Adit Kaushik
7 min readJul 13, 2020


This blog showcases an outline of my work from the course NATURE AND FORM.

As my subject i chose Naja naja (Indian cobra).This being has always fascinated me for multiple reasons.

work from the first half of this course

july 13, 2020

Due to the gap that had occurred after the previous half of the course it was important for us to revisit our subject and study it again in its most natural form.

This i tried laying emphasis on its postures and movements.

A swimming cobra- simply shows how the slender body form and sub division of movements throughout the body help it move and give a direction too.

breaking movement patterns of the cobra into geomentry

Its interesting how the form of the cobra gets manipulated for different purposes.

Understanding form features and ABSTRACTION.

For a long time now i have had various questions about what abstraction really is !

from the different perceptions i have been observing from various sources, it moreover seems like almost everyone views abstraction differently.

I started off with some key attributes of the cobra -

1.) The Hood posture

The most distinguishing feature of the cobra, its trademark.

the cobra-ness is retained maximum when it is in this posture which is why i decided to study its form in this particular posture.

The cobra’s hood is created by many elongated ribs that are capable of extending the looser skin on the neck outwards. The cobra rises up on the forward portion of its body and flattens its neck, spreading out this skin on the ribs to create what appears to be a hood. Cobras do this whenever they are disturbed or feel that they are in danger. By doing so they can make themselves look larger than they really are and potentially unnerve a predator or foe.

  • the hood creates an illusion of space and volume.
dividing the hood into planes and volumes

From here I took an approach of taking selected parts of the snake and abstracting them individually.

1.) The head

zooming in on the head region for abstraction

The initial approach here was to just divide the head into multiple solid blocks to figure structural and formal elements.

As soon as that happened, automatically it gave me directions towards abstraction because then i could easily play with radii manipulation, volume distribution and surfaces.

this also helped me to properly look at the form as a 3- dimensional object and not as just a flat form.

taking the cobra as a whole for abstraction.

By this point my abstraction was pretty much intuitive and I was also facing problem associating key attributes and features to the form.

So as suggested by one of my classmates, I tried taking different angles of the same posture and then try to abstract the form so that I could disassociate from the snake and look at it as just a form.

Hereby I took the side angle of the same open mouth hood position and abstracted it to the most basic form.

After this firstly I noticed a sense of movement and direction in the form.

further if it was to be abstracted considering the speed, gender and age and I extracted only the most necessary details of the form to retain the cobra-ness and still abstract it.-

From providing it structure and sturdy-ness ( fig 2 ) to fluidity( fig 3 ) and softness ( fig 4 ), I examined how different aspects of a form can be extracted just my selecting some elements and deleting some.

coming back to the original view-

my principle reference form posture and its view.

re- evaluating the abstraction of the form keeping in mind the manipulation of -

  • gender
  • age
  • speed
  • hardness/softness
  • and other specific attributes
examining just the head for abstraction

Abstracting the form going from-

  • sturdy, masculine and hard/rigid and STATIC{ fig 1}
  • sturdy, masculine hard but DYNAMIC. {fig 2}
  • soft, feminine and dynamic { fig 3}
  • soft, feminine and static { fig 4 }

when factors like age and hardness were kept in mind I abstracted the form as below-

{ fig 1 } comparatively older and harder.

{ fig 2 } young but hard.

{ fig 3 } old but soft

{ fig 4 } young, soft and fast

Now after the process till this point one of my key learning was that before really moving on to abstraction, the understanding of the form in its original state thoroughly is supremely important if we intend to not loose the essence of the form while abstracting.

So i went back to examine the original form and realized what factors i was missing on to.

After this , i went back to the head abstraction and tried limiting myself to a basic shape of a circle.

that gave my form a decent sense of continuity and balance.

I have been following the approach of abstracting the different part of the form separately and and then combining the abstracts again.

So here is how I looked at abstraction of the body and tail.

one of my key requirements for the end result was a heavy bottom and lower center of gravity, for more stability.

combining both the head and body in their abstract forms gave me a sense of direction towards a more stable, more balanced form.

PRODUCT features-

Initially I had thought of bringing together my research from my Design Project which was a future version of a mental health and well bieng product, a fire lamp that brings fire back in our lifestyles as an ambient room instrument which works according to the momentary mental state of the user and adjusts itself accordingly.

Simply a personal companion that provides the user with freedom to access control over their mental health and be the master of their mental peace.

the features of the product are-

  1. ) safety
  2. controlled cocoon of fire
  3. reflective surfaces
  4. user- age group- 18–30
  5. economic background of the user- affluent

while working on the product and keeping in mind the design process i realized that the development will take me another week , because a lot of factors like, ergonomics, material, aesthetics, technicalities, etc have to be be worked upon in detail.

Here is just a very initial form representation of the product i’m working on.

basic principle mechanism-

the part below the the head is the fuel chamber which can be refilled with a nozzle on the base,( similar to how refueling of a gas lighter can be done.

the gas travels through the neck and reaches the head where the opening of the fuel is present with an ignitor.

the fire seems to be floating inside the mouth cavity and with reflective surfaces inside, it creates an illusion.

also the colour of the flame and intensity can be controlled according to the user’s mood by simply controlling the fuel outlet.