Project Example: Planar Cardboard Human

AD 160: Physical Structures

Project Example: Planar Cardboard Human

Title of Project

Planar Cardboard Human

Methods and Concepts

Space: 2D/3D, gravity, weight, volume, balance, tension, torsion, equilibrium
volumetric interpretation


Form, shape, volume, balance, texture, gradient, figure-ground, shape, direction, orientation, proportion


Construct a volumetric sculpture that alludes to the human figure through the placement and connection of rectangular solids made of corrugated cardboard. Transform the surface with an attention to texture.


Corrugated cardboard; cutting tools (xacto knife, box cutter); straight edge; adhesive; texturing materials such as scrapers, paint, gauze, tissue paper, textured papers, sandpaper

Physical processes

1. Select a pose based on the human figure.
2. Create a series of thumbnail sketches based on the figure but fragmenting the figure into rectangular shapes.
3. Using only rectangles, create the form of the figure using corrugated cardboard, adhesive, and notched fastening. Clean edges are required.
4. Transform the surface of the cardboard with attention to texture. This is more than just painting the cardboard, which is primarily changing figure-ground and/or color. Texture includes the tactile qualities – make the sculpture rough, smooth, or perhaps both.

Critique approach

Descriptive critique – describe the work using 4 vocabulary words from the project. Does the form have coherence in shape and texture (or deliberate incoherence)? Can the form and texture have an emotional quality? What element in the form is least successful?

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