One To Many – Annotated Bibliography

Assignment 5: One to many, Major Studio 1

Collaborators: Feiou Su, Gunjan Raheja, Priyal Parikh, Raha Ghassemi

Professor: Anezka Sebek

Class: Major Studio I

Date: 10/19/2015

Assignment: One Topic, Many Projects

Topic: Superstitions

What causes people to believe in superstitions?

Diaz, Junot. 2007. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Riverhead Books.

Precedence showing the idea of how superstition shows up in cultures dealing with a lot of strife. Dominicans in this books often believe in something called “fuku” which is basically bad luck put on a family during the reign of the dictator, Trujillo.

Durkheim, Emile. 1912. The elementary forms of religious life. 1st ed.Oxford Paperbacks.

A sociologist who believed Sir James Frazer’s ideas on the difference between magic and religion needed to include the social functions of each. He said that objects and activities within each culture can be separated into the “sacred” and the “profane”, and that magical things can also be sacred. He stated that religion serves the group while magic serves the individual since there is no need for a community.

Evans-Pritchard, E.E. 1937. Witchcraft,Magic and Oracles among the Azande. Oxford :

       Clarendon Press

E.E. Evans-Pritchard is an anthropologist lived during 1902-1973. He was considered one of the fathers of social anthropology. This book is about his research and observation towards the Azande group in Sudan, Africa. Mainly focused on their social activities related to magical belief and rituals. He also uncovered several different reactions in the Azande group towards Warcraft and witches, including blame, discovering and frightening. This book researched on the lives in a primitive tribe that had strong superstitions involved in their lives, it is a reference on how superstition affect people in the simpler society structure. Which helps us to know all the basics of superstition, only after that we can keep our research going on and put in our discovery in the modern society.

Frazer, James (1915) [1911]. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (3rd ed.).    

        London: Macmillan.

James Frazer is a founding father of modern anthropology. He was very influential in the early stages of studies considering mythology and superstitions. The piece of reference documented and detailed many different superstitions and magical customs and rituals from many places. In his theory, human belief has 3 stages: primitive magic, religion and science, step by step. I don’t really think change of human belief is a simple model as that, but it is good to see.

Hirani, Rajkumar. 2014. “PK“.

Rajkumar Hirani is an Indian director, screenwriter and film editor. He is best known for his films “3 idiots” and “PK”. The film tells the story of an alien who comes to earth, and questions religious dogmas and superstitions. He has won 11 filmfare awards. PK was the first Indian film to gross $100 million dollars worldwide.

Hirst, Damien Steven. 2007. Superstition.

Damien Hirst is an English artist, entrepreneur and art collector. Some of his first works based on kaleidoscopic designs of a butterfly were included in an exhibition “Superstition”. His works were named twice, once after his own allusions of spirituality and religious iconography and the second after references to the poetry of Philip Larkin. His work is a precedence to depiction of superstition in art.

Horton, Robin. 1967. “African traditional thought and western science: Part I. From

    tradition to science“. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 37 (1): 50–71.

    Horton, Robin (1967). “African traditional thought and western science: Part II. The

   ‘closed’ and ‘open’ predicaments”.Africa: Journal of the International African Institute            

    37 (2): 155–87.

Horton is an English anthropologist notable for his comparative methodology and scientific approach towards studies of religions. The books compares the primitive tribes in Africa and the western countries in beliefs and religions. Analyzed how people react and due with certain things in this two highly different cultures and from the result found similarities within superstition beliefs and scientific ones. He argued that superstitions and science are the sons of same parents, which are the willingness to uncover and understand complex incidents in their lives.

Hutson, Matthew. 2012. “The Seven Law of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep  

Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane “. Hudson Street Press.

