The Rainy Parasol Installation

Scenario two The Rainy Parasol, deals with Resource boundaries, which are related to the resources, because the resources can also create a divide among people, societies, regions and countries.

We propose a cosy place situated at the west tip of Buda Island providing a different use and experience of a rainy day. A place where you can enjoy nature at its best, among plants, breeze and the sound of water.

Rainy Parasol Context Sketch

Scenario 2 seemed easy on paper but it took a lot of time and trials to get it done as it had a lot of component.

It rains a lot in Kortrijk and sometimes the rain makes the day seem very dull and grey. We wanted to use this rain and create a space from where people can appreciate this resource. We wanted this space to be a shelter during the rain and also be in an open space. We started looking at places which offer beautiful view of the city and found the vegetable garden maintained by VELT on the tip of the Buda Island to be an ideal place. We spoke to Frank and Peter from VELT about the idea of the parasol and they really liked the idea.

We wanted the Rainy Parasol to be a place where people can come and relax and enjoy nature among plants, the sound of the water.  We also asked people about what they would like to do on a rainy day, a lot of them wanted to watch movies, some of them wanted to be outside without getting wet and to feel a sense of warmth. Even on a non rainy day, just get your camping chair and enjoy the view. We also wanted to use the rainwater collected to be distributed to the plants. One more idea which we really wanted to incorporate was to give a feeling of warmth whenever it rained and to create a glow around the parasol. For that we thought of using lights which only work when it rains. And these lights needed to be off grid as there is no power source in the vegetable garden.

We started looking at ways to make the parasol, which was in simple terms, a funnel collecting water but at the same time big enough to provide shelter. We reached to Ronald from Industrial Design Center Howest to give us some leads on people making parasols, fabric structures etc. He gave us a few leads and we got down to writing to these people to help us or collaborate in making the parasol. One of the firms we got in touch with was Nomad Concept, an architecture firm building tensile fabric structure. We went to meet Amandus, an architect and head of Nomad in his Antwerp office. We saw some of the work he had done and it was really inspiring and nice. We hoped that he could make a structure for us but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out.

We thought that we’ll build the parasol on our own using metal tubes and sheets, but one day when we were out to buy material for the island we found a drying rack in Hubo, which was close to what we wanted to build as a structure. We started looking at ways to modify it according to our needs.

The installation had various sub assemblies. A brief description of them is given.

Drying Rack

The drying rack is like a giant inverted umbrella with 4 spokes made out of U shaped aluminum channel. The span of the spokes can be increased or decreased depending on where the central hub is on the pole.

Rack

Textile

The next crucial part of the build was to find a fabric which was waterproof and strong enough to withstand rain, sun and wind. We went to a lot of stores looking for fabric and had a really hard time finding one which met our size and colour constrains. In between we found plastic sheets used in shower curtains and tried to make a rough model of the water collecting part. Then after the prototype was done we got waterproof fabric from Euroshop, we cut the fabric to dimension and then got it stitched from Roos (Bolwerk). The water collector is composed of 4 pieces of waterproof textile stitched together and fixed to the parasol. The water collected by the textile is directed to a water storage mounted on the central pole. Textile

Light

As the light system had to be off grid we thought of using a windmill along with solar panel, but it was turning out to be too costly and there were some practical issues with installations of the windmill. Then we thought of using solar lights which could be activated with a switch. For activating the lights we thought of various ways. Initially we thought that we can use water as a conductor to close the connection between two wires to activate the light. That idea didn’t work perfectly as the resistance of water was too high. Then we started looking at sensors and thought that it was too complicated to repair them in case something goes wrong.

Then we finally decide to use a mechanical switch which gets activated by a container which gets filled with rainwater. We got solar lights from Brico and modified the circuit to only work when it rains. Max a volunteer at BudaLab helped in hacking the circuit to work with the end-stop rather than switching on automatically when the ambient light gets low. All the lights were chained to a single end-stop switch. The solar panel wire was extended and the switch was also connected to the lamp with a long wire as they were mounted at different places. Everything was sealed with silicon and hotglue.

Light

Water Storage

We needed storage also to collect the water which was being collected by the parasol and then divert that water into the containers through pipes. For the storage we found a waste bin in Brico which was fitting our size constrains. We also tried out various pipes but eventually settled on radiator pipes used in houses. We made a 6cm and three 1.5cm holes in the bin to fit the radiator pipe and the central pole. The good thing was that the pipes also come with brass connectors. So, it was easy to mount the pipes on the water storage.  Water storage and the pipes were painted white.

