Outside the Box: Cardboard Design Now reconfigures the conception of a generic industrial material into one of myriad artistic, creative, and practical purposes and potential, revealing just how far it is possible to push the medium by the way of contemporary design.
Like paper, cardboard is often overlooked as a medium with predominantly practical uses. The versatility of the material makes it almost unavoidably ubiquitous, but not necessarily inspiring. At closer viewing, this is changing and progressing to an altered, contemporary attitude to the possibilities of cardboard’s uses in contemporary design. From minimalist packaging, children’s toys and decoration to furniture and even small and large-scale interior architecture, cardboard is now being embraced by designers around the globe as a medium with huge potential. Examples of these designs with cardboard include; a cardboard wendy-house, designed by Peter Henke at Dutch firm Kidsonroof; pop-out toys and decorations created by A4A; interior design companies who re-articulated card-based storage as elegant, minimal additions to household product design and the internationally renowned, minimalist Japanese retailer Muji which has created products such as cardboard speakers and picture frames.
In addition to its potential as a durable material for construction, there is also the sustainable credentials of the material. Cardboard is positioned at the forefront of the ecologically-minded, whether by utilising reconstituted recycled material or by the use of off cuts and residue in industrial product manufacture and contemporary design. The environmental benefits are an encouraging factor for eco-conscious designers and Outside the Box profiles some of these leading designs.
Drawing on historical and traditional approaches, Outside the Box: Cardboard Design Now charts the medium’s evolution through to modern practices, profiling some of today’s most inspirational and provocative artists and designers working across the fields of art, design and sculpture. Among the artists featured is Frank Gehry, whose Vitra-produced corrugated cardboard furniture—utilizing both modern and archaic designs—has received much international acclaim. The work of Shigeru Ban is included, whose cardboard disaster relief housing, churches and cardboard schools that deconstruct after use, have seen him exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art New York and cited as a leading auteur in the forward-thinking realm of eco-architecture.
Outside the Box: Cardboard Design Now, is attractively packaged with a cardboard cover and pull out features, showing the reader the possibilities of cardboard design. As a companion to Black Dog Publishing’s Paper: Tear, Fold, Rip, Crease, Outside the Box unpacks the creative possibilities of a material wrongly dismissed as staid and uninspiring.
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