Ideas Factory

Material // Light

An explosive is a substance or a device that produces a volume of rapidly expanding gas that exerts sudden pressure on its surroundings. There are three common types of explosives: chemical, mechanical, and nuclear. Mechanical explosions are physical reactions, for example the effects of compressed air.
An explosion is a sudden, violent change of potential energy to work, which transfers to its surroundings in the form of a rapidly moving rise in pressure called a blast wave or shock wave. The shock wave can cause substantial damage. Potential energy may exist in either of three forms before an explosion occurs:nuclear , chemical, or physical. Generally, nuclear explosions are much larger and more destructive than chemical or physical explosions. Chemical explosions are more frequent than nuclear or physical explosions. Although chemical explosions are usually deliberate, they may also occur accidentally. Large physical explosions are relatively rare and usually accidental.
something that makes things visible or affords illumination:
All colors depend on light.
  1. Also called luminous energy, radiant energy. electromagneticradiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelengthfrom about 400 to 700 nm and propagated at a speed of 186,282mi./sec (299,972 km/sec), considered variously as a wave,corpuscular, or quantum phenomenon.
  2. a similar form of radiant energy that does not affect the retina, asultraviolet or infrared rays.
the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of sight.
an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.
the radiance or illumination from a particular source:
the light of a candle.
the illumination from the sun; daylight:
We awoke at the first light.
daybreak or dawn:
when light appeared in the east.




As the main material in my work I have chosen to incorporate led light tubes. Led lights are a man made artificial light used to help humans function during the night. This idea of human constantly needing light interests me as early reports from studies of human circadian rhythms had suggested that humans were unlike other organisms, being relatively insensitive to light and more sensitive to social cues to entrain their circadian systems. The most powerful human response to light is the most simple: it is the fundamental attraction that humans have toward light and lighted spaces. We are told that the human affinity for light is a mechanism of survival. This notion of needing light caught me to expose the light and create a garment close to the body showing that the human body can have the constant light following.
Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light, which is thought to be a byproduct of biochemical reactions involving free radicals. 
Within my design the light will remain constant as a way of  
Tunnel Vision
Paul Klotz
This work makes me feel kind of enclosed and trapped because of the shape but from the led lights it gives a sense of hope to end as it fits with the cliche "light at the end of the tunnel".
Surreal Light Installation
Bruce Munro

Nuclear Explosion - This has inspired me as this is an example of natural light in mass proportion. 

Hiroshima Mushroom Explosion
A mushroom cloud is a distinctive pyrocumulus mushroom-shaped cloud of debris/smoke and usually condensed water vapor resulting from a large explosion. The effect is most commonly associated with a nuclear explosion (and sometimes referred to in this context as a thunderball), but any sufficiently energetic detonation or deflagration will produce the same sort of effect.
The cloud contains three main classes of material: the remains of the weapon and its fission products, the material acquired from the ground (only significant for burst altitudes below the fallout-free altitude, which depends on the weapon yield), and water vapour. The bulk of the radiation contained in the cloud consists of the nuclear fission products; neutron activation products from the weapon materials, air, and the ground debris form only a minor fraction. Neutron activation occurs during the neutron burst at the instant of the blast itself, and the range of this neutron burst is limited by the absorption of the neutrons as they pass through the Earth's atmosphere.

