Past Projects: The Can Mural

A hallway wall across from the Design room was left empty for three years after the new school was built. As design students, the team was presented with the task, by Mrs. Brooks, of filling that space with recycled soda cans.

With that objective in mind, the students began ransacking the school for cans. They enlisted the help of teachers, custodians, parents, and students. They sorted the cans they received into color groups to determine the color palette they would be working with.

After months of gathering cans the students hand washed each one. As they worked on methodically crushing hundreds of cans, they also began brainstorming mural designs. They scrapped and refined dozens of proposals, and finally decided on a final design proposed by Will Spiro (2012) involving thirteen canvases of varying sizes. They outlined the design, carefully layered the cans on top, and glued each down individually. Although Major 3 students led the project, every class actively participated. The final product ended up using a mind-boggling 1,417 cans!

The mural’s design was inspired by Dr. Seuss’s book Oh the Places You’ll Go. The team drew from the book’s whimsical art style and inspiring message to arrange the cans into colorful rings and circles of varying sizes. Leading into the mural, written with cans, are the words, “Oh, the things you will do!” Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ message, the mural demonstrates to all those who pass by the capabilities of design and its ability to make art out of what many consider useless.

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