THOMAS S. EVANS

DESIGN PORTFOLIO | デザインポートフォリオ

​2019

Altars to the Sea, 2016

Altars to the Sea is a project that was completed for the first year of the Bombay Beach Biennale, an art festival held at the dilapidated town of Bombay Beach in southern California. The town is in ruins and half-deserted, and the Salton Sea - along which it was built - is an ecological disaster, poisoned with agricultural runoff and plagued with a dramatic bloom and die-off of algae and fish every year.

These "altars" were set up along the beach with no nameplate or explanation provided. Visitors were free to come to their own conclusions about the thinking behind the works.

Counter-clockwise from top, photos by: Josh Franklin, Alan Kozlowski, Tanmay Chowdhary, Thomas S. Evans

Prototype Creation game box. The box offers a printed copy of the game rules and storage for paper (within a hollow inside the diagonal beam), the rulebook, pencils and pens etc., and favorite objects. Photo by Scott Evans.

Creation [万物], 2015

Creation is a preliminary investigation into rules for a game that utilizes everyday objects as its game pieces. There is no predetermined "board," but rather a grid with alterable dimensions. Players create godlike characters. These "deities" are responsible for the creation of a new world. This is accomplished by placing outside objects into the area of play, with each deity offering interpretations of the objects that accord with their personal powers. The stories players tell about the things they do with the objects they choose form the basis of a new creation myth as the game progresses.

Creation offers an opportunity to recognize new worth in the mundane objects around us, and helps us get in touch with the deep link between the formulation of value and the creative process. The game was partially intended to be playable, but was also partially intended to be byzantine in its complexity and breadth of customizability. The original Creation is closer to design piece than accessible entertainment in this regard, but its general instructions offer a launchpad for any variety of simpler games that utilize its basic concepts.

Legend [物語], 2016

Legend is a game that maintains the core concepts of Creation and repackages them in a simpler and more straightforward ruleset. The focus in Legend is on giving players a greater sense of creative freedom by more explicitly defining interactions between gamepieces: players are free to interpret objects in any way they like, but must assign the object one of several categories. The categories define the object's gameplay function, but do not otherwise restrict freeform descriptions of how or in what way the object fulfills that function.

(Full rules and other information for Creation and Legend can be found here)

Moon Lamp, 2017 [prototype]

The Moon Lamp is an experiment in reducing packaging waste and exploring the virtues of readily available recyclable materials to create functional designs. The "base" of the lamp is its original box, into which all components can fit.

 

While a laser-cut version would be more precise in its aesthetics, the prototype demonstrates the simplicity and reproducibility of the design, avoiding complex joints. Aside from the Japanese paper used in this prototype as a shading element, anyone with some leftover cardboard, a little time, and a bulb and socket could produce their own version.

 

While the virtues of a self-packaging product are not apparent from a waste perspective when assembled independently, the design is still useful in offering a straightforward means of dissembly and transport - a feature commonly lacking in DIY cardboard lamps such as this.

Hotel: Three Inspirations from Japan, 2018 [proposal]

Hotel is a collection of hotel proposals inspired by various cultural sources from Japan. The pamphlet was created in response to a job application prompt, but as some of the proposals can be investigated on an informal basis in the preliminary stages, the pamphlet serves as an outline for future research and creation. Full research process proposals are forthcoming.

Two rubrics guided proposal development. One establishes categories for lodging types with "regulated/anarchic" and "independent/immersive" axes. The other defines the value of a new concept in more general terms, according to three criteria: the novelty of the concept, the existing interest or appeal of the concept, and its value for society. The rubric declares that if at least two of these criteria are not met, an idea is probably not worth pursuing.

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