Some not-so-typical chairs have been on display in the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Center for Innovative Learning . What set these particular chairs apart from other stools, computer chairs, and cushioned seats in the CIL is that these works of art were made from cardboard. 

The Cardboard Chair Project was done in Heather Sincavage’s Design Foundations II class. Fifteen people made chairs entirely of cardboard. As part of the assignment, each chair had to hold a 150-pound person. Extra credit was given to those who did not use adhesive.

Dylan Ouellette's chair was among 15 created during a Design Foundations class taught by UMPI professor Heather Sincavage and recently received a "best of" distinction by UMPI Director of Library Services Roger Getz. Pictured with the chair are, from left, Getz, Sincavage, and Ouellette.

Sincavage, UMPI Assistant Professor of Fine Art, says the point of the project was student exploration of serial planes or platonic solids as design components. A serial plane is a series of layers which lay upon one another to create a step affect. A platonic solid is a regular, convex polyhedron.

Students were also asked to incorporate use and environment into their designs. They were each asked to create a reading chair for a specific spot in the Center for Innovative Learning and to consider how they like to read, where they like to read in the center, and how the chair reflects the environment of the CIL.

Director of Library Services Roger Getz selected five chairs for display in their intended locations. The chairs were created by Amanda Whitten, AJ Naffziger Mullane, Daria Wozmak, Dylan Michaud, and Dylan Ouellette.

After about three weeks of display, a "best of" chair was selected. The winner, sturdy enough to stand on, was made by Dylan Ouellette. His chair, on second-floor display beside a large window, used serial planes and no adhesive. It also had book storage spaces built into the design.

University of Maine at Presque Isle student Dylan Ouellette created this chair completely out of cardboard--made of serial planes, this chair is sturdy enough that a grown person could stand on it.

Getz says the Center for Innovative Learning is always excited when teaming up with classes and programs to highlight the students' talent. He says these chairs were far beyond his expectations.


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