Architecture has been the inspiration for many of our projects. Modern architecture is an important source of inspiration and learning for us. We find in architecture many aspects that can be explored like patterns, lines, shapes textures, building materials like glass, steel and concrete. In many instances there is a connection between architecture and nature for example the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona Spain whose interior columns look like an enormous stone forest. Another example of architecture and nature in modern times is the stadium called The Nest, located in Beijing, China.
This construction project offers young students an art experience in three dimensions with a wide range of creative possibilities. Such possibilities include individual expression, experimentation and exploration using a variety of recycled materials in combination with plaster and paint. The objective of this lesson is to create a free standing sculpture and join materials such as: plastic, wood, cardboard and metals to construct a sculpture.
The project described in this lesson focuses on Antoni Gaudi’s towers and on how the architect found ideas in nature – for examples trees, flowers, wheatears, palm leaves and herbs to create mystic symbols. However, many other ideas and artists can be explored in developing a project like this.
This lesson has been designed for young children of primary/elementary age but it can be modified to suit older students with many interesting possibilities. It involves two sessions of about 45 minutes each, assembling and painting and can be extended to three sessions which will add the drawing of the assemblages/constructions with oil crayons to create unreal landscapes.
A good point to start would be sending the list of recycled materials home to parents to donate discarded materials like old CDs, cardboard tubes, clothes pegs and more, please refer to our list of recycled materials.
Before starting the lesson, proceed to sort all the recycled materials into trays or small boxes.
The actual assemblage of recycled materials using masking tape and the application of the plaster bandages also called Mod Rock. During this session students will try to recreate the towers, by putting together materials that resemble lines, shapes, repetitions and textures.
Download the tutorial lesson for more details and procedures.
Second Session: Painting
Mix different colours and paint big areas of colour first then paint different colourful patterns in repetitions like lines, circles, dots, swirls over the big areas using a small paint brush.
Third Session: Drawing (optional)
This session involves drawing of the sculptures set up in a group in the middle of each table.
Students draw their constructions with thin willow charcoal on A3 drawing paper. They will start by drawing the constructions that they see in front, then the one on the left and then the one on the right. Finally students draw those which are located toward the back. It is important to point out to the young students overlapping and size diminution to create space.
Drawings with soft pastels
Other Ideas based on Architecture for older students
Folding Architecture: Paper construction – A great activity for Middle School students presenting many ways to explore paper construction by folding, pleating, creasing, cutting, pressing, rotating, twisting and piercing craft paper to create different spaces.
Tectonics: the skeleton of buildings – Construction inspired on the Nest Stadium in Beijing China.
Participating Art Teacher Blogs:
- Art Class Curator
- Art Ed Guru
- Art is Basic
- Art Room Blog
- Art with Mr. E
- Arte a Scoula
- Artful Artsy Amy
- Brava Art Press
- Capitol of Creativity
- Create Art with ME
- Mr. Calvert’s Art Room Happenings
- Mrs. Boudreaux’s Amazing Art Room
- Mrs. T’s Art Room
- Party in the Art Room
- shine brite zamorano
- Tales from the Traveling Art Teacher
- There’s a Dragon in my Art Room