Water Storage

Water Containers

After a lot of searching in stores and online we finally found the containers which we wanted to use in the installation. We got the containers from a store in Paris. The containers have 3 holes on the top from which they can be suspended. We got white rope to tie the containers and also some pulleys to pass the rope and connect it with a counter weight and switch. A 2mm hole was made in the bottom of each container to let the water drain.

Water Containers

Central Pole

The height of drying rack was short. We got a new metal pipe in which the rack’s central pole could slide in and the two are locked in place using nut and bolt. The parasol will be put in the soil using a screw anchor. The pole and the screw was painted red.

Central Pole and Screw

Switch and Pulley

The end-stop was mounted on an L bracket along with a pulley. This pulley was connected to one of the buckets which when filled with water moves a counterweight up and triggers the end-stop and switches on the lights.

Switch and Pulley


 

The step by step process of assembling the parasol is explained using CAD sketches.

Parasol GIF

The four corners of textile container were punched and metal eyelets were put in them. Textile was connected to the rack’s U channels using nut and bolts.

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Next holes were made in the U channels for mounting lights. Lights and the solar panels were fixed to the channels using zip ties. The wire from all the lights had to go to the central pole where the switch was to be mounted. Again zip ties were used to attach the wires along the channels to the central pole.

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The L bracket with the pulley system was mounted on the pole using a M10 hex head nut and bolt. The end-stop was fixed to the bracket using zip ties and hot glue. Two other pulleys were mounted on the pole 120 degree from each other using M10 nut and bolt.

 

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Parasol Switch Assembly GIF

The water storage along with the containers was slid into the pole and ropes were passed over the pulleys and connected to counter weights. The L bracket had two holes from which the rope passes. One end was connected to the container and the other was connected to the counterweight. The end-stop was mounted in such a way that when the counterweight go up because of the bucket getting filled with rainwater it pushes the end-stop and the lights go on. The other two containers were also passed over individual pulleys and then connected to a single counterweight.

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This entire assembly was then inserted into the 6cm central pole. The water storage was fixed to the pole using a ring fastener and silicon was put to make it waterproof.

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The assembled parasol can be put in a garden using a screw attachment which can be driven into the soil and then the central pole can be inserted into it and fixed into position using a bolt.

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The Talking Bridge Installation

Scenario one deals with Individual boundaries, which are related to the way we humans conduct ourselves, the way we interact with others. Sometimes all one needs is a way to communicate or cross barriers to go from point A to point B. We create bridges as a way to do this.

To us “Bridge” is an object that represents a way to communicate. You don’t necessarily need to actually cross a physical bridge to communicate. Since Leie divides the city into three parts and bridges are an important and  prominent objects in the city of Kortrijk, we wanted to create an installation that could be a reinterpretation of a bridge, “A Communication Bridge” on the commercial side of the river, which is being used by bikers, joggers, walkers and school students.

This installation proposes a way to connect people and to let them communicate in a playful way.

The Talking Bridge

There are a lot of bridges in Kortrijk, some are old, some are new and some are in the pipeline. Some of the new ones have been made using advance engineering and manufacturing. So, when we started looking at individual boundaries, we started thinking of how to transfer information or matter from one end to another. We thought of making an actual bridge initially, it’s good that we changed the plan; otherwise the residency would’ve never got over. Next we started looking at things metaphorically and in an analogous way.

Deborah had seen an acoustic mirror (they are like dish antenna) in the Science Museum of Paris. So we thought why not create a playful installation which explores the idea of communication. And this was in contrast to all the advance technology which was used in the bridges. Acoustic mirrors are analog objects which can transmit sound from point A to point B in a concentrated manner. No technology is involved in them, it’s just physics.

This was only the foundation of the installation. We went to Paris to try them out and also some other installations associated with sound. The experience was very fascinating and fun and the most critical thing in this was that you cannot see the person to whom you are talking. There is an element of mystery and fun involved when you talk through these mirrors. It’s a playful interpretation of a talking bridge.

There was also a thought behind this installation, it was to trigger in people the curiosity to try something which doesn’t fit in their usual surroundings and be anonymous.

You could use the bridge to beam a song to the other side, or tell a story or to simply say Hi! How not to have preconceived notions about the person on the other side! They could be old/young, rich/poor, white/black/brown, tall/short, thin/fat or anything.

