We are about to get into the heart of the Finding Home project: building model homes. We wanted the heart of this project be hands-on art making, and we wanted the activity to be challenging, exciting, and fun for the youth. So, for a project about home, we decided that building homes out of cardboard would fit those goals.
We started by thinking about how to design a home. We looked at examples that focused on Baltimore specific types of homes that the youth could relate to, but we did also show some more extravagant examples of architecture. We wanted the youth to go deep into their imaginations to come up with a house structure that they really loved and wanted to build. However, building a home out of cardboard isn't always easy, so we showed some examples of cardboard homes to help show some of the limitations of working with cardboard.
Next, the youth drew sketches of the house that they wanted to build. They added details about decoration that won't come into play until later in the design process. Most importantly, they all had foundation of their structures figured out. Then, we dove straight into the building process. We demonstrated certain techniques in working with cardboard, like how to make a corner and effective ways to attach two pieces together. While there had been some reticence about the project during the planning phase, the first day of building was probably one our most focused day of programming all year. The youth were super focused on getting the base and foundation of their structure sturdy. They improvised and problem solved together to figure it out. Overall, it was awesome to see how the youth really enjoyed working with their hands to make the homes. Check out some process pictures below.