Cardboard: Mis-Using Packaging
This is Michael Parker’s first term at SOU working as an Assistant Professor in Sculpture for Oregon Center for the Arts. Parker started off the term with a creative cardboard project. The project idea is for students to take found cardboard and make a non-representative sculpture that is larger than themselves in only 2 weeks. The cardboard comes from the SOU Recycling center as well as boxes from Parker’s move. Parker explains how cardboard is this simple material, yet it is material that has turned into units that has changed our world.
Linking this project with sustainability, Parker explains how using this material that has been taken out of the waste stream gives the students an opportunity to think and question about what kind of world we live in; to articulate complex contradictions. Students are gaining a personal understanding by taking the cardboard out of its intended use and giving it this “higher purpose.”
Although the cardboard will eventually be put back into the waste stream, Parker wanted the students to give the cardboard love and create a story with it. Sometimes wasted materials do not have to be about where they are ending up, but rather, be a thought experiment.