The most difficult part of this installation was to actually make it. As the mirrors are in particular geometry (parabol) and are big in size it was difficult for us to make them on our own. We started looking at websites which were selling dish antennas. We found a lot of them but most of them were not the size we wanted. We met Ronald again for help regarding this and he suggested that we meet Matthieu, an alumus of Howest who works with composites and has a small company called MAT2 Composites. We met him in his setup and explained the idea of the acoustic mirrors to him. He told us that he can try but they are going to be expensive.

MAT2 Studio

In the meanwhile we started looking at other companies outside Belgium selling parabols. We found a few and started writing to them. Most of them didn’t have the geometry (prime focus) we were looking for. Things with Matthieu didn’t work out because of his prior work. We found a seller in south France who had two 180cm diameter prime focus parabols. We made the order and had to wait a more than a week to get them delivered.

Once it arrived, we realized how big they were, we were really scared that they might not work. And once we put them to test and they worked, Maria and Deborah started jumping with joy!

We got hardware for making the stand for them and also some paint to make it blend with our theme. The step by step process of assembling the Talking Bridges is explained using CAD sketches.

Talking Bridge GIF

The first step was to make a stand for the Talking bridge. For this two 80cm long 1.5cmx3cm rectangular iron profile were welded to create a cross as the base.

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Next a 120cm long 6cm diameter metal pipe was welded to the cross. Two 1.2cm through holes 10 cm apart were drilled near the top to on which the parabols mounts were to be bolted.

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Next we put a 15 kg weight through the pipe and onto the cross to add stability. This weight is used for putting garden parasols. a 6cm hole was drilled through the weight to make it go through the pipe.

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Then we mounted the parabol mount on to the pipe with help of hex head M12 nut, bolt and washer. We added washer as the internal diameter of the mount was 9cm and the pipe dia was 6cm.

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Then using 8 round headed M5 nut and bolts we mounted the parabol to the mount. The bolts were all painted white and the nuts were all painted red to match the colors.

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Making the Structure of Another Island

Getting the pontoon from Nieuwpoort was one thing and making an island (or dock) is another thing. As mentioned in the previous post, the idea of the island was to provide a cosy and intimate setting and not something huge. The pontoon which we got from Nieuwpoort was 8 meter x 1.7 meter, which frankly speaking is a bit difficult to handle and we needed a crane and then a form lift to maneuver it. And as it’s made using a super dense tropical wood, it’s really sturdy and heavy. We had to think hard in how to use the pontoon to its full potential.

Initially the size we decide was to be approximately 2.5 meter x 2.5 meter. But the pontoon was no where close to the dimensions. We thought that we can use the two sections of 1.7 meter x 3.4 meter to make a square, but that was too big and difficult to manage. On inspecting the pontoon further we found that there is a way to get the original dimension of 2.5m x2.5m, the underside of the deck had three long wood beams running across the lenght. If we use one section of 1.7m x 2.5m and we cut the other section into half and still use the two beams we would have a section of 0.8m x2.5m. So, finally we got something close to the 2.5m x 2.5m dimension.

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We laid down the two sections together and used oblong metal connector plates and Hex head M10 screws to bolt down the two sections. We used 5 pairs of connectors and 5 Hex bolts to connect the two sections.

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After the two sections were connected, to strengthen the platform we added transverse wooden beams using reinforced angle connector and Hex head M10 nuts and bolts.

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The structure was further reinforced using the C section metal cross from the pontoon.

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Then we flipped over the platform and sanded the side wooden beams and transverse panels and unscrewed the decking alternatively and planned them using a power planer. The planed decking was realigned and re-screwed to the wooden beams.

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We made 4 custom T Section support braces for metal cube structure by welding a square cross section tube to a 3 cm metal pipe. Two through holes were drilled to mount these braces on the decking.

Support Brace

We drilled a hole 10 cm apart from the edges in each of the corner decking. Then these deckings were unscrewed and the T section support braces were inserted through the holes and were fastened to the decking using two Hex head M10 bolts. The Decking with the braces was re-screwed to the platform.

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We started assembling the metal pipe cube structure on the side. We used 2.5m long metal tubes to make the structure. We made a square frame with a plus using metal pipe connectors which had bolts which can be fastened with an allen key.

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We put four 2.5m long metal pipes in the four braces on the corner decking.