Hutson Matthew is a journalist in NYC. He specialized in cognitive neuroscience and psychological science writing, always studying human behavior for more than 30 years. In this book, his idea is that we as human beings are always asking ourselves the reason why we are here and why we are exist so that we believe in magical thinking. He says people tend to link anecdote or accident with certain other thing to explain coincidence. He also discussed how these kind of thoughts are helpful in human everyday life. People need the magical thinking, he argues, because they need to use that to comfort their minds with coincidence and lack of control of their own lives.  

Jahoda, Gustav. 1969. The psychology of superstition. Vol. 158. Oxford, England: Penguin


Gustav Jahoda is a Viennese psychologist born in 1920, focusing on cross-cultural psychology. He studied sociology and psychology at London University, and in 1952 he took up a post at a university in present-day Ghana. Although the book is 46 years old now, the findings in psychology and anthropology are supposedly still informative. This was a good foundation and a good place to start to truly understand what has led to Superstitions and the thought processes behind them.

Jung, C. G. 1969. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, 2nd ed., trans. by R.F.C.

Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969, p. 4.

C. G. Jung was a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. His work has been influential in philosophy, anthropology, archeology, literature and religious studies. His book is an insight on many of his key concepts like personal and collective unconsciousness wherein he explores the evolutionary and cultural factors that impact personal development. He rejects the Freudian theory of subconscious and says that personal unconscious is at the brink of conscious where an individual collects all his supressed or forgotten memories that impact his self-efficacy.

Keinan, Giora. The Effects of Stress and Desire for Control on Superstitious Behavior. Pers Soc

Psychol Bull January 2002 vol. 28 no. 1 102-108. doi: 10.1177/0146167202281009

Prof. Giora Keinan served as Chief Psychologist of the Navy and the Head of the Diagnostic Branch in the IDF and is now a faculty member of Psychology at Tel Aviv University. His fields of interest include stress and cognition, stress management, personality assessment and clinical interview. The main purpose of his study was to test that the frequency of magical thinking and superstitious behavior increases under conditions of stress. His study then concluded the reason for such behavior corresponds to people’s desire for control which they seem to lose during stressful conditions.

Kripke, Eric. 2005. Supernatural.

Eric Kripke is a writer and producer, best known for the TV series “Supernatural”, “Boogeyman” and “Revolution”. Supernatural is a TV series about two brothers fight evil supernatural beings on earth with biblical references forming the crux of the story. This show of interest because it uses religious ideals and superstitions to show how it would be if they were to exist.

Landis, Denise. 2011. Scarecrow Doxie.

Denise Landis has an MA in art therapy. As an artist, she focuses on pointillism. Her artwork Scarecrow Doxie is a part of the exhibition “Artists of the Superstitions Studio Tour”. Her artwork is an example of how regularly believed superstitions can be converted into art pieces/

Lindeman, Marjaana. 2007. Superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs: An integrative

model. Journal of Research in Personality vol. 41 no. 4. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2006.06.009

Marjaana Lindeman is a professor at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences in the University of Helsinki with a PhD in cognitive psychology and differential psychology. The aim of the study was to develop a framework which differentiates these concepts from other unfounded beliefs and defined identically as a confusion of core knowledge about physical, psychological and biological phenomenon. the study ended justifying the present conceptualization of superstitious, magical and paranormal beliefs and offered new theoretical propositions for everyday beliefs which are poorly understood scientifically.

Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1925. Magic, science, and religion: And other essays, ed. Waveland

Pr Inc.

After fieldwork from 1914-1918 among the Trobriand Islanders in New Guinea, Bronislaw found that societies with magic combine those rituals with scientific knowledge. Separate realms used for the same end. He found that magic only shows up when a pursuit is uncertain and beyond the control of scientific methods.

Mercado, Ale. Born under a bad sign.

Precedence in art showing a man explaining his bad luck as being due to the circumstances of his birth. This is an example of using superstition as an explanation for misfortunes and problems.

Padgett, Vernon R. and Jorgenson, Dale O. 1982. Superstition and economic threat:       

Germany, 1918-1940. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 8 (4): 736.

