Duchamp’s Objects

So I actually mistook this assignment to be last week’s assignment… (documentation here) where instead of stopping at making the character on Illustrator… I went ahead with making a poster… However, I found out that that was actually helpful for me, because instead of starting a little further from scratch, I was a bit further than ‘a little further from scratch’ (??)

The object I chose was Marcel Duchamp’s Bottle Rack. The first time I saw this object, I just felt angry vibe, perhaps from the spikes on the rack, which are intended to hold the bottles. And so, I thought.. what if I actually make a character out of this object and actually visualise the angry vibe that I felt when I saw his Bottle Rack. 

I then started working on it on Illustrator. As seen in last week’s documentation, it’s shown that the character was carrying a wrecked bottle.. and naturally, I named the character Bottle Wrecker, a wordplay on Duchamp’s Bottle Rack. 

However, I found that this design wouldnt be the best design for 3D printing, mainly because of a lot of empty spaces within the body of the character, which would make the structure not as sturdy. I also found that the bottles and hand could mess up with the centre of mass of the toy and this could potentially make the toy hard to stand. This is then when I figured I should make some alterations if I were to go on with this design.

To make the 3D object, I used TinkerCAD. I was pretty well-acquainted with Cinema 4D, but due to my stay at the hospital, I haven’t been able to download Cinema 4D or swing by IMA Lab to use school’s CInema 4D, hence my decision to use Tinker CAD.

I made 2 alternatives to my original Bottle Wrecker character. The first one on the left was the one I first created. However, I couldn’t figure out how to connect the rings, so I thought perhaps, I could connect the rings by making them into a spiral. To do this, I cut half of a ring and rotate it and do the same steps with another ring. Afterwards, I connect them with a sphere. I then repeated this step several times and voila! (My 3D objects available here)

Since I removed the hands and the wrecked bottle, I figured I had to use another way to convey anger (besides the eye expression). I figured colour could be one way of expressing anger, hence my choice to colour the toy red.

And… after some time of tinkering with Photoshop, I then came up with this poster for my toy…

this is the old poster….


and the new poster…

Doing this assignment taught me that sometimes, as a designer, we have to compromise or find the sweet spot between realising our vision of what a product looks like and the technical difficulties/challenges when the product is being produced (or 3D printed, in this case). Although I’m quite fond of the almost-minimalist take on this toy, I would’ve liked it better had I could include the wrecked bottle. However, I think this final design has a better balance between my idea of Bottle Wrecker and the technical challenge of 3D-printing it.

Toy Design – Duchamp’s Object

For this week’s assignment, we were to create a character out of Marcel Duchamp’s objects or every-day objects around us. I then decided to base mine off Duchamp’s Bottle Rack

The personality that I decided to give to my character is based on a wordplay of the word “rack”, i.e. “wreck”. This gives me an idea to portray my character as an angry Bottle Wrecker bottle rack. This is the character:

For the colours, I was using:

Pantone’s 631 U

Pantone 628 U

Pantone 156 U

And this is the poster:In creating this, I used A Illustrator to create the character and A Photoshop to create the poster. I decided to go for a comic concept because I think the Bottle Wrecker character has comical qualities to it, and I want to portray that in things where Bottle Wrecker is advertised in.

There wasn’t a lot of big challenges to making this poster except for the fact that it took me a while to get used to A Illustrator because I haven’t been using A Illustrator for some time. In general, this is a fun assignment which makes me think not only of how to design a character out of every day object, but also creates a cohesive elements that supports the character (e.g. the poster, the personality of the character, etc).

Ploop, The Ice Cream Cone

Ploop, The Ice Cream Cone, is my 3D model for a toy that I want to make. I decided on the name ploop, because I think this is the sound that an ice cream makes as it falls to the ground. I didn’t want to make my ice cream cone the normal one, so I decided to make it upside down and melting on the ground.

I started off with the front view and added the side views.

It is my first time using Illustrator to make anything, so it took me some time to play around and figure out what was happening, and I am still getting used to it. I couldn’t figure out how to colour in the object without having some of my outline colour disappear especially for the criss-cross lines on the cone, so I decided instead to just colour the strokes different colours for different flavours. I also made a triangular packaging for my toy displaying the 4 available colours. Caution: It melts in the sun 🙂

Week 8: Character Design

Originally I was to design a hamburger character, because I am obsessed with hamburger recently. However, my hamburger sketch was crushed. And therefore I made another one, which is also my favorite, that is bubble tea.

