Lured by cardboard’s eco-cred and malleability, many innovative minds are turning the plain beige material into artistic products
By cutting, layering and gluing together strips of cardboard, Pas à Papier’s Marie-José Gustave shows off the material’s versatile texture. Her Chaise Entre Ciel et t’R has a beguiling grain similar to an exotic hardwood. The chair’s light look belies cardboard’s inherent strength. Through mariejosegustave.ultra-book.org.
Cardboard’s soft-yet-rough, organic texture stands out in the slick, hard-edged lobby of International House, a high-end London office building. British designer Giles Miller sculpted the corrugation to give it a flowing, liquid look. gilesmiller.com.
Otra – a Quebec-based studio started in 2011 by recent design grads Julie Ferrero and Guillaume Darnajou – upcycles cardboard by incising it with edgy patterns and adding bursts of colour. Its Craft lampshade is held together with brightly hued tacks to avoid using glue. The crisscrossing cutout creates beguiling shadows. Through otra-design.com.
Philadelphia-based firm Mio believes that ethically produced, aesthetically pleasing design should also be accessible. Its Butterfly Nomad system, which has 24 modular blocks that can be arranged into a charming room divider, is not only affordable – it costs $60 – it’s also virtuous. The cardboard is made from a mix of sustainably harvested wood chips and recycled paper. Through mioculture.com.
Dutch-based design firm Moooi is known for its ultracontemporary, high-concept furniture, but its Paper Family of products plays with the type of craft that even a grade schooler would recognize – using papier mâché to transform paper and cardboard. A polyurethane lacquer seals the dining table so that you can eat without fear of melting the surface with a spill. Through moooi.com.
(Maarten van Houten)
Ottopapax’s Pliage No. 1 stool is extremely economical. It’s easily assemble from a single sheet of cardboard and costs about as much as a meal at Jack Astor’s ($30 to be precise). The vibrant pattern conceals the seat’s origin as plain old paper and creates a trompe l’oeil, giving a sense of depth to the flat sitting surface. Through ottopapax.com.
Chris McNicholl’s Environmentally Sound radio looks like a retro prop from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and displays an ingenuity any Boy Scout would admire. No glue is used so, aside from the speaker and knobs, it’s entirely recyclable. And although assembly is DIY, all the components come from a single sheet of cardboard and slide together with minimal effort. Through chrismcnicholl.com.