This journal article my two psychologists based in California outlines a study done to show the correlation between superstitions and economic threats. After recognizing an increase in the number of articles on astrology, mysticism, and cults that appeared in German periodicals at the same time that wages had gone down and unemployment had gone up, they concluded that superstition increases as environmental uncertainty increases. Other examples given in this article that prove the same idea include the 1665 London plague, as well as the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s.

Shweder, Richard A. 1977. “Likeness and likelihood in everyday thought: Magical thinking

in judgments about personality”. Current Anthropology 18 (4): 637–58 (637). doi:10.1086/201974.

Shweder crosses his field between anthropology and psychology. He is a figure in American cultural anthropology and psychology researchers. In his book, he normalized superstitions into magical thinking, and he argued that it is a universal disinclination that everyone keeps doing by relating their experience to some unrelated cues. His theory is that magical thinking is a characteristic of everyone’s everyday thought which is correlation and contingency that cannot be found in human reasoning.

Sherman, Michael. 1997. “Why People Believe Weird Things : Pseudoscience, Superstitions

and other confusions of our time”. Oxford University Press, USA.

Michael Sherman is an American Science writer and historian of Science. In his Book, he explains how one comes to believe in things without evidence. He explains how people deceive themselves, in their pursuit to layout their beliefs. Two of his main reasons of why people believe weird things are Ignorance and Immediate Gratification.

Thomas, Keith. 1971. Religion and the decline of magic. Oxford University Press.

A historian who disagreed with Malinowski’s notion that magic starts where scientific knowledge ends. This means that magic is defeated by progress, which he found to be untrue. Instead magic is defeated and replaced why a popular psyche involving new aspiration and a spirit of self-reliance in a society.

Vyse, Stuart. 1997. “Believing in Magic : The Psychology of Superstition“. Oxford

University Press, USA.

Stuart Vyse is a psychologist and a writer. His book won the William James Book award of the American Psychological Association. In his book, he explains how superstitions are common among people of all occupations. He investigates our tendency towards these irrational beliefs. He explains that Superstitions are the natural result of several psychological processes, including human sensitivity to coincidence, coping with uncertainty and need for control.

Wonder, Stevie. 1972. Superstition. Tamla.

Precedence in music exploring the definition of superstition and Stevie Wonder’s ideas on it’s negative impact on people.


Instruction Sets For Strangers – Iteration

Assignment 4: Instruction Sets For Strangers, Major Studio 1

Group Members: Eliza Bruce, Priyal Parikh, Miyeon Kim

Figure 1: The church in 1925.

Figure 1: The church in 1925.

Figure 2: The church yard in 1852.

Figure 2: The church yard in 1852.

We decided to observe and intervene at a small part at the intersection of 10th street and 2nd ave in East Village. The address is 131 East 10th street, abutting St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. Unbeknownst to us at the time of site-selection, this little park packed a great deal of New York City history. The church itself is the oldest site of continuous worship in New York City. The construction of the first chapel in this location dates back to the 1600’s under the governance of Petrus Stuyvesant. The current church structure we see today was built from 1795 to 1799.

Figure 3: Our map of the park.

Figure 3: Our map of the park.

Figure 4: The church is commissioned under the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the park is named after Abe Lebewohl.

Figure 4: The church is commissioned under the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the park is named after Abe Lebewohl.

Taking into account the rich history of the space, we set out to observe the park, taking note of who passed by, through, and stopped in the park. Given how small our space is (New York City Parks measures it as 0.16 acres, or 6969.6 square feet), and how relatively unknown, we did not have the benefit of well-documented architectural plans. Therefore, we relied on our own replications of the space based on our time spent in it, and how large we knew it was from Google maps. With knowledge of the space and its history, we recorded qualitative observations: how long people stayed in the park on the benches, how often people passed through, what activities they engaged in while they were there. We found that the park was primarily situated between two very busy streets for foot traffic, 10th street and 2nd avenue, while the pedestrian walkway, Stuyvesant Street (against the church wall), served mostly as a thoroughfare for residents familiar with the triangular shortcut. This tendency for people to walk around the park, but rarely enter it, falls within the definition of a “special land,” as outlined by urban planning journalist Jane Jacobs in her 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. At our park, as in a special land, there is a prevalent boundary that passersby tend not to cross on an ordinary day, as they are often local residents who are less likely to carefully observe the space.

