| LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
LU 3: REDUCING WEIGHT: CARDBOARD STRUCTURES
Reducing weight: cardboard structures
A good example of the structural use of cardboard is the cardboard
school in Suffolk, designed by the architect, Shigeru Ban. In
considering the possibility of using cardboard as a material
for your project you might like to investigate this project,
and also some of the websites indicated in the table below.
|We think of cardboard as a packaging material, but how
else can we use cardboard?
Commercial suppliers of cardboard products
Click on products for range of items and costs
Swedish company specialising in toys and furniture made of cardboard
|How has cardboard been used in the construction of buildings?
Information about the Essex school made from cardboard
See www.cardboardschool.co.uk/content/index3.htm and then download the pdf entitled Design Guide (715 kb)
For information about the engineers see www.burohapppold.com/
For information about the Japanese architect enter Shigeru Ban into a search
engine for an array of articles / summaries about his work
Read about Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic cardboard dome (NB scroll down
page for details of the Milan Triennale exhibition)
|Who might benefit from cardboard structures?
Consider the plight of refugees needing quickly constructed,
www.unhcr.org The site on the United Nations High Commission
Think about those who already use cardboard as a makeshift
www.shelter.org.uk The website of the charity for homeless people
|Are there any other possible uses for cardboard?
Read about the Great Cardboard Boat Race and
see www.gcbr.com/tips.html for advice on building water-proof
Some of the design issues that the design must address
There are numerous structures around every home and office
that carry significant loads. However if we consider a chair
as an example:
• the way the weight of the body is supported by the chair
as a structure.would need to be understood.
cardboard sections capable of carrying the appropriate ‘body’ loads
would need to be developed and tested
appropriate finishing methods would need to be found
methods of assembly which minimise the introduction of
new materials and components, and avoid adhesives where possible,
would need to be investigated
visual issues associated with the use of cardboard would
need to be carefully explored
the design must be suitable for manufacture in the UK
the styling must be appropriate for the selected UK market
the cost must be appropriate for the selected UK market
the product packaging must be minimised and, perhaps, eliminated
SUPPORT INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS
The following photographs illustrate the design problem. They
show typical flat-packed furniture and its associated packaging,
often cardboard and a cardboard wine carrier. The use of significant
quantities of materials and the associated weight is evident
from the first photograph. The wine carrier indicates the kind
of loads that cardboard can carry. “Is all that weight
necessary?” is the starting point for students.
In the 1930s R Buckminster Fuller - an early environmental
campaigner - used the phrase “Doing more with less” to
make the point, and this idea lies at the heart of this project.
They can be used as an introduction to the open-ended brief “Reduce,
Reuse, Recycle”. or the specific recycling design context
on ” Reducing weight: cardboard structures”
Flat-packed furniture and its associated packaging
carriers … to bring home glasses and wine