From Fear To Form

2014 Industrial Design Senior Thesis

Matthew Lew
Mar 16, 2015 · 5 min read

I have a fear of balloons:

  1. Because they cause static electricity when rubbed upon, and
  2. Because they pop.

Of course the best way to get over your fear blow up some balloons, rub them on your head, and spray them with black aerosol cans.

Introducing Fear

And this year’s thesis word was: fear. How could fear be represented without the clichés of Halloween ghosts and ghouls? I kept thinking about the unknown — a black hole, a void.

The materials I settled on were black spray paint and white balloons. The balloon is under pressure — the boiling temperature of fear expands. Using spray paint directly relates to the medium of choice when it comes to painting prototypes. The spray paint is flat, while the balloon takes up volume. 2d sketching to 3d form.



Bold + Abstract Form.

Using spray paint for the geometric markings allowed the balloon to manipulate the visual surface of the balloon. But early on, I learned that spraypaint’s acidic chemicals eats away the plastic. My photoshoots were short-lived.

The balloon’s black shapes were made to look like camouflage, but distinct enough to add visual depth to the composition.





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So the final question: was I able to get over my fear? Let’s just say that I’ll always be willing to use balloons in my work. Just not balloon animals.

Portfolio Process

Design work from start to finish by Matthew Lew

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