In terms of interaction, there is very little between those sitting in the park and those walking. Marked by restaurants on 2nd Ave and residential complexes on 10th street, this area is not as equipped for they type of visitor who would come to stay a very long time. The lack of interaction and foot traffic through the park are also naturally maximized by the “fixed” design of the space, and its architecture and landscaping. The park is lined by substantial trees and benches that face inward, as pictured in the map above. It is also lined on the church side by a tall, uninviting iron fence with a ledge just small enough that it cannot be used as a seat. Instead, park visitors tend to use the space alone on phones, walking by, or briefly sitting with known company. As a result, we thought it’d be best to use our instruction sets to maximize these social interactions in the hopes of encouraging passersby to walk into the park and take note of it, and to speak to strangers.


In order to create interactions and communications between strangers, we looked at several options with and without use of technology. Our initial focus was on creating an interaction using lights controlled by motion sensors. However, we were unsure of the extent of interaction that would create as it would not have been as extensive and interactive as some of the precedents we saw. Thus, we began the process of finding something more interactive that we would also not be limited to use at night. That is when we came across the option of life-size games. Life-size games have multiple social benefits:

  • Engages in interpersonal activities, unlike staring at computer screens or smartphones
  • Promotes brain exercise while learning something new
  • Improves social skills
  • Teaches patience and sportsmanship
  • Develops ability of risk-taking
  • Creates curiosity and unleashes imagination


Figure 5: Precedents of successful life-sized human board games.

Figure 5: Precedents of successful life-sized human board games.

In our case, life-size games were the most attractive idea because they could allow us to communicate our intervention without speaking to park-goers and passersby, but also non-textually. We felt it should be noted that we had a misunderstanding of the assignment at this point; we were under the impression that we were required to not talk to any of our participants, but were to provide an actual written instruction set. Therefore, we printed up a board with the instructions to “sift through the bag to pull out and lay down one letter at a time.” However, given the design precedents, and the universal recognition of both Scrabble and Bananagrams, we’re confident that we could have had the same rate of success without written instructions. It should also be noted that our instructions were universally ignored – all participants laid down more than one letter, and most laid down more than one word. As such, our instructions were redundant – participants ultimately played in the way they were most familiar.

process2  process3  process1

On the day of our actual testing, a Sunday afternoon in late September, we came to our site to find there were few people sitting on the benches, and few people passing by. The general demography and foot traffic at this time is common for weekends throughout almost the entire day, as well as weekday afternoons and evenings in the summer. The particular day we chose to test was a very interesting seasonal product of both groups and individuals walking, given the lovely weather, as many people do during the summer, and football fans, as nearby bars host many Sunday football viewings in the fall.


We began by putting up our instruction board next to the bags of letter tiles, but soon after decided instead to dump out all the letters so they could be laid out and each letter sifted through much more easily. This move ultimately made the game look a lot more authentic and somewhat preposterously large, as a supersized board game would in real life. We also laid out one letter each to get the game going. These two decisions were probably the most effective non-textual probes that we provided – when people see those tiles, and the unmistakable crossword-style layout, they know exactly which game they were to play.

Figure 6: Our positions throughout the park

Figure 6: Our positions throughout the park

From here, we decided to separate and observe our participants from different angles. Miyeon sat on the closest bench with camera and record the whole process, and Eliza and Priyal were mobile, but mostly Eliza hide behind the tree besides the church, and Priyal sat on the other bench to observe and record the number of participants. Our setup can be seen in Figure 6 above.

