Shadow Sculptures

Shadows can be used to both create depth and add dramatic effect to an area of a building or to create an interesting pattern on the floor/wall which will draw the viewer closer. Many architects use shadows to transform a simple room into a piece of art. In this activity, learn how to make a simple structure which is pleasing to look at with the lights on or off.

Step by Step

Step 1:

Use your guillotine or scissors to cut your paper into strips of varying widths and lengths (use the long side of a piece of A4 paper and make them between 1cm-4cm wide)

Step 2:

Begin rolling your strips of paper into different shapes. Check out the tips below:

1) wrap a piece of paper around a round object to get a perfect curl

2) wrap a thin piece of paper (around 1cm wide) around a thin object such as a pencil and continue at an angle to get the continuous loop

Step 3:

Now start experimenting with folding your strips of paper in differents ways!

To do it like the pictures below, keep on folding a piece of paper by around 1cm-2cm

Step 4:

On a larger piece of paper begin gluing the strips of paper down in any design you like.

Step 5:

Turn off the lights, place your creation in front of a blank wall, grab your phone torch, and start creating interesting shadows by moving it around your sculpture. Ask a family member to help hold the torch still so you can photograph the shadows.

Message from the activity’s creator Jack Loudon:

Please share your fantastic work by tagging me on Instagram @jrlarchitecture or sending me an email and I will share all of your hard work. I am currently creating a website ( launching shortly, where we will feature two new articles every week all written by other architecture students, graduates and full-time architects. Who knows; maybe even some of your projects will be featured!

I hope you all had as good a time making these shadow sculptures as I did and I can’t wait to see all of your projects. If you need any help then please contact me and remember to stay safe and have fun!

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