Diamond Craze

Yes, I know, it’s been a long time right? But today I finally got some inspiration about one of the things I have been totally obsessed with this spring/summer… DIAMONDS (specifically diamond art)! This craze all started with Jessie’s birthday preparation. As I was searching for a theme for her party, I discovered a diamond themed party here, (at one of my favorite blogs). While searching the internet I realized just how many fun diamond/geometric art, DIY’s, and party themes there are out there, (like this, this, and this). And I guess that’s where my love for diamonds blossomed. I’ve been itching to have another diamond themed party, maybe to celebrate the end of school. For now I’ll just share with you guys some diamond art that I am crazy about and one or two pics of how Jessie’s birthday turned out.


pPhoto Credit: one, two

From the Studio: Tokyo Protocol, Project 1

My four dear sisters:
Although I have been talking to you four girls more often than last year-it doesn’t seem to be quite enough. You guys seem so committed to C4, so I guess I’ll have to just post here to satisfy you guys! (You know I am a perfectionist and its hard to just post a ‘sketch’ of an idea).

Anyways, I wanted to share a bit From the Studio! Project One of our semester has been quite a challenge, but we got through it and I am proud of what I accomplished.

Our initial idea comes from an interpretation of nature and what it means to be in “symbiosis with nature”. Gigi and I designed an installation for this project that played with gradients and transparency to communicate the idea that you can be hidden in a number of ways and also exposed in a number of ways.

This is a mock-up model we made with tracing paper, bamboo skewers, and pieces of paper.

We decided to construct our installation with wood and fabric of varying transparencies.

The final product was quite satisfying, especially in experiencing the installation. Getting to walk inside of it and explore all of the spaces and different ambiences was really fun!

This is a diagram of how we expected it to work (which, in the end didn’t deliver in quite the way that we hoped).

I put together a booklet that explains more about where our ideas came from and some background.

Just wanted to say to each of you: I love you!!
Jessie: Wish we could share late night chats and work together on our own crazy projects.
Maddie: I need a playlist for working, miss your fun and sassy work vibes. 🙂
Rachel: 加油!我觉得现在你可以明白我的情况多一点。别忘了,我也认识你的情况(studio生活,工作很晚,什么的)不好天的时候,就给我打电话!(and practice your Chinese!)
Megan: I really miss drawing with you (It is so much more fun than drawing by myself).. wish you were around to help me out with some of my drawings!

Museum Findings

I thought you might enjoy looking through some of the snapshots I took while exploring the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History on Saturday. I especially enjoyed the exhibition detailing animals from the ice age. Its funny because some of the exhibits with fish and sea-monster-looking-dinosaurs reminded me of our days watching “Ice Age,” when Sid freaks out while walking around, alone, in ice tunnels.

The way that these creatures are displayed in skeletal form is spectacular. Five weeks into drawing classes, I am beginning to “visualize on paper” everything that I see; from plants to cars to dinosaurs. The information that is communicated by the skeleton version of these creatures is extremely helpful to an overall understanding of their form and movement.

I know the above description may be too small to read, but try to zoom in anyway… the second portion of this excerpt is very relative to the way items and scenes are captured today. So many of the photos we tumblr or draw come from every day occurrences– just think about instagram when you read this.


Depicted above, is my favorite painting from the short hour I spent walking into rooms full of art. I love the serenity illustrated through the lone ship and solo ice burg. The artist did a beautiful job depicting ice and water.

Finally, these chairs… aren’t they fascinating! Imagine a C4 studio with one large wood table in the middle, surrounded by 2 of each of these chairs… and the “scriptorium” rolled out with markers aplenty- some day maybe 🙂

Miss you all-I can’t wait until you get to come and share some of these experiences with me for real!

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens


Doesn’t this look like an entrance into the “Secret Garden?” I was walking down this path for the third time yesterday afternoon and was suddenly hit with the urge to show Megan this place. She would love it.

This botanical garden houses over seventeen separate gardens, all pertaining to a specific region or theme. Some of my favorites are the Spice and Tropical Fruits garden, the Fern garden (the moment I stepped into this area, I smelled a wonderful earthy scent, like that of a damp forest), the Desert room (succulents are, of course, my favorite), and the Butterfly garden. The Butterfly photographed in this post. Although I didn’t actually capture any butterflies or moths in any of these photos, I assure you, they were fluttering in every direction.

I can imagine Megan watching the various, brightly colored creatures dance around in this glass room. It is seriously magical.


The project that we are currently working on in Drawing class (the reason I have returned so frequently to Phipps), is essentially a plant adoption. We are to choose our favorite plant and find out everything we can about it: photograph, draw, and research. We are supposed to know this plant from the inside out. I chose the “Philodendron” from Brazil (tree pictured below). I love the texture and pattern of its trunk, and the branches are  intertwined creating a very interesting structure.