Here is the video of our process and iteration in the park:

From 3:30pm to 4pm, we barely drew attention. So we, very slowly, decided to put more words to make the puzzle bigger. While we were putting down some other words, one old man who was sitting on the bench from the beginning came and expressed interest. He read the instructions carefully and chose a few letters to finish what we had already lain down, and created the word ‘GLOW.’ His participation drew a few more looks from passersby on 10th street and 2nd avenue. Initially, still, some people came through the park, but they would stop and read the instructions, and didn’t participate. Most of these people who read the instructions and didn’t play were alone.

There were couple of people participated from 4pm to 4:20pm. People who were sitting on the bench since the first time started to interact with people who pass by, ask them to join the game or talk to them about words other people made.

Around 4:40, we started to get more attention from diverse range of people, such as old couples, students, group of friends, kids and so on. And what’s so interesting about it was that even person who’s alone tried to join the game when many people are around. And since group of people tried to talk to each other, person alone also was better able to blend in with the crowd. Especially with the inward-facing benches, we figured that people walking by alone didn’t want to feel so on-display while they were participating, but anyone who was in a couply or a small group didn’t feel quite as self-conscious. Finally we ended up our observation at 5pm, with 53 different words.

As a final observation, total 279 people viewed and 21 people actually participated the game. We observed a number of interactions with strangers, especially among young and old, and participants and observers, but most importantly we increased the foot traffic to the middle of the park, as seen in the figures. Thus, we achieved the goals we set out to reach, successfully breaking the constructed boundaries of the park.


Figure 7: Flow of people through park as a result of our design intervention.

Figure 8: Race/ethnicity of the site by Census Block 2010. Source: Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center.

Figure 8: Race/ethnicity of the site by Census Block 2010. Source: Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center.

Here are also some charts outlining our results:



Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center. “Zoomable Map.” Accessed October 4, 2015,

Fernandes, Andréa, January 24, 2012 (7:34pm), “26 Life-Size Versions of Popular Board Games,”

Gallegos, Demetria, January 4, 2014 (9:08pm), “How Family Games Taught Our Kids Many Skills,”

Google Maps.

Jacobs, Jane. The Life and Death of Great American Cities. New York: Random House LLC, 1961.

“Marilyn Appleberg: 2012 Village Award Winner.” May 24, 2012.

New York City Parks. “Abe Lebewohl Park.”

Robin, Winter. November 7, 2013. “Surprise! What NYC’s Former Cemeteries Are Now.”

Staroversky, Ivan. February 23, 2015, “The Benefits Of Playing Board Games,”

Wikipedia. Last modified July 20, 2015, “St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.”

Jane Jacobs – The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Assignment 4: Instruction Sets For Strangers, Major Studio 1

Title: The Death And Life of American Cities

Author: Jane Jacobs

Collaborators: Eliza Bruce, Miyeon Kim and Priyal Parikh

Professor: Anezka Sebek

Class: Major Studio 1

Review of Chapters 13 to 16:


Part 3 of The Death and Life of American Cities, entitled “Forces of Decline and Regeneration,” deals with the cycle of success and failure, or “slumming and unslumming,” in American cities.

In the first chapter of this section, Jacobs details the “self-destruction of diversity” that occurs as a result of a successful city. Starting in neighborhoods, each city witnesses the success of certain businesses, and, as investors observe these trends, money is poured into similar businesses. The resulting competition drives out the less affluent and smaller scale business owners, and replaces them with more of the same type of storefront. As a result, not only are some neighborhoods oversaturated with one or two types of businesses, but also other neighborhoods are thus deprived of profitable businesses. The distribution of affluent residents follows a similar pattern, and the result is clusters of residents with small ranges of incomes in each neighborhood. Jacobs outlines this “fad” cycle by describing her neighborhood, on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village.

