Personal Aesthetic & Main Project

It is no secret that I am a very sentimental person, as the clothes I wear and even some of the tattoos I have represent shows/video games that I enjoyed as a child. Things like walking past my freshman dorm or having my “last first day” as a college student always emit some kind of emotional response, and I don’t think I’ll be changing that part of me anytime soon. 

So when it came to my final project, I thought it would be fitting to build a cardboard ferris wheel, with the aesthetic being nostalgia. Now, I understand that nostalgia is a very general term that could be applied in many different contexts and project. However, I want to make this project a bit more personal since it will be displayed in my home. The cabins that usually hold people will be replaced with some of my favorite photos from my youth. I grew up in a suburb a bit west of Chicago called Downers Grove, and I have been moving from place to place since my junior year of high school. I learned to swim in a pool that’s now since been paved over, joined a Girl Scout troop that has been disbanded, and so many more fond memories that I can no longer experience in my hometown. Granted, there are still many great things about Downers Grove that are still around, but being 1,000 miles from home still gets me a little homesick from time to time. 

The Ferris wheel itself also adds to the nostalgia factor, since Downers Grove would hold a little fair every summer complete with rides, food, face-painting, and other carnivalesque things. Not to mention the Navy Pier Ferris wheel, which is an iconic part of its skyline. 

I plan to use a lot of cardboard, a 9-volt battery, some simple circuitry, and paper-printed photos for the full assembly. The cardboard can be acquired from the multiple amazon boxes that come to my door. I have never made something like this before, and often I am not the neatest when it comes to precision cuts, so hopefully it turns out nice and uniform! I will be following a YouTube tutorial (not sure which one yet!), and my final product will resemble the example below.


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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Shrey Naresh Solanki
    March 18, 2023 6:10 pm

    Your cardboard ferris wheel project with a nostalgic theme is inspiring. In place of the cabins, your intention to display their favorite photos from your youth and add simple circuitry is very interesting.

  • This project is so creative and original! I think that it’s really nice that you’re leaning into the sentimentality with the project shape/form itself also reflecting where you grew up in conjunction with the pictures. Are you trying to go after a specific Ferris wheel? Or just a general one? Are you concerned about the quality of the cardboard boxes? As in if they’re too beat up from transit?

  • Hi Sam, this is a very cool idea! I like that you are making it so personal and it seems like a project that you can enjoy over and over again because of that. Have you thought about also trying to go for some kind of theme park or Disney aesthetic? That’s a bit what a ferris wheel reminds me of and I would imagine that if you wanted to you could decorate/paint the carboard in a way that gives off that aesthetic, as well. Good luck, excited to see the final product!


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