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Please note that the Sustained Investigation and the Range of Approaches sections below are from two different students’ portfolios.  

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. Cardboard is widely considered and misconceived to be a disposable and weak material proving this false idea wrong, I present an exploration of structural form through the use of collected cardboard items.
  2. In my concentration I wanted to demonstrate structural forms, and the strength cardboard can have. Through most of my work I have a common theme arches; arches are a strong structural form that uses the weight of the arch and compression in order to utilize weight distribution and be able to maximize strength. In images 1, and 2 you can see the completed arch i made first, the cardboard was not stressed in the slightest. I made the cardboard sphere is image 3 because I wanted to see if the cardboard could handle the shape, and if the arch could handle the added weight. As seen in images 6, and 7 i used pencil's and zip-ties to hold the cardboard boxes to each other, this also doubled as an easy way to transport and store my work because it allowed the boxes to fold and be compressed in size as seen in images 4 and 5. Expanding upon my arch I added a second arch running perpendicular to the first before adding the sphere which hung from the middle as seen in images 8, 9, and 10. The final images 11, and 12 are are the most important images in the portfolio as it shows my work finished, as it was selected and displayed for a month in a museum for a senior art show.

Rationale for Score

  • The topic, an exploration of structural form through the use of collected cardboard, and the work presented are closely related.
  • Some clear decision making and discovery are evident in the investigation of the topic as is evident in the hidden structural connections (images 6 and 7); some variations of stacking the boxes (images 4 and 5); and the move from single arch (images 1 and 2) to two crossing arches from which a large cardboard sphere is suspended (images 8 through 12).
  • The sustained investigation demonstrates some originality and some innovative thinking, such as the use of simple materials: zip ties, spring clips, and pencils to connect readymade boxes to form the arches (images 6 and 7).
  • Overall, the understanding and application of 3-D design principles is good. It appears that images 1 through 7 are intended to show the process used to build the final form; documentation of earlier investigation or discoveries that led to building the arches and the sphere may might have helped show more growth.
  • Some transformation is noticeable; some growth is evident.
  • Artistic voice is discernible in the engineering of the arches and sphere, yet the vision seems to stop there.
  • The work demonstrates good technical competence (engineering two crossing arches) and use of materials and media (cardboard, pencils, spring clips, and zip ties).

Rationale for Score

  • The work shows a good application of 3-D design principles (repetition, balance, and unity) to an acceptable range of design problems (occupied/unoccupied space, subtractive processes, casting, and fabrication), demonstrated in images 2a-2b, 6a-6b, and 8a-8b.
  • The work demonstrates some originality, some innovative thinking, and purposeful manipulation of the elements (line, form, and light) and principles of 3- D design (repetition, balance, and contrast), demonstrated in images 2a-
  • 2b and 6a-6b.
  • The work shows a variety of intentions or approaches (fabrications, casting, and subtraction), although not all are successfully articulated through the use of material, craft, and exploration of three-dimensional space; examples include images 1a-1b, 3a-3b, and 5a-5b.
  • Some of the work has evocative or engaging qualities (demonstrated in images 6a-6b and 7a-7b), though confidence in exploring 3-D space is not apparent in images 1a-1b or 3a-3b.
  • The work demonstrates good technical competence and use of materials and media (plaster, glass, soapstone, nylon and wire); technical aspects and articulation of ideas do not always work together as in images 1a-1b, 3a-3b, and 5a-5b.