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Using long ladders we mounted the pre-assembled metal square frame on the four pipes and using a mallet we drove the pipes in the connectors on the square frame and fastened it using an allen key.

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The next part was the most scariest part during the build. We had to lift the entire platform with the metal cube structure and put it on top of the floater. As we couldn’t just slide the fork lift under the platform and then put it on top of the floater. We clamped the decking of the platform to the forks and then maneuvered it on top of the floater. The platform is heavy and to do it in this was really nerve wrecking. The platform was bolted to the floater using angle connectors and Hex head M10 nuts and bolts.

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Stevan and Steven at Bolwerk really helped us a lot with moving the sections and bigger bits of the island and also with the fork lift. And because of some really heavy duty tools in Bolwerk, we were able to put the structure of the island together. Planing and sanding of the decking and side was one of the most physically demanding thing we did. At one point of time it was difficult to push the wood through the planer as it was really dense, we didn’t have the energy left to do it. But somehow we managed to do it.

You can see some of the timelapse of the various stages on our instagram handle.

This is how the basic structure of Another Island was done. There are a few final details to be added. More on the island in the coming posts.

Making for the Real World: Harshali’s Laser-cut QuickAccess Storage Unit

Harshali

Harshali is an enthusiastically inquisitive designer. The way the world works and its intricacies fascinate her and she wants to contribute to its betterment in a meaningful way.  She believes in the collective power of people and that people are the ultimate source of knowledge, and books are the best companions. Writing is her fondest way of expression, Link to her blog. Harshali wanted to make a Lasercut Modular Storage Unit for the Recreational Space which was being set up in the studio. Everyone had to share their objects in the form of an Instructable. Harshali’s insturctable got featured as well, which means that the documentation was done in a very precise and easy to understand way, supplemented by a lot of images, sketches and dimensional diagrams. Detailed information about the storage units can be found at Harshali’s Featured Instructable. This is what she has to say about the objects she made.


With every new approach to design that I try, I am left feeling like the oblivious, fresh out of high school child that I was before I got into NID.

What if we all started making everything we use? 
With designs and instructions available on the internet, one could be empowered to make absolutely anything! In that case, the role of product designers would be to simplify the process of making for everyone and demystify everyday objects such that they are easily makeable.

Keeping this in mind, I set out to make a storage unit which was modular, easy, and aesthetic. One that was fun to make and would fit in any given space.
I wanted to keep it simple, such that it could be a project taken up by anyone without any help- and yet keep the process engaging.

Selection of material- MDF- was on the basis of lightness and durability. The joinery- interlocked nodes- allowed ease of assembly. Documentation was the most important part of the whole process- it wasn’t just about getting to the final product, but about the audience being able to understand how to make it. Compilation of all the images and text was quite a task, but the excitement of sharing with the web kept me going. Publishing the instructable gave a sense of completion to the project.

F4H86QXJ6QQQ8PG.ANIMATED.MEDIUM

All in all, Making for The Real World was a wonderful exercise that got one thinking about an alternate approach to design.

Kudos to Sahil and Praveen for having made this workshop possible.


Working on this with Harshali was fun, initially we had spend some amount of time to figure out the detailing of the ways to join two modules but once that was figured out, the making was easy. I see a smart designer in the making, who will fit well in design advocacy and education.

 

Making for the Real World: Archana’s Multi-functional Space Dividers

Archana

Archana Valecha is a super talented chilled designer who is into solar cooking, music, collage art and a lot of interesting conversations. She wanted to make a Multi-functional space divider for the Recreational Space which was being set up in the studio. Everyone had to share their objects in the form of an Instructable. And the one Archana wrote got featured as well, which means that the documentation was done in a very precise and easy to understand way, supplemented by a lot of images, sketches and dimensional diagrams. Detailed information about the divider can be found at Archana’s Featured Instructable. This is what she has to say about the objects she made.


The need for the space dividers was simply to create a space within a space, a demarcation. A sort of enclosure which would give the sub space a different feel. Since these space dividers were for a semi formal work space I wanted them to have a professional feel, still not letting go of the element of fun.

The use of panels for my design simply helped in blending this sub space into the larger space as it wasn’t a complete block out from what was outside of the sub space. It would let some amount of information and light pass through when inside the sub space. The use of panels also gave the design a feel of lightness which would otherwise not come across if an entire opaque material was used. the pop colours used was purely to introduce a fun element, a visual stimulant.

