Top 5 Specs and Constraints

My project is a stand-alone Ferris wheel, complete with photos from my childhood in Illinois. The aesthetic I chose is close to nature-core, in which something manmade becomes overrun by Mother Nature.


  1. Must stand freely

This structure is meant to stand alone, so that when it’s finished I can use it as decor in my home. I don’t want it to crumble if someone accidentally bumps into the table it’s on, or if someone uses slightly more force than required in order to spin it. 

  1. Must spin with minimal force

I don’t want it to feel like a workout in order to spin my project. Now, I don’t expect it to feel like a fidget spinner, where the slightest movement will send it spinning for the next 15 minutes. I want to  put the weight of my finger on one of the spokes, and have the Ferris wheel rotate with that amount of force.

  1. Must capture the aesthetic

I ultimately chose this ‘nature fights back’ aesthetic because I felt it was more appropriate. The old, dilapidated Ferris wheel shows how it’s held up over time, and how no ones been operating this thing for years. The photos of me when I was younger show a moment in time that I can never truly go back to, that it’s been memorialized by this one photo that only gets older with time.  

  1. Must have appropriate photos

I want photos of moments or places that I am extremely fond of. Things like my old Girl Scout troop, the pool I learned to swim at, the friends I had at that age, and so forth. It would be more appropriate to have photos of places/people that I can no longer visit in the same way again. Such as people I grew apart from, or places that have long since been paved over. 

  1. Must have easily recognizable plants

My worry is that the plants/vines will end up looking like a random collage of materials. My Ferris wheel must easily be recognized as run over with greenery, and not like something green exploded on it. 


  1. Time

In true engineering student fashion, I am always running low on time. I would love to spend hours on this little wheel, and truly make it look how I picture it in my head. However, as the semester is closing out, and my classes scramble to assign last minute projects, I know that I will have to cut some corners in order to get this done.

  1. Materials

I would have really wanted to make this out of wood, for both aesthetic and robustness reasons. However, the most common thing in my house is cardboard boxes, so I would rather upcycle the cardboard rather than buying new wood. 

  1. Crochet skills

I only started crocheting a couple months ago, and it’s not like I do it everyday. The last thing I made was in January (which was a very cute mushroom coin purse). Hopefully, I can find some good Youtube tutorials that will teach me how to make different flowers and vines in a way that a beginner can easily navigate. 

  1. Available photos

There are specific moments and people I want to include in this Ferris wheel, but I simply do not have a photo. This includes both specific pictures I have in mind but cannot find, or moments that I wish had a photo associated with them. 

  1. Weight of materials

Since this project is made of cardboard, I don’t expect it to be particularly strong. I am hoping between the photos, plants, vines, and flowers, that the wheel won’t succumb to the weight of all the extra materials. 

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Lily Gabriel
    May 9, 2023 8:45 pm

    You have a very clear vision for what you want, and you are able to check. the steps along the way to account for everything, do you have any sketches with measurements?

  • Grant Barnes
    April 2, 2023 11:04 pm

    I think you have set great goals for your project because they are reverent to the requirements of the final project and are also realistic to keep you on track. For the easily spinning aspect I would recommend ball bearings if possible, however, there are defiantly many creative ways you can go about that. Cant wait to see how it turns out.


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