Creative Community Recycling

The local Green Building Council sponsored a high school design competition to construct an object using only recycled and recyclable materials. The structure could be made of cardboard but the exterior had to be covered with sheets of recycled paper. Our girls chose to recreate an optical illusion designed by Markus Raetz that reads as YES from one direction and NO from another. A Minecraft YouTube showing the illusion in 3D allowed the girls to build the letter-forms in modeling clay. They enlarged the models three times to create poster board patterns. It was easy to score, bend, trim and tape the poster board into the required shapes to create the illusion.

On the day of the competition everything had to be constructed on site. Because patterns were allowed the girls transferred the poster board patterns to large sheets of recycled corrugated cardboard. While some girls where cutting and folding letter-forms others were decorating the bases for the letter-forms. They covered recycled packing boxes with colorful scraps from the art room scrap box and a local architect’s drawings. The letter-forms were taped to the bases and wrapped Ace bandage style with strips of black and white paper printed from the architect and a local engineer. The result was unique, visually interesting and the illusion worked. There is already interest in next year’s competition and great ideas for again using paper and cardboard three-dimensionally.

Does your school do something similar?

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