Multi functionality came with the fact that the dividers could not only be used to demarcate but could also be used to do other things like putting up of sheets, posit notes and other little bits on the white panels, one of which is a magnetic board. This feature gave the dividers an interactive element.

The making of these dividers was a new experience for me as I had never worked on such a large scale before. It also gave me a chance to get my hands on some new materials and understand the way they behave. The design turned out the way it is because of the underlying thought that it could be replicated by anyone at any corner of the world. Sharing to let the idea grow further was an interesting takeaway from the course.


Working on this with Archana was super fun and meaningful. I see an amazing designer in the making, who cares about people and things at a deeper level and is dedicated to the core.

Making for the Real World: Recreational Space

A team of 8 product designer started ideating on a recreational space which they could setup in the product design studio (or anywhere else). After a few hours of questioning the needs of the space, we started looking at the objects which were required in this space. And emphasis was laid on the fact that all of the objects made should be simple and easy to replicate. There were few objects which we came up with:

  • Storage
  • Space Dividers
  • Floor Seating
  • Chairs/Stools for using when ideating in space
  • Table
  • Lighting (Artificial/Natural)

The next phase was to figure out the materials, color and finish. And all this was to be done keeping in the mind that at the end of making the objects would share the same design language. Some of the materials which we shortlisted to work with were:

  • Fabric
  • Ropes
  • Wood
  • Metal Channels/Sheets
  • MDF/Plywood
  • Leather/Rexine
  • Foam

After this shortlisting we started looking at various objects for inspiration and created a common moodboard for the group with various details, material finish, colors, geometry. And eventually we realized that the 8 of them wanted to create geometric objects. Objects were democratically assigned to everyone and finally we had 8 objects

  • Aniket: Stool
  • Archana: Multi functional Space Divider
  • Binayak: Table for 3 People
  • Shubrajit: Natural Light Controller
  • Harshali: Storage/Organizer
  • Shilpa: Floor Seating
  • Vyoma: Divider/Display Unit

Once the objects were known the ideation started and all of them came up with various concepts and a display and discussion was done on each and every idea and eventually a few approaches were picked up and they begun the phase of making detailed sketches and started thinking about the material, making processes, colors, finishes etc.

After having a certain level of clarity about the objects, materials were procured from the local market and hence began their journey towards making their objects. While making, all of them came across something new (processes, techniques, materials, systems). Some of them employed traditional methods, some of them used digital fabrication tools.

These 8 guys were brilliant and it was an enriching experience working with them. Being with them was being back to the school again when I was 17. I’ll be posting their individual work and their instructables in the coming posts.

 

From a Student to a Visiting Faculty

Change is the end result of all true learning.

It’s been almost four years since I took a leap of faith and arrived in Ahmedabad and jumped into the relatively unknown and under-appreciated realms of design. National Institute of Design has been my home for these past four years. I came here to unlearn and relearn and also to look at the world which at times I felt was to superficial. I’ve spent a considerable amount of my student time at NID in the place we called KMC (Knowledge Management Center, Yeah the name is a bit wacko!) and read some crazy nice stuff a list of which is available on the book list blog post, and I was fortunate enough to have come across and having interacted with some of them most humble and creative people from across the globe. People like Praveen Nahar, Shujoy Chakraborty, Vikram Singh Parmar have been really great mentors and I gained a lot from whatever time I spent with them. 

I owe a lot to two of my friends, Swapnil Vibhute and Tanisha Vernekar for being part of the Systems Design course I did with them. This single module had been a transcendental experience and something which has defined my work in the past two years.

One of the most important thing I figured out in the last two years is that there is so much power in open and collective sense making. As Christopher McCandless said “Happiness is only real when shared.”. So, is knowledge, information and resources. These things are meant to be shared and not kept captive by a few. When the entire world is starving, hording doesn’t do any good.

Studying at NID has been a very hands on, mind on, senses on experience, it is like a long drive along the hills or a beach, you come across such beautiful and life enriching things. A lot changed in me as a person on this crazy ride, I became more appreciative of the little things and realized that in the end everything comes down to making sense of the world around you and fostering relationships which are lifelong. The time at NID as a student was really meaningful as a lot of people contributed positively to it and the entire idea of working with open source systems, collaborative and personalized making had run deep within my value system. I wanted to share the same experience with others.

