Cardboard Housing

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"PaperTown" : Cardbox

reply from Eric Hunting <erichunting - at -> :


The techniques used for making this bicycle do have a lot of potential for many other applications. But the suggestion that it is 'cheap' really only goes as far as the cardboard. This is essentially a variation of the kind of composite fabrication used more commonly with fiberglass and carbon fiber and it's very hand-labor and skill intensive. You are basically using resin-soaked cardboard the same way one would use polymer foams with more conventional composite creations. You don't have quite as much freedom as with foam as you can't sculpt it. You rely more on layered-up forms and fillers at the surface. I think that labor overhead could be greatly reduced through design and the use of automated cutting tools, but your source material needs to be pretty consistent. And liquid resins are a bit nasty to work with unless you can find the much rarer water-based types that are VOC-free. One may need to rely on very specific waste sources as stock material and a smaller base of suppliers. (you may have noticed this guy was working with a thick honeycomb laminate cardboard stock that is used mostly for very heavy industrial packaging--and sometimes for bulkheads in trains, boats, and planes. It's something I've foreseen being used in Utilihab paneling, with laminate and fabric finishes. It's not the sort of thing you'd find in a typical discarded appliance box) But it's definitely workable. This technique could produce almost any shapes commonly made with hand-worked fiberglass and would have approximately similar performance. It should also work with alternative shell reinforcement materials like crude bamboo fabrics. ( I say 'crude' bamboo because typical bamboo fabrics are highly processed to the point where they're practically reduced to the raw constituents of polyester)

Architect Shigeru Ban is very well known for his cardboard buildings and has done many relief shelter designs with it. He's particularly fond of the paper tubes often used in making concrete piers. But he's also made use of the same cardboard used for that bike.

He also created this very simple yet interesting paper tube partition system based on using two sizes of paper tube. A larger diameter tube us used as a post with holes cut for a smaller diameter tube beam that is simply held by friction or lashing. Lengths of tube are extended with an end-insert and tape. This could possibly also work with bamboo.

Speaking of interesting design ideas, I've been working on a presentation and while searching for suitable pictures stumbled onto the very interesting Urban Nomad themed experiments of a German designer named Winfried Baumann.

This would definitely be someone who could contribute a lot to our discussion and project.

Eric Hunting


Just found this awesome video of another example of cardboard architecture.

I had seen pictures of this around the internet for a while but mistakenly thought it was made of cement. It's actually layered cardboard tubes with a tapered shape and held together by zip-ties.


initial message , from Dante :

This guy manages to build a strong cheap made of cardboard ( an abundant resource in urban settings ),

video :

I feel inspired to create cheap and reproducible components made out of cardboard that can assemble in a variety of Furnitecture Designs,

using Libre Licenses,

accessible even to marginalized people living on the streets, or nomads...


I can see this as an extension of the Pop Up ( Interior ) Ecovillage,

and can see such cardboard components as Spimes that can be easily be re-used along a chain of usage logistics.


more context about bike :