"Two Hundred Boxes” is the result of a semester worth of work exploring the relationships between making, matter, and representation in Keefer Dunn's Fall 2018 Design Communication class. On the afternoon of December 14, 2018 the class hosted a final review of "Two Hundred Boxes" in the form of an open dialogue with peers, faculty, staff, professionals, and passerby.
Back in September, the class started with a simple proposition: if a designer can fabricate, represent, and describe a three dimensional rectangle beautifully and precisely they will be well prepared to create any kind of form. Far from being too simple, conceiving, creating, assembling, and drawing a simple rectangular figure with skill, beauty, and intelligence is a challenge fit for the best designers. Students were challenged to articulate the particular qualities of materials, shapes, compositions, and processes, in reference to a given and familiar form - the rectangle.
The class was conceptualized as design in reverse - starting with the stuff and ending with notional representations of spaces and things. Students produced twenty 2”x3”x5” rectangles at the beginning of the semester, before proceeding to draw selections of these boxes using typical design drawing techniques, then unpacking how they might be aestheticized by photoshopping the objects into art works from the Art Institute museum, and finally imagining a box as a model of a building, an interior space, and a designed object.
The two hundred boxes and over three hundred drawings were created by Cheok Chun Chong, Veronica Franzen, Nandini Kothari, Yael Munoz, Sarie Nohara, Pierre Pi, Sarah Sinclair, Camie Tyler, Jordan Vela, and Yifei Wu.