The drawing below is a synopsis of five different gardens within Phipps. We were to pick one plant from each garden and use it to represent the whole. I learned so much about simplifying my work throughout this process. Every assignment that we’ve completed so far has brought me great leaps farther in my knowledge of “design drawing.” It is such a privilege to study here, under such brilliant professors. 




I admit that this process is often extremely aggravating. Drawing isn’t a personal hobby or “enjoyable activity” for me (as you know). However, I’m thankful that I have this unique opportunity to improve and learn. Tell me what you’ve been working on recently!

Miss you guys xo!

Tianjin Memories

I’ve been back to Hong Kong for a week, and getting back into the swing of things has been difficult. Looking through my photos for this post made me miss Tianjin and remember the summer and all the adventures I had.

I remember the huge construction materials market-and dreaming about new projects.

I remember the hundred year old architecture in downtown Tianjin, where I spent times with my sisters, mom and friends.

I remember brainstorming with Jessie on her art portfolio and working in the blog office.

But I guess most of all, I remember the times I spent with my family. I miss you guys.

This post is part of my Memories Collection-revisiting places where Connecting Four really connected and explored the world together. See my Thailand Memories post here. See my Guilin Memories post here.

Pinning: An Art

Pinterest.com, the new up-and-coming social media site promising to take your reach to infinity and beyond.

Pins from Connecting Four's Pinterest Boards

When done correctly, Pinning can be a powerful tool. (Not to mention, you stumble upon some pretty amazing work. Above are compiled some of my favorite pins from our boards.)


Here are some tips on Pinning…

1. Start with just a few boards, and make them great. Don’t create thirty boards with few pins and little draw for an audience. Give yourself enough range when thinking of the board theme, so you can make sure you have enough pins. Yet, make your board specific enough to capture a viewer.

2. Stay “on topic” within your boards. Related to the first point, but just another reminder to stay within the board’s theme.

3. Make sure your board cover is representative of the board’s content. This is the first impression of the board, make sure it is something that will bring an audience to the board.

4. Be yourself. Pin what you like, that is the whole idea of pinterest. Showing yourself through your boards will make your boards unique.


Here, our Pinterest profile has just a few boards, but with specific themes (and fully populated boards).

The Learning Process and a T-Shirt

You know, this image isn’t about growing. It isn’t about changing. Nothing too deep.
This is just my attempt to make something better.
The process of refinement.
The voyage toward new possibilities.
Starting with the realization that you always have room to grow, to change, and to think deeper.

Geometric Collection – Twiggy

A few days ago I was browsing Pinterest, relaxing after a hard week of school. Lately I have been especially interested in geometric designs and patterns >> check out my Geometric Board on Pinterest! While I was scrolling through a Illustrative board I came upon a painting by Tim Biskup of a portrait composed of geometric shapes. I was so inspired by his work that I thought I’d give it a try!  I have decided to start a collection of portraits remade with geometric shapes of “Style Icons”. If you haven’t recognized her yet, this is a portrait of Leslie Hornby (Twiggy).  I really love how it turned out and I am currently working on the next piece, The Girl with a Pearl Earring.  Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

History and Theory: Design Past

Starting this new semester, we are going into a lot of History and Theory which is included in the shaping of what architecture is as a whole. Our studies have taken us from the debate of art categories-the fine arts as compared to industrial arts; all the way to the push for a violent revolt of the arts and society as a whole. In the first few lectures, we focused on what it meant to be “Modern”, and what that means for architecture.

With the start of the industrial revolution, the world moved into the modern era–but some would say this isn’t the start of the modern era. The real change that occurred what the explosion of new materials and machines that allowed for so many new and different artistic expressions and styles.

The Arts and Crafts Movement was one of the first reactions to the Modern era and its effects. The Arts and Crafts Movement hoped to return to the more handcrafted tradition of creating all utilitarian and decorative items uniquely and personally. This included highly intricate work by people-instead of machines. They created by hand their own furniture, houses, stained glass, fixtures, and even wallpaper.

Art Nouveau was the reaction to the Arts and Crafts Movement. They believed in the machine and the possibilities behind the machine. They praised engineers as artists and embraced new technologies and materials as ways to enhance their artistic expression. They started to use machines in art and created an evolved style based on these ideas.

The Futurists came soon after these two groups, in the beginning of the 1900’s-right before the First World War. They suggested that society should reject all previous styles and ideas-to move onto the next era of thought. This takeover and renewal of thought would be constant-reoccurring every ten to twenty years (in the minds of the Futurists). They imagined a new society based on the machine-and architecture which reflected this.

The Deutsche Werkbund was a group of German artists, architects, and thinkers who were set on changing Germany as a world power and bringing the culture of art and creation to the foreground of German life. They saw little distinction between architecture, art, and print. This idea started to infiltrate into industry and product design.

Image sources: Morris Grafton, Alphonse Maria Mucha, Peter Behren and Antonio Sant’Elia.