And I really enjoy this bubble tea character. Since when people order bubble tea, there’re so many options: you could have less sugar, regular sugar, half sugar; with or without ice, and all these helps to shape the personality of this bubble tea character’s character.

Apart from this, I personally really enjoyed to unpack toy. By which I mean, I really enjoy the little details of one toy. As for this bubble tea character, there’re so many possibilities with the pearl. I could either make the pearl a chocolate candy or some soft ball which people could press and make sound.

And also, there’re just so many options concerning what material to apply to make the bottle. Plastic? Glass?

In general, I really like this character, and I look forward to make it real.

Illustrator exercises Tuesday

This Tuesday, we got started on how to use Adobe Illustrator. Having never worked with Illustrator before, I thought that it was a very useful class and it gave me a good introduction on how to navigate the software.

My favourite part of the lesson was the ability to grab two objects, and then using the ‘path’ window, either merge them together, or delete extra parts, or grab the intersection. I thought that this is a pretty useful tool, and I can see how one can create so many different objects with this function.

From what we started in class, I continued to work a bit on the broken LED model and completed the front view so far.

Illustrator Toy

Here is how I made Calvin the Cactus come to life!

First, I sketched out what my cactus would look like


I then started with illustrator, making basic shapes and resorting to the pen tool when necessary.

Next, came the mugshot-style versions of Calvin! With guidelines, I made sure that he was aligned properly

Finally, I made a few other versions! A sick and in-love Calvin! All ready for potential manufacturing (maybe)!

And here Calvin is with pantone colors!

Miu Miu, the Yogi Cat

My aim was: knitting a cat as my soft toy gift to my friend Leidy. I listed in previous posts her likes and the research process that I went through to decide to make a yogi cat for my friend. More in the ppt presentation below:


Because she loves cats, and because we share a story with kittens on the street, this is why I chose my toy to be a cat. I also wanted to explore the field of knitting and become better at it becuase I really liked the class on amirugumi toys, so I took on the challenge of knitting an entire cat.

Sketching Process

After researching online about cats, cat toys, and yoga accessories, I sketched out a few drawings, and placed my cat drawings on yoga mats to decide the dimensions I wanted to have it in. Then I also tried to see them in different poses doing different things, such as ‘eating’.

Progress and Challenges

I was looking online at how to crochet cats and looked back at the ball pattern that Marcela had showed us in her presentation.

I chose the colour of the cat to be blue because my friend’s favourite colour is blue, so I thought that blue would be an appropriate colour for the gift. From there, I had forgotten how to make the magic ring, and this was the most important because it is the starting point of any of the cat parts! I asked Marcela for the first time to teach me again, but then I forgot it again at home. I then looked up on YouTube how to make the magic ring, and I think I watched the video at least 10 times. Here >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUaywX0-WE

The magic ring was one of the initial challenges, but now I am confident that I can make a magic ring anytime I want (which is great). And from there, it was knitting, knitting, knitting all day all night.

I was really happy when I managed to finish the head of the cat. Picture below! Through the process of knitting, I learnt how to better read knitting stitches instructions, especially the symbols for single stitch, double stitch, increasing and decreasing stitches, as well as the X and V on instruction diagrams. One of the main difficulties that I faced while knitting is staying concentrated on the task at hand, because it was so easy to get distracted and forget how many stitches I had done or which row of stitches I had reached. The pin that Marcela gave me to keep track of my starting point all the time was really helpful, but it was still up to me to keep track of how many times I had done already. Therefore, through this process, I think that I became more diligent, patient and attentive to detail. To do something well, one has to spend time, and also take care of the tasks that is being done, so that it becomes good.

As I was knitting the paws of the cat, it was pretty complicated because the circle was so small and because it was small, it was hard to keep the shape nice and tight. What I realised after knitting for some time was that it was helpful to slip my finger into the paw, and then use the crochet needle to make the stitch and twist the paw around the finger to continue the stitches.

