American Flag Model Box

This project challenges the student to deconstruct the American flag to explore thematic connections using line, form, color, texture, space, and composition.  This project is introduced after a lengthy discussion of symbolism and how powerful symbols are within society.  This project is a week-long project that has been adapted from Paul Shortt.  It has been successfully used with beginning level design students in both the undergraduate and graduate level.  In the undergraduate course, it is a project assigned in the first third of the semester.  In the graduate level course it has been assigned at either the beginning of the semester as a “warm-up” design exercise or at the end of the semester between bigger projects to reinforce the basics of design elements and symbolism.

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Cornell Box Project

An end of the semester final project that allows the student to select one of the 7 plays/musicals discussed in class and create an assemblage/sculpture on the major themes/motifs of the selected play. The assemblage/sculpture is not titled, allowing for the class to see if they can identify the play by looking at the composition of the object. The student is discouraged from creating a defacto scenic design, rather, the purpose is to create a sculptural composition of the play they specifically selected within the “box” they have chosen/designed, as a way to think “outside the box” as it relates to design (pun intended). All objects chosen wants to have some significance. The student is also told to write a one page artist statement that is read at the end of the critique.

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