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April 15, 2014 AT 7:00 am

Fragile Beasts Sculpture Made From Paper #ArtTuesday

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Fragile Beasts sculpture made from paper
by Łódź University of Technology students. via dezeen

Students from Łódź University of Technology in Poland built this delicate stacked sculpture to demonstrate the structural properties of curve-folded paper.

The Fragile Beasts sculpture was designed and built by 17 undergraduate architecture students from Łódź University of Technology during a three-day workshop with Suryansh Chandra, a senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects.

“Curved folding isn’t just the aesthetic, it’s also the structure: it can lend substantial stiffness to fairly flimsy material,” explained Chandra.

The sculpture was designed using digital modelling software to determine the slender polyhedra forms, which were then subjected to scripts that broke them down into shapes suitable for curved folding.

Once the forms and net shapes of the irregular-sided polyhedra were determined, they were sent to a laser-cutting facility that transferred the design onto a series of flat cutout sheets in five hours.

The 0.5 millimetre paper was then folded and glued into shape by the students, who had no previous experience of curved folding.

“It never fails to amaze me how nicely this shape lends itself to fabrication and quick assembly,” said Chandra.

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It took just five hours for the students to fabricate the components and arrange them in two stacked clusters that reach a height of 1.9 metres.

Zaha Hadid Architects has been exploring different applications for curved folding and thin-shell structures for several years through a series of academic workshops and commissions.

Zaha Hadid Architects has been exploring different applications for curved folding and thin-shell structures for several years through a series of academic workshops and commissions.

Its Arum installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale resembled a huge pleated funnel made from folded metal, and was described by the firm as the first to combine its research into lightweight shells and tensile structures.

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