Process // Cutting

The process of cutting is quite a violent and physical procedure. Within the following images there are references about the "cut and slash" technique of the early centuries and mentions of and aggressive nature linking back to a dystopian state of mind. 
The slash and reveal style made it to English style, with Henry VIII often depicted wearing garments with slashing to show the variety of luxury silks he wore and the decoration could be on any thing from shoes to codpieces. Slashed garments appear occasionally in the 19th century – there’s nothing new about looking back – but it then pretty much vanished until the punks started ripping and slashing their garments in the early 1980s. Slashing and cutting the surface of fabric is now a more decorative technique used in textile art and quilting rather than fashion, more’s the pity.
Figure 1. The slashing of the fabric exposes the light and when folded back. This technique embodies the process of cutting as it is a manipulation of fabric in a aggressive manner and can be shown in many different ways.
Manufacturer: Creation Baumann
Tel: (0) 20 7226 7748 (U.K)
Catalogue: NO Date: JULY 2015
Figure 2. The geometric pleating have been raised with some warp/weft threads of elastic holding the shape. This fabric sample inspired me as the shapes are raised in some areas mimicking the use of negative and positive shapes in Gordan Matta Clarks work. 
Materials & Products Collection
Manufacturer: Ciment Pleating
Tel: (0) 1707 661 311 (U.K)
Catalogue: NO Date: AUG 2015
Figure 3.This embroidered piece inspired me as it reminded me of the organised chaos of Sarah Sze.
Materials & Products Collection
Manufacturer: RICAMIFICIO LEVI S.r.l.
Tel. +39 0331 310 938 (ITALY)
Catalogue: No Date: JULY 2014

9/11 Before


9/11 After



You can demolish a stone wall with a sledgehammer, and it's fairly easy to level a five-story building using excavators and wrecking balls. But when you need to bring down a massive structure, say a 20-story skyscraper, you have to haul out the big guns. Explosive demolition is the preferred method for safely and efficiently demolishing larger structures. When a building is surrounded by other buildings, it may be necessary to "implode"the building, that is, make it collapse down into its footprint.
The main challenge in bringing a building down is controlling which way it falls. Ideally, a blasting crew will be able to tumble the building over on one side, into a parking lot or other open area. This sort of blast is the easiest to execute, and it is generally the safest way to go. Tipping a building over is something like felling a tree. To topple the building to the north, the blasters detonate explosives on the north side of the building first, in the same way you would chop into a tree from the north side if you wanted it to fall in that direction. Blasters may also secure steel cables to support columns in the building, so that they are pulled a certain way as they crumble. 

Collapsing Building

I have decided to include this image as a reference as the collapsing building represents the destruction and anarchy side of cutting away something in this case a structure. This particular picture is taken as the time of 9/11 a terrorist attack that impacted the people of the U.S deeply. Moreover, this image reflects the dystopian side of cutting and chaos in the world.
The process of deconstruction showing the breakdown of materials mainly organic really interests. The slow deprecation of an organic material just shows how temporary everything around us is.  Watching the following clips in slow motion has an amazing eerie feeling as the materials explode slowly and drift away; just shows how pointless some things are.
Juxtaposing this with the process of construction shows how sought after man made objects are and perfected to be able to function in daily life. The stature of a building and whole process that goes into the creation of a building is perfect and precise, whilst the deconstruction an just defeat it within a matter of seconds.
The 9/11 clip shows the smoke escaping the south tower, this intrigues me as before the building was strong and enclosed nothing escaping nothing entering. But then we see how everything form the inside is seeping out and trying to escape concealment. The smoke is travel up and out of the building and filling the sky with black smoke into the sky. The sky is a never ending entity and from a second the sky has been some what "deconstructed" from its pure beauty and cutting into the sky separating it's self (positive/negative).

