De-/Reconstruction of Geometrical Forms

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  • Title: De-/Reconstruction of Geometrical Forms
  • Author(s): Mithra Zahedi
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Design Principles & Practices
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Designed Objects
  • Keywords: Design Pedagogy, Learning-by-Doing, Three-Dimensional, Constructions, Reflexive Practice, Spatial Geometry
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2325-1379 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1395 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Zahedi, Mithra . 2017. "De-/Reconstruction of Geometrical Forms." The International Journal of Designed Objects 11 (4): 1-10. doi:10.18848/2325-1379/CGP/v11i04/1-10.
  • Extent: 10 pages


A course on spatial geometry has long been a requirement of first-year students studying Industrial Design. However, given the aptitude of today’s students to operate 3D modelling software, teaching spatial geometry as has been traditionally done seems increasingly less relevant. An experimental method based on learning-by-doing has been developed to help students acquire understanding of three-dimensional objects. A principal activity is based on: study of the spatial geometry of familiar objects (bottles) through observation, analysis, and deconstruction to reveal their visual vocabularies; and consideration of these visual vocabularies to reconstruct new objects three times larger in scale than the originals (to disassociate their initial functions). This method has been applied the past three years (2012–15), involving sixty-five to seventy students each year. The learning process takes fourteen full days over seven weeks. Students use freehand drawing and apply model-making techniques with basic materials. Through trial-and-error changes in scale, students develop ability to understand objects in three-dimensional space and appreciate that design is an iterative process. Moreover, students learn about composition, structure, balance, and harmony. Focus is on the learning process of students. Research results lead to the conclusion that students express new mental constructs and develop deep sensitivity to three-dimensional forms necessary to design products.