Miwa Takabayashi Cardboard Art Project

We were approached by Ph.D art student Miwa Takabayashi who had designed a concept for a freestanding cardboard art structure. She had created a small-scale paper mock-up and was looking for someone to manufacture the full-sized version.

A structure like this had never before been made from corrugated board and so we had a number of technical matters that needed to be considered, such as the design of the panels, the fixing method and the structural integrity of the finished item. Health and safety also needed consideration because the public would be wandering inside the building.

The first stage was to make a 1:5 scale version from microflute cardboard. This was duly completed, answering many questions but presenting a few more.

Funding was secured in the autumn and the project was given the green light. The first step was to create a full-sized version in brown board at our premises in Maidstone. As the structure was put together we made fine adjustments to the design to increase strength and to make all the panels fit accurately.

Once the full-sized mock-up was complete we set about manufacturing the final version. The specification was for a silver finish on the outside and brown on the inside. Additionally we had to include a fire retardant coating to satisfy the demands of the exhibition centre.

The project was constructed in 4 collapsed segments and packed for transport to the Baltic Mill in Gateshead. Contractors on site and a team from WH Skinner worked together to assemble and finish the project to a tight deadline.

The completed work was called ‘Packaged’ and was displayed for two weeks at the Baltic Gallery and then at the The Mall Shopping Centre in Maidstone.

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