” is below:

I don’t practice Santeria
I ain’t got no crystal ball
Well I had a million dollars but I,
I’d spend it all
If I could find that heina
and that sancho that she’d found
Well I’d pop a cap in sancho
andI’d slap her down
What I really wanna know (my baby)
What I really wanna say, I can’t define
Well it’s love that I neeeeeed
My soul will have to wait till I get back
Find a heina of my own
Daddy’s gonna love one and all
I feel the break, feel the break,
feel the break
And I gotta live it out
Oh yeah un-huh
Well I swear that I,
what I really wanna know (my baby)
What I really wanna say,
I can’t define
Got love! Make it go
My soul will have to…

What I really wanna say (my baby)
What I really wanna say,
is I’ve got mine
And I’ll make it
Yes, I’m going up
Tell sanchito that if he knows
what is good for him
He best go run and hide
Daddy’s got a new .45
And I won’t think twice
To stick that barrel straight down sancho’s throat
Believe me when I say that
I got something for his punk-ass
What I really wanna know (my baby)
What I really wanna say,
is there’s just one way back
And I’ll make it
My soul will have to wait

The word of “Crystal Ball” appears in the second line of lyrics, which is my another research object. In lyrics, Brad is saying that he never could foreseed what happened to him and also the uncertainty in the future.

* (2016). Sublime – Biography | Billboard. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Nov. 2016].

FMP’s Topic – Sublime

To be honest, I started to thinking of my final major’s topic – sublime since the beginning of course in 2015.

At first, what I am interested in was limited in natural – how to transfer a natural phenomenon into an interactive way with people.

After looked through several artworks like Cloud by Berndnaut Smilde, Emergent Behavior by Thomas Jackson, No Longer Creek by Alexandra Kehayoglou and Artsy, Rain Room by Random Interanational, We Got Time by Moray McLaren, The Making of Drone 100 by Intel and various exhibitions (Art Basel 2016, Björk Digital in London, The way Things Go in Taipei, etc). There is a common feeling after what I saw of those artworks, that is WOW.

Why ‘wow’? Is that just because I never seen those ways of conveying artistic concept? For somehow, the answer is YES. But, for somehow, the answer is NO. Some projects expressing a serious issue of current society and environment what can make me shocked; some projects’ form (the way of displaying) make me astonished, especially for those works in aesthetically; and some projects take the advantage of the power of the nature. Of course, most importantly, the interactivity or the relationship between two matters of what the artist wants to explore is also the key element for feeling WOW from an artwork.

Back to my topic, why natural things? Because I believe the intangible power of the nature can make people feel wonder. And then the term of sublime appeared (by one of my tutors). Similarly, the notion of sublime is intangible. So there are intangible matters (the nature and sublime). Will two intangibles make a tangible? And what is the relationship between them?

Feedbacks for outcome

As I mentioned in “what is my final project”, interestingly, Ben is focused on the impossibility of my project.

Sublime is transcendental, intangible and abstract which is true. And my idea of final outcome is to build a perfect glass crystal ball (2.5 diameters) which will cost thousands pounds and lots of times. For this point, I could say this is a huge gap between ideal and reality with contradictions (this is also a part of the notion of sublime). “How can I approach that in a reachable way?” Um…That is a good question.

The Toaster Project by Thomas Thwaites is a good example on how to build a modern electrical equipment in a reachable way by himself, although the final outcome is ugly (personally, it is a beautiful project because of the unique).

To a certain extend, the process of how to make an impossible thing to a possible outcome is the key for one project. In other words, how to make the unapproachable ‘sublime’ in a approachable way is also a ‘sublime’, and no matter how is the final outcome, ugly or awful. Because the whole process is about how do I to approach that which is the most interesting part.


What is my final project?


One sentence for my project

An installation to restore a natural phenomenon which is not supposed to occur / happen in a manmade space by using an unexpected way.

Key Words: Artificial, Flow, Formalism, Nature, Repeat, Scale, Sublime

“A Crystal Ball”

A natural phenomenon

Snow, which is rarely can be seen in London


Crystal ball

A medium for recalling (nostalgia), especially for those people who going to leave London soon.


Amplifying the size of conventional crystal balls





Unexpected display method

Sublime from recalling by standing in a crystal ball
To experience the snow / rain in there

Expectation: To put this ball in different places, thus those places can become to backgrounds for the ball as an arear-memory.
(Tourist attraction)

Ref: Doug Aitken: Electric Earth

I was in Los Angles in September and went to the exhibiton called Doug Aitken: Electric Earth. Doug Aitken is an American artisit and filmmaker. He likes to try different genre and explore every medium, from film to installation and architectural interventions. At the same time, he has created a unique immersived aesthetic

This exhibition, he uses different mediums and forms to define 21st-century existence from relentless human, industrial, urban, and environmental entropy. Also, the form he chose for each artwork is absoutely amazing, especially for Song, Black Mirror, Migration and 100 Years. His perspective of seeing the world is unique and powerful. Nature is one of elements what Doug always keen on to explore, to show the gap between reality and imagination by using videos and sound, and then audiences are immersiving in this scene unconsciously.

When I was watching his film-based artworks, there was a speechless shock in my heart. Are they powerful, beautiful, cruel, or attractive?

The Third Sex

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The Third Sex

Modern life came with interesting shifts in individuals’ sex activities, as sex toys are becoming an essential ingredient of one’s sexual life. The majority of users are female, but male population, both heterosexuals and homosexuals, are finding a good use for these pleasure tools. Generally, these toys are favoring a sexual experience stripped of the sexual encounter. Is this a bad user experience? During conventional sex, sexual arousal is the main commodity traded between those involved in sex, while these tools of sex offer the experience without the effort of flirting. Thus, the pleasure offered by sex toys is lacking the interactive side of it. So, should we look differently to the role and status of sex toys?

The very idea of The Third Sex came from the book named The Second Sex which is written by Simone de Beauvoir. After the World War Two, the book brought a change in the status of women. Among other issues considered, the role of female in sex activities should has been scrutinized. As women’s role changed, so should the use of sex toys, one might conclude.

Through the video below, you are invited to experience a more interactive connection with your sex toy. Through humor, the creators of the installation in the video are showing us that the key point of having sex is flirting mutually with each other, while women’s status and the sex toys revolution are the mediators of this experiment.

About installation

The animation illustrates the working principle, different stages of penile erection of penis with the changing of volume and pressure onto the sex toy. Basically, Processing receives pressure from the sex toy and in return, the toy passes this information to Max. The toy taming application. In the same time, the voice intensity of those who “experience” with the new toys is transmitted to Max, as the Processing and Max are working together.

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This is a large rotating glass bessel is filled with water and sands. When rotate the glass ball, the swirling water sculpts the sand into an amamzing pattern of underwater dune and an unexpected hurricane (like cloud) generate.

From studios’ description of this work, “My artworks frequently incorporate flowing water, fog, sand and light to create complex and continually changing systems. Many of these works can be seen as “observatories” in that they frame and enhance our perception of natural phenomena. I am intrigued with the way patterns can emerge when things flow. These patterns are not static objects, they are patterns of behavior – recurring themes in nature.”

There is a common point with other projects like The Weather Project, Rain Room, etc: natural phenomenon are replicated in a reachable way that audience can get cloese to and experience them, and they no more far away from us. Also, the form of natural phenomenon are all in aesthentics, maybe because of the original phenomenon are astonished as well. Beauty is vital for the notion of sublime.