video breakdown of buildings collapsing

9/11 collapse

Slow motion collapse

Practitioner // Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze is an american artist born in 1969 who lives in New York. She is mostly known for her ephemeral installations which are a compound of everyday objects brought together usually with an ironic sense. 
 "Since the late 1990s Sarah Sze's signature sculptural aesthetic has presented ephemeral installations that penetrate walls, suspend from ceilings and burrow into the ground. The artist creates immense, yet intricate site-specific works which manipulate every space - be that a gallery, domestic interior or street corner - and profoundly affects the way it is viewed. Sze's practice exists at the intersection of sculpture, painting and architecture where her formal interest in light, air and movement is coupled with an intuitive understanding of colour and texture. Sze utilises a myriad of everyday objects in her installations from cotton buds and tea bags to water bottles and ladders, light bulbs and electric fans. Presented as leftovers or traces of human behaviour, these items, released from their commonplace duty possess a certain vitality and ambition within the work. Her careful consideration of every shift in scale between the humble and the monumental, the throwaway and the precious, the incidental and the essential solicits a new experience of space, disorienting and reorienting the viewer at every turn."
Sze can be tied into the arte povera movement for her interest in "poor" materials. She says she wants to create visual melodies with installations that are an evocation of the apparent anarchy found in music. she also states she finds her inspiration in Japanese gardens that, careless of the apparent anarchy she finds in them, always manage to guide the eye towards a particular point. 
Sarah Sze likes to question dimensions and contrasts between the light and the heavy, the large and the small, what is close in opposition to what is further away. she also likes to question our relationship with everyday life objects and how we treat them.  She also likes to use the space in the which she exposes and she finds interesting ways to use the already existing architecture and to incorporate it in her work. (Work up to here done by Matilde)
Within her work she analyses the concept of construction and deconstruction of everyday materials, she also identifies as a sculpture.
Sarah Sze often creates spherical shapes cross referencing to the process of cutting and the juxtaposition between positive and negative space. In doing this her works have an ephemeral feel as the natural and artificial light is able to stream through the pieces.
As selected by the group her most prominent work is the "Triple Point" exhibition displayed at The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Triple Point brings together many of the ideas that Sze has developed during her practice. Central to the exhibition is the notion of the “compass” and the desire to locate ourselves in a disorienting world. Each of the rooms of the United States Pavilion functions as an experimental site, in which objects attempt to become instruments or assemblages that seek to measure or model the universe. The aspiration to model complexity—and the impossibility of that undertaking—is a key theme in Triple Point.

Sarah Sze:Figure 1

Triple Point (Planetarium), 2013
Wood, steel, plastic, stone, string, fans, overhead projectors, photograph of rock printed on Tyvek, mixed media
249 x 216 x 198 inches (632.5 x 548.6 x 502.9 cm)
© Sarah Sze, courtesy of the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, and Victoria Miro Gallery, London
Photo: Jason Mandella (Work done by myself)

Sarah Sze
Notepad, 2008
Offset colour lithographgy, laser engraved paper and board and thumbtack
22 1/2 x 11 x 8 inches
Ladder: 31 1/2 x 5/8 inches
(attaches to pad)
Edition of 40
(Inventory no.20320)
I'm inspired from this piece as this work has moments of referencing cutting from an architectural perspective such as the cutout windows, layering of different shapes.
This coincides with the material of light as the light is able to travel through each tiny detail thus creating light and shadows.


Frank Gehry is one of the most sought-after, internationally recognized and prolific architects and designers in the world today. The design of Marques de Riscal hotel building essentially is layered metal sheets which have been coloured in order to reflect and retract the sun within the structure. The design evokes the process of cutting as the sheets of metal are separate pieces layered on top of each other in a random order.  
The Marques de Riscal is one of those hotels that’s impossible not to notice if you are in the same town as it. Elciego is an old, sleepy, low-rise village in Basque’s wine growing region. On a slight rise at the edge of Elciego’s stone-building center is Gehry’s modern, shimmering, multi-angled building. It was originally designed as a corporate headquarters but the clamor to see the inside was so great that the Starwood hotel chain sensed an opportunity and purchased the property.


A technique where a pattern piece is cut or slashed and then spread apart to add fullness. Method can be used in ruching, adding decorative darts, or gathering. The idea of using the technique on a fabric such as denim would work interestingly as you could then use a lighter textile that could be manipulated with layering or folds that imitates the three-dimensional appearance of smoke.

From the outside, its shiny windows and soaring towers make it look decidedly futuristic and luxurious.
But after visitors walk through the doors of North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel - which has taken twenty years to build - they see it is just a concrete shell.
The interior of the 105-story, pyramid-shaped resembles a multi-storey car park, with its concrete floors and bare columns.



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