interior, smart materials, natural resources

Shaping Paper

Bára Finnsdóttir
MA Graduation Project
Supervision: Prof. Christiane Sauer

The project Shaping Paper is based on principles of the so called “self-assembly-process” for constructing and shaping a material, exploring these using paper materials, paper making technique and a monomaterial strategy. The project was informed by existing research on motion in plant organs, generated by humidity loss in combination with contrasting layering and properties of their fibre tissue (their orientation, stiffness and shrinkage-swelling rates). When experiencing humidity loss, tensional forces build up within the structure that releases movements such as buckling. For constructional input a method of layering fibre material was explored that is fundamental in natural material structures.

Drying and layering methods were investigated through practical experiments using paper materials and paper making technique. The low-tech, additive manufacturing technique, as well as the self-binding properties of cellulose, makes it possible to combine/layer paper materials with different characteristics (e.g. shrinkage rates), and thus mimic the natural behaviour of drying plant organs such as leaves. This together with the drying method, as well as constructional input of the paper material (layers, geometry, scale, thickness), determine a specific transformation from a two-dimensional wet sheet into a three-dimensional dry, curved structure. A mono-material compound is created in which each paper element exerts its respective influence.

The created structures are open for different applications, as single elements such as innovative packaging, or food experiences. Assembled into bigger surfaces for interior use, the paper structures contribute an organic element to the space. The curving feature of the paper compound, its contrasting transparencies, together with uneven surfaces, embodies the characteristics of natural forms.