Topographic Modeling Project


Topographic cardboard construction

To recreate an ordinary, everyday, utilitarian, or possibly manufactured object out of cardboard. The intent is to take the object out of its original context in material, use, and location. How does this transform the original identity of the object? Can an object have duel identities in separate disciplines? This project will initiate discussion of the age old question, “what is art?” and the relationship of form vs. function.

Everyday found cardboard
-Ruler / Straight edge for marking and cutting straight lines and scoring
-Wood Glue
-Razor knife
-Object(s) of choice

Select an ordinary object(s). Consider choosing an object(s) that encompasses formal sculptural qualities. This can also referred to as a readymade: The term found art—more commonly found object (French: objet trouvé) or readymade—describes art created from the undisguised, but often modified, use of objects that are not normally considered art, often because they already have a mundane, utilitarian function. Marcel Duchamp was the originator of this in the early 20th-century. Study your object(s) and using a topographic method for modeling, model your form by cutting out layers of cardboard. Imagine the object sliced into several horizontal or vertical pieces. These pieces you will glue together to recreate the whole. Approaches and methods will be discussed in class. The size of your object will be discussed on an individual basis. The size and use of your object will dictate the medium you use. For example, if you recreate a small form you may consider using foam core as opposed to cardboard.


-Follow concept of project? Does your work conceptually stimulate the viewer?
- Intelligent and crafty use of medium(s). Ability to recreate / model the form.
-Originality, problem solving, developed idea
-Walking in the round, level of interest from all points of view. Consider picking an object that encompasses sculptural qualities.
-Does the project seem complete, developed/evolved, and well executed?




Below are examples of abstract organic forms created by several layers of cardboard




Below is a representational form constructed with the same approach as above.



Below represents water-like motion by layering similar to a topographic approach.



Again, you can see the several layers of wood glued together then cut and sanded into an abstracted figurative form.


Below, is not a topographical approach completely, but notice the untraditional subject matter.





Marcel Duchamp




Below are Marcel Duchamp's "Readymades"











Claes Oldenburg

































Jeff Koons






















































Helpful Links:

Alex Dodge
Claus Oldenburg
Frank Gehry