Pre-Media Technology student wins First Place in cardboard as art competition

Student Karen West wins National Corrugated as Art Competition with a life-size concert harp made completely out of corrugated cardboard.
Graphic Design student Karen West

Graphic Design student Karen West

Second-year Pre-Media Technology student Karen West put in over 40 hours designing and producing a full-sized concert harp, standing five to six feet tall. What’s more impressive? The harp is made completely out of cardboard. And her hard work recently paid off.

The Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) named West the First Place winner in the Corrugated as Art category of the 2016 Student Packaging Design Competition.

Along with the First Place title, West also won a $500 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to Orlando, Florida, to attend the AICC/TAPPI SuperCorrExpo Conference in October.

Harp built by student Karen WestAICC Corrugated as Art Competition

The annual AICC Student Packaging Design Competition honors the best student designs entered in three distinct categories. This year’s Corrugated as Art category asked students to design a musical instrument of their choosing and build it completely out of corrugated cardboard. The final product needed to be one-of-a-kind and not commercially reproducible.

By entering into the competition, students have the opportunity to showcase their talent and creativity to corrugated packaging and display professionals from around the world.

Harp, deconstructedWest designs and builds life-size harp

West used ArtiosCAD to design each piece of the harp individually. West then cut the pieces on the College’s Esko Kongsberg V20 CAD cutting table and assembled them by hand to form the harp.

To figure out proportions and how the harp should be put together, West started with a 6-inch model and scaled up for size. Each week, for three weeks, she built a new harp a size larger than the last.

Karen West with the full-sized concert harp made from corrugated cardboard.

Karen West with the full-sized concert harp made from corrugated cardboard.

“I learned that it’s a good idea to do steps,” West said. “There are certain things you can’t do because of size. So each week, not only was I blowing it up and adjusting it, I was also adding more to it. It was a great learning process.”

West was also happy to participate in the competition because it gave her hands-on experience that she can take with her after she graduates in spring 2017.

“This competition gave me a glimpse at what’s out there in industry,” West said. “It was cool to see just how creative I could get with only corrugated cardboard.”

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department.