Creating a Cardboard City at the College

November 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

At the end of the academic year, when exams are finally over, the Middle School students at each year level enjoy a series of rewarding activities that include physical and mental challenges, along with an element of service to others. All Year 10 face the ultimate challenge at Field Centre but for those still at College, Home Centre provides a host of other experiences designed to develop communication, team work, problem solving, trust and strategy.

This year, the most talked about activity has been the ‘mystery’ art intensive taking place in the Jack Paine Centre. Year 8 student, Hannah Williams reports: ‘We had been told nothing about what we were doing in our ‘Art Intensive’ apart from being told that we were going to love it. When we arrived in the JPC, the floor was covered in red tape which outlined streets and roads. After being ushered to sit down, we were told that we were to make a ‘brown city.’ Puzzled, everyone listened closely. We were to make giant buildings, purely out of cardboard, tape and string. There was to be no other colour apart from brown, which meant that detail was key. After pairing up, we hastily got to work. With cardboard flying around the room, music pounding in our ears and ideas bursting out of our brains, our structures began to take form. By the end of the day, although our fingers, brains and vocals chords were sore, our buildings were complete. Finally, we placed our intricate structures on the floor. It was such an achievement to really see the city take shape. No matter how well they turned out, everyone enjoyed their day, and were thoroughly proud of their creation.’

The students had been given the word, ‘contour’ as an idea starter. The creativity that emerged from a flat sheet of corrugated card over the course of a single day was quite remarkable. So addictive was the task that a number of students carried on right through their break times, so determined were they to see their ideas come to fruition. From true to life, replica buildings to wildly imaginative ‘Seuss’ type structures, the city landscape took form. The verdict from the students was the day was ‘awesome!’

The idea was inspired by ‘Caine’s Arcade.’ Caine Monroy, a nine year old American spent his summer vacation building an elaborate DIY cardboard game arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store and asked people to play. The entire summer went by and Caine had yet to have a single customer, until one day a filmmaker named Nirvan Mullick stopped to buy a door handle for his car and became Caine’s first customer. What happened next was magic as the world of social media brought customers in their droves. The response was to launch a global movement ‘to foster imagination and creativity in kids everywhere!’ To date, Mullick’s film clip has received over 7 million hits! 

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