Posted by: mwc006 | April 2, 2010

Stick Houses


I think this is how I would like to take my stick house photos and turn them into a project.

-Print the photos on high quality paper and turn them into a book.. maybe with a haiku on the side of each photo page that relates to the photo. Or I could go the digital route and present it in a slide show format with music, but I’m not sure what program I would use to do this. I think I would prefer to make a book, possibly with some all-natural binding / cover? Who knows


I was much more of a hacker when I was growing up. Drawing, building chutes and fortresses with blocks, and staging epic battles with army men or action figures were some of my favorite activities. I remember my favorite way to create explosions was to set a mouse trap and spread playing cards over it so that when I dropped something on it, the trap would go off and the cards would go flying. Those were the days. Naturally, I grew out sniping army men off block fortresses with rubber bands, but my creative and artistic abilities carried on throughout high school. I still enjoyed art and drawing so I took art class all four years of high school. As a kid, I drew all the time and filled plenty of sketchbooks, but as I progressed through high school, my passion for art began to die out. In college, I rarely draw or sketch anymore, but I know that I still have artistic interests.

That is why for my project I would like to do something artistic. While pondering what it was I actually wanted to do, I remembered an experience I had while on an Outward Bound hiking and rock climbing trip in the North Carolina, Blue Ridge Mountains. The ‘solo’ is a component of every Outward Bound trip where one must spend 24 hours alone in the woods with the bare essentials. During my ‘solo,’ out of boredom I began to construct little buildings made out of small sticks. Over the 24 hour period, I became a very talented stick house builder. The buildings became very ornate and much larger.

I would like to create these little pieces of artwork again and take artistic photographs of them in nature. This project would combine my passion for photography, nature, and building interesting things. I feel that by the river would be a good setting for my project. I plan on putting the photographs together in either a powerpoint or a photo book.



  1. Sounds fascinating!

    My kids love making forts all over the house. More than nay of the toys that are bought and given to them. It is interesting how the playfulness of Matt as a child destroyer has morphed into Matt a builder.

    I can help you or help you find people can suggest settings.

    How can you document your process? How will you share your results?

    Maybe Or slideshare? With slideshare you can add narration or music if you like.

    What do you think of curating your final gallery? This would mean not just presenting the results, but also their context and how they came into being.

    Have you looked to see what other kinds of stick house builders there are?

    Have you ever seen the architecture of Gaudi in Barcelona/ He drew a lot of inspiration from forms in the natural world.

  2. I love how your project relates to the idea of growing up. It seems like in the Protestant ethic based work environment, “playing around” like you did with the stick huts would be frowned upon as time wasting. However, in today’s more hacker based work environment, this type of activity might actually be encouraged. For example, Google allows their employees a couple of hours a day to work on individual creative projects.

  3. Matt-

    What did you decide for final form?

    Do you know how to make a narrated slide show?

    Did you check out

  4. Like I said to Linda, one option for the showcase is also to do large format prints. I can use BU resources to get them for you with some advance warning.

    Have you looked into anything else like this? Are there tiny stick house builders?

    Will you document your process with photo, video, or journaling? Or all three?

    Ever heard of the burning man festival? Seems like a seedbed of hacker ethic and you might fit in.

    Google it!

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