The finished parts separately looks like the below picture:

After making every part, I realised that the head was really big hole and compared to the small hole of the body. So, Marcela suggested we add another row of decreasing stitches to make it fit more, and I think that helped a lot. Then I was deciding what to stuff my toy with. I used the white stuffing material, but I also needed some weight in the body and paws of my cat. As I was thinking what could be used, the idea of rice came up, but I did not have any rice at home. I then settled on red lentils, because that is what I had at home available to me. Thus, my cat is stuffed with red lentils. I think it is a very healthy cat! Plus pooping red lentils, lots of fiber, great for the Yoga cat theme.

Then I learnt how to stitch all the parts to each other. What was important here was how to close off with a knot and then hid the knot and the rest of the string of yarn. I learnt how to camouflage the yarn by pulling it inside of the body of the cat, then pulling it tight and cutting off just the extra so that when released the yarn would automatically go back into the body of the cat, but there would be less chance of it untying. I thought that was pretty cool!

I also wanted to add special features to my cat, so I knitted on the eyes and a mouth for the cat:

And of course, Mr Yogi cat wouldn’t be a Yoga cat without the posture and accessories. Thus I made a headband out of yarn, cut out a piece of felt for the yoga mat, and turned lollipops into dumbbells. And I present Mr Yogi Cat.

I had one of my classmates play with the cat toy before class, but then when I gave it to Leidy, my friend, she really loved it!

Pictures of Leidy when I presented her with the toy. She was really excited and really happy. Leidy named the cat Miu Miu. So now it is Miu Miu the yogi cat. I also have a short video of Leidy playing with Miu Miu below:

Conclusion and Improvements

I was really happy with the reaction of my friend, and also of the work I managed to do and achieve. I really do want to knit something for myself now, and I feel that I will be able to do more things, and that I have the power to create a lot of toys with just string.

For improvements on my toy, I would want to make a cleaner job with some of my stitches, especially when sewing one piece to the other. I also think that I would have really liked being able to customize more of the cats face features, potentially adding make-up to the eyes or cheeks, because my friend really likes make-up. For the Yoga accessories, for improving, it would be nice to be able to be able to make a nicer yoga mat, maybe by sewing felt together with some stuffing in the middle for padding.

Overall, I was really happy making this toy. It was also ironic that a stress relief activity such as knitting can turn into stressful activity when in a time crunch (haha).

“Don’t Kale My Vibe” from a kale hater to a kale enthusiast

The user for my toy is my friend Elisabeth. She is senior at NYUSH, and she really likes a lot of those typical health foods like kale and spinach while I think a lot of them are pretty gross. She has a tanktop with a list of leafy greens on them. Whenever I see stuff making fun of kale, I send it to her, so I thought it might be funny to give her a kale toy.

Since I don’t actually eat kale, I wasn’t too familiar with how it looks. I started out by doing several sketches of kale and then showing my friend. I asked her which she thought looked the most ‘kale-like’ and based my design off of that.

I also looked up lots of different craft work including kale. I even found a stuffed kale, similar to what I want to accomplish. However, I thought that the stem was too wide/large to really capture the essence of how kale looks. Actually seeing what a finished product looked like helped to cement my decision to go for a more 2 dimensional kale leaf rather than widening the stem to make room for the stitches and stuffing. I decided I mostly wanted to focus on the ridged leaves. 

I also found embroidery of kale, which I thought was really beautiful. I originally wanted to try embroidering around the edges of my leaves in order to create the ruffled effect, but I didn’t have time to learn both sewing and embroidering. In the future, I’d like to see how embroidering the leaves compares with ruffling the fabric.

The first time I tried to create layers, it didn’t go well. The pattern I made for the leaves was alright for sewing flat, but there wasn’t nearly enough fabric when I tried to create the ridges. In the next iteration, I made the leaves way bigger, and I’m pleased with that result. I think in the future, I can experiment with even larger leaves. If I had more time, I also think that it would be fun to knit a bowl, create several more leaves, and serve it as a salad.



This project was really hard for me. It took me some three weeks to finally finish this one.

The easiest step was just to cut all the pieces.

And the following step is to glue them together. It really took me so many time to figure out how to glue everything, because this model is not in the reference book. But thanks to marcela, that with her help I get to glue every little part together.

And another thing is the rubber band, it is really hard to set the rubber band. The paper is thin, and therefore, it also took me quite some time to fix the rubber band.

Thank god, after all these three weeks, Max succeeded with this little one!