It started out as a “nondescript street (244),” until Charles Abrams, one of the principle property owners, built a small night club and movie theater on the street. As they became popular and successful, they changed the activity of the neighborhood, bringing in more people during nights and weekends, which added growth to the area in the form of special shops. These shops brought even more people, during the day and evening, and thus a variety of new and interesting restaurants. As the restaurants were the most profitable per square foot of enterprises on the street, restaurants bought out these unique shops and nightclubs and varied use storefronts until the area no longer had a diverse lineup of businesses.

From Eighth Street down, the men are earning it.

From Eighth Street up, the women are spending it.

That is the manner of this great town,

From Eighth Street up and Eighth Street down.

With this quote in the first chapter, she lays the plot for the chapter 14 titled “The curse of border vacuums”. In this chapter, she explains how massive elements like railways, parks, hospital grounds, university campuses, etc. create boundaries around them. They divide cities into pieces. These boundaries eventually create a vacuum around these spaces limiting people either within the boundaries or outside them. These boundaries have active physical and functional effects on their neighbors. The negative impact can be seen immediately next to the boundaries, as these spaces usually tend to grow inwards.

There are many examples of such vacuums. These include Central Park, Lower East Side and Morningside Heights. Sometimes people and media add to this vacuum; as was the case with Lower East Side. She describes how a crime in Lower East Side reduced its value and human interaction due to the excess media attention that particular crime received. She calls such spaces special lands as people walk around their perimeter but not through them. On the other hand, a general land is described as a space with regular circulation of people. These general lands are supposed to be most attractive areas and are not usually adjoining the massive single elements. Thus, she suggests increases interactions between inner and outer areas of these elements to reduce vacuums creating by boundaries of these spaces.

In chapter 15, Mrs. Jacobs is talking about why some slums stay slums and other slums regenerate themselves even against financial and official opposition. Thus, she titles it “Unslumming and slumming”.

According to Mrs. Jacobs, slums operate as vicious circles. A slum is usually caused by population instability; i.e. when people move in and out too quickly, slums have low population. Slums tend to spread and spreading slums require greater amounts of public money. So the Urban Renewal planned a project to stop slums by replacing them, but they failed. This is because replacing them does not overcome problems that created these slums in the first place.

She proposed that unslumming could happen only when dwellers take an interest in improving area. People should make slum dwellers desire to stay and develop neighborhoods instead of unlumming slum. To make it clearer and better, diversity is the key to unslumming, such as business growth or economic developments. Moreover, respecting them, and understanding their history will be an important key to help them.

Finally in chapter 16 “Gradual money and cataclysmic money”, Mrs. Jacobs discusses money as a factor of decline and regeneration. Specifically, three kinds of investment: (1) conventional, nongovernmental, lended credit, (2) governmental money (by taxes or government borrowing power) and (3) “shadow world” money, made and spent illegally. All three types of money are responsible for what Jacobs refers to as “cataclysmic” changes in cities. This cataclysmic change, as opposed to gradual change, is not natural or stable. Decay is linked to these forms of investment through a cycle, beginning with the withdrawal of conventional money. From there, the area is run by shadow money, as it dips into despair.  Then, planners eventually select the area as a candidate for cataclysmic government money for clearance and renewal. This last step does not encourage mixed use, and continues to destroy diversity.

Mrs. Jacobs, through this section, outlines four forces of decline for a city: (1) successful diversity as a self-destructive factor, (2) deadening influence of massive single elements, (3) population instability as an obstacle to diversity growth and (4) effects of public and private money. However, she does not stop at simply defining the problems. She also points out solutions to each problem: (1) diverse lineup of businesses to avoid self-destruction of diversity, (2) increased interactions between the outer and inner areas of massive single elements, (3) solving problems leading to slums rather than unslumming them and (4) creating a balance between general and cataclysmic money in areas.

