Concave / Convex , Serial Planes

Concept: To design an organic form made from a series of planes encompassing concave and convex qualities.

Course competencies covered:

-principles of design including unity/variety, balance (symmetrical and asymmetrical)l, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and positive and negative relationships within a three dimensional space.
-Manipulate and fabricate a variety of materials.
-Communicate issues of critical thinking skills through the creation of artworks and participation in the formal critique process.

Artists to research:


Part I:

Begin by cutting up (15) 3 x 3 inch squares of foam board. Make an organic template out of chip board and use this as a guide to cut the foam board. Try applying a gradual change of shape to each plane. Keep your planes in order (mark them with A1, A2, B1, B2 and so on). labeling each plane will allow you to experiment with several design solutions (you can sand off the numbers when you have committed to a final design. Once you have committed to a design, carefully glue your forms together.

Part II:

Make a larger version of your design using (30) 8" to 12" inch squares . You may use different measurements If you arrived to a specific design solution in Part I that calls for more planes or longer shapes (most likely this will be the case).

Things to consider:

consider applying concave / convex concepts to all areas of your form

Be aware of forms that exist around you that could influence your design (for example, a bath tub)


Self critique check list:

Does my design possess and emphasize concave / convex qualities?

Does my design use serial planes well to achieve volume?

Is my Design interesting from all points of view?

Does my craftsmanship distract the viewer from appreciating the formal qualities?

Did my design evolve and improve throughout the design process?

Does my design feel finished and complete?

Does my design feel like a model or a finished piece or both?

Have I researched and applied outside sources to influence my design?




- Alene's Tacky Glue
-Foam Core (3-5 pieces)
-Rulers (T-square may help)
-X-acto knife
-Box Cutter (utility knife)
-Sand paper (400 grit)
-Chip Board (for template)
-H4 or any hard pencil


Below represents standard: Foam Core or Foam Board (you can purchase a matte surface or a sheen surface)

20 x 30 inches, 3/16th to 3/8th thickness, white, foam board

Elmer's Foam Board

Staples's Foam Board


Influential sources










Below is a furniture design made out of serial planes































Consider using architecture as a source of inspiration





Consider drawing out ideas using geometric forms, and then later transforming to organic forms.



Consider functional forms that possess concave and convex qualities.