What 24 000 Pieces of Paper Can Do

The fresh-faced, first-year students at the beginning of their architecture studies at the TU Graz were challenged with an interesting 3-day multidisciplinary workshop by the KOEN Institute. 160 students were tasked with creating a spatial structure out of paper by utilizing the techniques of low tech prototyping and crowdconstructing, providing a learning experience directly related to architecture through communal realization and organization, and the development and building in a focused environment as a team. The result is a beautiful testament to creativity.

The impressive origami-like structure composed of 24 000 pieces of folded white paper slowly took its final form over the course of the three days, as the smaller designs by the sub-groups grew into one large installation, taking over the whole great lecture hall at the faculty of Architecture. By planning, cutting, folding and gluing together pieces of heavy paper the students created unique structures in a collaborative manner, also known as crowdconstructing (a term related to crowdsourcing). The actual process of producing oversized paper sculptures and models quickly and cheaply is recognized as low tech prototyping, which was developed as a commentary on the expensive and spatially limited rapid prototyping process often involved in architecture and design. The workshop enabled a fruitful environment for the beginners, giving them the tools and means for creative creation, as well as producing a beautiful spatial construction for any paper lover to admire and woo over. But enough of words, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Images © KOEN

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