Pao de Acucar

Assignment 3: 7x7, Major Studio 1

Last but not the least is the seventh natural wonder, the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. The harbor was discovered in 1502, when Portugese explorer Goncalo Coelho and his crew arrived at the harbor thinking it to be an entrance to an enormous river. So they named it ‘Rio de Janeiro’ or ‘January River’. But it was actually a harbor, surrounded by huge, oddly-shaped mountains with a lopsided peak of a bare granite standing more than 1000m tall. The Portugese called it ‘Pao de Acucar’ or ‘sugarloaf’.

Since the Pao de Acucar is older than the statue of Christ the Redeemer, I decided to make it the base for my work.


To recreate a feel of the same, I came up with the options of painting it on a canvas, using origami to create something similar or create the effect of granite on paper and fold it into a cone. But to try something new, I took up origami.

So after a lot of research and videos, I understood how to make 3D triangles in origami.


And after creating a few mountains of multiple sizes, I set them up against blue paper that I used to create a feel of the ocean and the sky. I even cut out a small section of yellow paper to show the little township at the base of the mountains.


The large white cone resembles the Pao de Acucar. I kept it in a distinct shade to differentiate it from the rest of the mountain range. And in this manner, I had my very own prototype of the Rio harbor.


  • ‘The Harbor At Rio De Janeiro’, accessed Sept 9 2015,
  • ‘Make An Origami Pyramid’, accessed Sept 9 2015,


A World In Itself – Victoria Falls

Assignment 3: 7x7, Major Studio 1

Victoria Falls, located at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa, is considered the largest waterfall in the world. It is the only waterfall to be more than a kilometer in length and more than a hundred meters in height. The falls can be seen from almost 50 feet away and can be heard from almost 40 feet away. The mist rises almost 400 meters high. The locals, in earlier days, had a sacral fear about the falls and would not dare go close to it. When the falls were discovered by Scottish missionary David Livingstone, he was so awestruck by the view, he said even angels must be admiring it while flying.

Seeing this photo of Victoria Falls felt like it had an entire world enclosed within itself, a sacred world of magic.


A lot of religions around the world use the concept of mandalas to symbolize a microcosm of the universe. In this microcosm, I used symbols of the magic circle to depict the mysticism of this view. The two concepts are closely intertwined in terms of their symbols, colors and illustrative outlays.


After sketching out my whole idea, I moved to step 1 of prototyping.

So the first step was to create an outline combining the two together.


The outline had to then be overlayed onto the image of the waterfall and combined the two using clipping mask. Then some color was added to add to the mysticism. The waterfall is a faint background to the mandala showing how it is part of a bigger world and still has so much to itself that is not seen by the world. The angels are there viewing it from another realm and brewing magic somewhere in it, but it is not visible to us.



  • ‘Victoria Falls’, accessed Sept 8 2015,
  • ‘Magic Circle’, accessed Sept 8 2015,
  • ‘Mandala’, accessed Sept 8 2015,
  • ‘Victoria Falls’, accessed Sept 8 2015,

The Birth of a Volcano!

Assignment 3: 7x7, Major Studio 1

The next wonder on my list is the Paricutin Volcano, located in Michoacon, Mexico. It is considered one of the wonders as it is the youngest volcano to form in the Northern Hemisphere, being fully documented by modern science.

The origin of the volcano began with a small crack in the ground and rumbling sounds. The crack the grew into a fissure and the fissure began gaining height and turning into hot soil. It was at a height of about 6 feet, when it first emitted fumes and smell of sulphur.


Since it’s inception was in a cornfield, I decided to go with food for the volcano. A chocolate cake seemed most suitable for the base since it gives an earthen look.


The best way to create the smoke without dry ice is ideally to use vinegar and baking soda. But I did not want to spoil the cake, so went with testing the theory of mentos and soda.


The first attempt to show the birth of the volcano was using Ginger ale as the soda. That created only a small fizz.

So the second attempt was using Coke and mentos. A small amount of coke with 3 mentos was sufficient to create the effect of rising volcano.


  • ‘Paricutin’, accessed Sept 7 2015,
  • ‘Paricutin Volcano Facts’, accessed Sept 7 2015,