After convocating I’ve been thinking of doing some small workshop on getting people introduced to ideas of my thesis “Design Democracy and Tinkering”. So, I sent a workshop brief to Praveen and he was kind enough to let me take a module with the 7th semester Product Design students. The basic idea of this module “Making for the Real World” was to get them introduced to concepts like open source, digital fabrication, redistributed manufacturing, technology, DIY & maker culture, sustainability and the most important thing of documentation of work and publication. I also made a manifesto on the same principles and can be read on this link.

We tried to run an intense studio for a span of 8 days and everyone is making a real life objects and not renders. I was a mere facilitator in the process and working with the students was a really fun and enriching experience for me (and hopeful for them as well!). The course is official over, we are still in the process of making the objects. We’ll soon be sharing the workshop details and the outcome.

 

Sonic Architect SA/CDA-250 Amplifier

Amplifier is the heart and brain of an audio system. In the past I have been using amplifiers which were sourced either from USA or China. The quality of amplifiers from both the places is exceptional. But there were a few logistical and economical issues. It takes around 4-5 weeks for the amplifiers to reach and then because I make very limited number of systems I don’t have an importers custom ID. So, a lot of time the amplifiers are stuck in customs and take another 3-4 weeks for processing. I found a vendor who sells and sometimes stocks the amplifiers I was using but the downside is that they turn out to be too expensive.

I wanted to use something which was built locally (Made in India) as it saves a lot of shipping time, cost and fuel. I came across an OEM for making custom made amplifiers. I had already decided on the specifications of the amplifier, and there were a couple of option for the chipset. As I’ve built a considerable number of systems, I went ahead with a Class D amplifier setup which gives a clean sound with exceptional efficiency. These boards use the same chipset as the ones which I was getting from USA and China. The boards have been branded as well as this is an OEM product.

I was facing the problem of mounting the amplifiers from USA and China as they had the volume potentiometers soldered to the board, so placement and accessibility was a problem. The custom made amplifiers which I have, the volume potentiometer and 3.5mm aux jack are connected to the board using ribbon wires. This makes the placement, access and replacement of the board very easy. Board can be kept at one place and the potentiometer and AUX can be kept wherever is the control panel.

 

 

Specifications of the SA/CDA-250 board are

  • 50 Watt Per Channel Power
  • 20Hz – 20KHz Frequency Response0
  • 4 – 8 Ohm Impedence
  • Bluetooth 4.1 aptX Connectivity
  • 3.5mm Auxiliary Input
  • Taiwan Volume Taper Potentiometer
  • 12-24 Volt Voltage Supply
  • 2A-4A Current Supply (Preferably 2A)

 

Sonic Architect Marconi: Behind the scene

Marconi is handmade using Pine and Teak wood. The process is as:

  1. Cutting the components on to approximate dimension using a paper template glued to wood. Cutting done using a bandsaw or jigsaw.
  2. Sanding the components to the proper dimension using the template lines as guides.
    Sanding the Grill
  3. Gluing the four enclosure panels together using 90 degree clamps. Fevicol is used.
    Clamps
  4. Centerpunching the holes on the grill using a 1mm centerpunch and mallet.
    Centre Punching the Grill
  5. Drilling the holes on a drill press using a 6mm drill bit.
    Drilling the Grill
  6. Countersinking the drilled holes using a 10mm 90 degree bit.
    Countersinking the Grill
  7. Drilling holes in the enclosures sides using a 3mm drill for putting dowels.
    Drilling Dowel holes
  8. Gluing the 3mm dowels using Fevicol.
    Gluing Dowels
  9. Making volume knob by using 30mm circular cutter. Gluing a 2mm thick teak wood panel on the knob to cover the drilled hole from one side.
    Knobs
  10. Drilling two 15mm holes on the back panel and then using jigsaw cutting out a capsule shape. Sanding the edges for a smooth transition.
  11. Chamfering the capsule shaped cutout using a 45 degree chamfer bit on router. Sanding the chamfered edges.
  12. Sanding the dowels to make it flush with the rest of the wood.
    Enclosure with Dowel
  13. Lasercutting the back plate to make space for a switch, charging and charge status.
  14. Staining grill, battery plate, knobs and handle using oil stainer.
  15. Soldering the switch, charging board connections and mounting them on the back plate.
    Back Plate
  16. Mounting the back plate on back panel.
    Back Panel with Plate
  17. Hot gluing the speaker to the speaker mounting plate. And soldering wires.
  18. Gluing the speaker mounting plate on the enclosure.
    Speakers mounted on the Enclosure
  19. Soldering the connections on FM receiver. Mounting the receive on the front panel.
  20. Fitting the knobs
  21. Gluing the Grill and front panel on the front edges of the enclosure.
  22. Mounting the battery on the enclosure and testing the electronics and the acoustics.
  23. Gluing the back panel and battery panel edge to edge.
  24. Gluing screw plates on the enclosure sides.
  25. Drilling holes in the back panels and countersinking them
  26. Screwing the back panels using powder coated dry wall screw.
  27. Mounting the handle using 5mm dowel.
  28. Sanding the entire speaker with 320 grit sandpaper.
  29. Finishing using linseed oil.

