Project 2 — Special Carrier

For my project, I got pasta as my item.


In our first step, we had to recreate our item with cardboard boxes. My process was simple; keep crafting until I get it right. It was a trial and error process in which I kept using my hands to work with the material. I did not draw anything in my first step, because I wanted to get very hands on with cardboard and understand its properties.

I first created the penne pasta shape by splitting the card board in half. Then I stripped out the inner structure holding the two planes. I rolled one side to created a long hollow structure and cut them into little pieces. My first draft was to use tape to connect the long structure, but after seeing how visible the tape color was, I decided to use hot glue.

After making many penne pasta shapes, I recreated the box container. It was to have a place to hold the pasta as well as to understand the carrier that it is originally in. This second step was a great way to understand how cardboard folds and its thickness.

Overall, I believe my cardboard material was successful in replicating the actual pasta. One thing I would do better is make sure all the pasta length stays the same. Some were slightly bigger or smaller than others, and I feel that could be easily fixed with a simple process of measuring.

The final look in comparison to the real object.


For my special container, I began to make rough sketches to get my ideas going. I began with a simple box shape and expanded from there. The rectangular box turned into angle boxes then to cylindrical boxes. I thought the cylinder looked similar to the penne pasta, so I decided to create a giant penne for my special container.

After sketching them out on paper, I thought about the usage of a pasta box. In my experience, I have a difficult time getting the portions right for one serving, so I decided to implement a solution for that problem in my design. I decided to portion out my penne-shaped box into four sections or four servings. In doing so, I was figuring out how all these sections would be stuck together and used separately. Similar to how most boxes could be ripped open with a dotted cut, I decided that my pasta box would be ripped into separate sections that correspond to a serving size.

While cutting up my container to serving sizes, I looked at the flat shape it created. I wanted to ultimately have the entire container be cut up into the cardboard and rolled up into the penne shape. With this in mind, I sketched out a diagram for my shape.

Mapping for the final prototype model.

While cutting up the final shape for our first prototype, I thought it would be helpful to have a view of whats going on inside the container. I cut out holes in between each serving size help see the concept of the model. The last section of the container was left opened to show how the container is peeled away after each use.

Throughout this project I took a lot of time getting the math right and felt rushed during the actual build. I believe the craftsmanship of this container could have been more cleaner.

Step 3

For my second iteration, I decided to try a different approach by adding flaps on the side of the package. It was an easy build, but the final look of design was not appealing and took away from the form of the penne pasta.

I decided to go back to the drawing board and try out multiple iterations and approaches on how I can build the container without any adhesive. This was the most trickiest part of the entire build. The different designs I came up with were the following:

  1. Individual serving sizes that can be linked together for an overall bigger penne pasta shape. The problem with this build was that it did not feature the disposable aspect I was going for. I wanted my container to be able to to rip apart after each serving use.

2. In this design, I focused on creating a bigger penne shape and putting individual slots the section out the serving sizes. In the process of doing this design, I ran into the problem of inserting the correct circle size and slots at the right spots. I would end up ripping an entire section of the slots, resulting in an opening that should not be there. It was hard to craft and maneuver around the small opening I had to fit the individual slots.

  1. This design was an easy start, with making the penne pasta look first and linking it with two slots. I ran into problems of fitting in the circles for the individual servings because I couldn’t fit the circles in the tube. The inside of the tube and the outside of the tube were different circle sizes. It was hard to make it a tight fit and not have the entire tube accidentally open.
  1. I was very hopeful with this final design since there were many technical aspects in the plan of the design which would make it easier to build the cardboard. The end result was an interesting shape. It showed the portions very well because of its alternating portions that almost pop out slightly. In the beginning, I wasn’t fond of this design, but looking back at it again, I believe this will get the message right to the viewer of the portioning aspect in my design.

Moving forward I will work on the last design look (number 4) and see if I can make the design more seamless.

Many iterations later…
A new container form that stays balanced.

After multiple iterations and calculations, I created a new template for my container. Before, the container stood slanted for the perfect penne shape, but it had problems with weight and constantly fell down. The unbalanced nature of the container made it hard to use. It constantly looked like it was going to fall. So I took out the unbalanced nature of the pasta and went for a tubular form with slanted edges that still resembles the pasta shape. The penne pasta container can use some improvements with craftsmanship since it does not stand as a seamless tube. Each individual portion looks good, but the combination of the individual pieces could use more improvement.

Final Step

I decided to refine every section of the tube to make the connecting parts seamless and easy to handle. I made cut up the same template multiple times and adjusted them slightly to ensure that each individual piece stays intact.

It was important to make sure all the side were aligned and straight. The previous iteration had some sections slight shifted to the left or right, making the entire container unbalanced. In my final iteration, I heavily focused on the craft and made slight adjustments to the flap of my structure. I learned that the best way to make the entire seamless was to cut away half of the cardboard’s width to ensure that when I put the container together; the seams were linked securely.

Overall, I enjoyed the interactive element of my design. The nature of the user to pull each portion and remove after use made the container unique in its experience. The most frustrating part of this project was figuring out what tubular form works and letting go of certain aspects of my previous designs. Ideally, I would want the tube to go back to the shifted shape to really imitate the shape of the penne pasta, but figuring out how to counterbalance the weight without adding more cardboard proved to be difficult. Perhaps with more time, I would be able to figure out a new plan for this type of iteration. During this project, I also learned that my math can only do so much. Despite spending a lot of time figuring out every inch and quarter inch of my container, it was meaningless when the final product did not come out the way I wanted it to. Maybe it was because of a miscalculation or the inaccurate cuts on my cardboard. For me what really ended up working for me was good old fashioned trial-and-error.

Close up 1
Close up 2
Container with item
Container with model