Using form to communicate complex ideas
The challenge: create a large three dimensional piece using simple materials and tools (plywood,one color of paint, and a jig saw ) in order to communicate a personal statement.
Every semester for ten years, every art student at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design has received this challenge in Jeremy Waak's foundation year 3D Design class.
According to Professor Waak, Foundation Department Chair, the goal of the project, the semester's final project, is to use form alone to communicate by manipulating the material to address their subject matter. The class is part of PCA&D's Foundation curriculum, taken by all BFA students from all majors, during their first year,
Through these sculptures, this semester's class was able to portray issues of health, illness, and loss, as well as make statements about their individual identity, experiences, and political concerns.
Waak said that this project is great preparation for after school. Once they graduate they probably won't have access to the facilities available at PCA&D. This project shows the students that they can be creative in the way they solve the making of things; that can can still be ambitious despite limited resources.
Before making the sculptures, students presented a proposal about their subject matter, which then is used to guide their work. On the last day of class for the semester, the student presented their work and critiqued it, discussing the technical elements of the project and their success in communicating their subject matter..
Below is the Fall 2015 Semester's 3D Design class and their tab and slot sculptures