Marconi is ready to bring back the childhood memories of radio.

Why I started making Watercolor Illustrations?

Since I was a kid I was fascinated with watercolors and for some reason I could never control the way they worked. Maybe it was because of the tiny hands trying too hard to be perfect or because eventually as I grew up I had a problem which makes my hands tremble. I became afraid of using the medium which had this attribute of entropy in it. I could use sketch pens, markers and pencils easily as they still had some control.

So, what exactly changed after so many years of fear?

As I got more time to work on things in a very hands on, physical, tangible way; I started exploring various materials, techniques, process, tools in making things. The entire mindset of getting into making things rather than looking at them in tutorials and thinking one day I’ll do it made the difference. I was no longer thinking about the entropy which came with any sort of tools. I learnt something new with every mistake I made.

And one more thing which was important was that I set goals which were achievable and then once I could get past them, I’ll set a new one which would be complex in varied ways. It could be using the same technique with a different tool, it could be using the same tool in a different way or it could be employing a process in a setting where I had never used it before. And all this re-observing and re-learning lead to the belief that I could venture into getting started with watercolors which I wanted since I was a kid.

I started making small cards which were 8cmx9cm to begin with. And I didn’t try some really fancy technique or handwork. I just started by making rectangular blocks of watercolors, sometimes mixing two or even three of them, I saw a lot of YouTube videos. They really helped me to get the basic and the physicality of the process. I would use these colored cards and do hand lettering on them. Pinterest came to the rescuse. I found some of the most beautifully done hand lettering there. In between I’ll do some on my own as well. And also because I wanted to make these cards for someone I really liked, so I was in a way putting my heart and soul into it.

Eventually I ended up making a lot of these cards and giving it to a lot of people as a token of love, gratitude and care.

From the 8cmx9cm cards I moved on the A5 size notebook. I wanted to try out the same technique of merging colors as I wanted to have a certain sort of mastery in it. I again made hand lettered pages. And all this I was trying on cartridge sheet or ivory which is really not meant for watercolors. These sheets will get all crinkled because of water and I’ll just iron them out. I still had the fear of using a good quality sheet.

And recently I thought that it’s time to use watercolor sheets and make complex forms than hand lettering. I started looking at complex forms which I have been fascinated (themes like space travel, animals, life in passing, movies I like) on Pinterest and Google. Found some crazy good stuff specially the animal series by Kerby Rosanes. I took out black and white printouts of the illustrations I liked and after getting the delivery of watercolor sheets I headed down to the giant lightbox at NID. I started tracing the illustrations using Pigma Micron fineliners. And soon I had a bunch of them which I wanted to watercolor on. As I had learnt color merging it became easy for me to color the illustrated sheets. The hand was still the same but the mindset had changed, so I was fine with making mistakes and during this entire process beginning from the small cards I sort of had found ways to rectify the mistakes. I’ve become better at handling the material, tools, technique and I think I’ve improved a bit in illustration and sketching as well.

My current setup is

  • Brustro 200gsm Cold Press Artists’ Water Color Paper
  • Camel Artists’ Water Color Cakes 18 Shades 300 – C -18
  • Sakura Koi Water Brushpen Medium
  • Chinese Water Brushpen Large
  • 50mm Flat Synthetic Bristle Brush
  • Technical Art Mechanical Pencil 2.0mm
  • Grafo Mech-Pencil Lead 2.0mm
  • Jinhao Ink Pen
  • Pilot V7 0.7mm Pen
  • Pilot V Sign Pen
  • Pigma Micron 005 01 02 03 05 08 Fine Liner
  • Pigma Brush Pen
  • Uniball Signo 0.7mm White Gel Pen
  • Oddy Correction Pen
  • Staedtler Rubber Eraser

Watercolor Setup

Some of the channels I follow on YouTube