Now that I had an adjective, a noun, and a handful of rough hand sketches, it was time for me to start working through some concepts in 3D, so I started up SpaceClaim.
In my hand sketches, I had found a few things that I really thought conveyed a sense of “imposing,” so these were my first targets. I tried exploring the idea of using the exposed speakers themselves as “lidless eyes” with limited success:
I then went back to the idea of something sweeping upward and outward, getting something like this:
At this point, I felt it was better to simplify, and distill the design down to fewer elements. This project was done for a “Design Form” class after all, so I figured I should make something more focused. So I broke the design down to one sweeping wave form carrying the two speaker elements:
Feeling that I was getting somewhere, I tried reinforcing the notion of top-heaviness by reversing the two speakers, this time placing the woofer on top of the tweeter:
I really liked where this was going now, and took some time to set up a mock-up environment. I built models of my computer and desk, and used these as references to set the scale of the speakers. I then sent the whole mock-up into my renderer to see what things looked like a bit more realistically than in SpaceClaim.
At this point, it made sense to start building in some detail to my model. I knew I was going to have to make a physical model as well, so that placed some constraints upon how exaggerated the model could be.
I decided to start with the things that would be most difficult to make in real life, the speakers. Having some experience with the modeling foam we were using, I thought I would rather avoid having to make smooth and symmetric speaker cones. Instead of making them myself, I found some cheap car audio parts online; as an added perk, they provided 2D detailed drawings. It was easy to create these real-world speakers in my model. Again, the focus was on these speakers being very prominent and in your face.
It quickly became apparent that I needed to make the entire model larger; these speakers were a bit larger than the initial mock-up. I removed the grill feature on the top, and started fine tuning the design. I made all of the walls a bit bigger and sharper, giving me this:
I didn’t like how the speaker cones were jutting out from the base, so I extruded a cylinder straight back from both the woofer and tweeter. The tweeter now intersected the side walls of the “wave,” but I actually liked how that detail ended up looking.
After adding in a few rounds and some simple cabling off the back, I felt things were wrapping up nicely. However, seeing the speaker by itself doesn’t quite give a great idea of its scale, so it was time to head back to the desk mock-up:
Things looked good to me, so I made up few more renders:
At long last, the only thing left to do was build the model. I’ll cover the build next.