Desert islands and duct tape in the art gallery

Standing in the doorway of the upstairs art gallery in the Upper School classroom building, one is met by the startling vision of an enormous cardboard igloo.

For the last four weeks, this architecture has come together in front of our eyes. Caroline Jahrling ’14 and Rose Maalouf ’14 have been creating structures that would be possible to build if one were stranded on an island with only duct tape and cardboard.

The project was assigned by Mr. Michael Frassinelli for the Advanced Architecture course. The only criterion was that the buildings must be large enough to stand in. Mr. Frassinelli described this project as challenging the students to create architecture that is both “primitive and modern.” He said that, on a basic level, the project “also asks the students to consider the fact that people actually live in cardboard boxes, teaching them how to be sustainable.”

The project began with Caroline Jahrling and Rose Maalouf each choosing an inspiration for their design. Jahrling chose a pinecone and Maalouf an apostrophe. They were both intrigued by natural curves and forms and wanted their piece to portray that interest. Their basic sketching developed into three-dimensional prototypes, which were then scaled up to the enormous structures now on display.

Mr. Frassinelli and Maalouf have been working together throughout her high school career. Jahrling took Architecture 1 when she was a sophomore and has now moved on to the advanced class.

The formal opening of the exhibit is on Friday, October 11, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. The original sketches and the scaled models will be displayed for one day only.

Photo: The Advanced Architecture students have built structures using only cardboard and duct tape. Photo credit: Salma Al-Sulaiman.

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