Saturday, 15 February 2014

Cardboard Box-On-Wheels

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – four things that most architecture students subscribe to, but find very hard to put to practice in the architecture studio.

This box-on-wheels was a personal experiment to see how far one could push the term 'reuse' in the context of the studio. Most of our models are built using cardboard parts that are precision cut by a laser. However, weird geometries combined with time pressure limit how much cardboard we can save by arranging the parts efficiently.

Inspired by the use of cardboard as structural element in product design (furniture, bicycles), I came up with the idea of laminating/gluing multiple sheets of scrap, lasercut cardboard sheets together to form a relatively strong board which could be reused. In addition, I also believed that the interesting shapes and uniqueness of each board would lend an aesthetic touch to the final product.

The box would comprise of an aluminum frame with wheels and the sides and bottom of the box would be made out of up to 8 layers of laminated scrap cardboard. Scrap cardboard was plentiful in the studio and I chose pieces that still had a relatively large amount of cardboard on them. The boards with more interesting designs were earmarked to form the front and back of the laminated board. Gluing the boards was a messy business that drew the curiosity of my studio mates!

The final product was rather heavy. The laminated cardboard turned out to be relatively solid as a material, and I believe that the back and sides will hold up to anything that is not too heavy (3kg on each side, 40kg spread out on the bottom, which has bracing). As of now, the box would be used as a protective container to store my architecture posters!

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