PaperStone Scissors was a product booth commissioned by the Interior Design Show in Toronto, Canada for its series Collaborations where they pair a material supplier and an architect, and the challenge is to create an installation using only that material.
PaperStone is a water resistant, fire resistant, layered and compressed sandwich of recycled paper and eco-resins - the resin is a by-product of a biofuel plant across the valley from the factory. Like paper, it is unusually strong, smooth and monolithic, easily accepts patterning and can be cut precisely. Normally used as a countertop or exterior wall cladding, in PaperStone Scissors it is used to create an environment of cut screens inspired both by Japanese shoji screens that are light, thin and precise, and paper dolls repeatedly cut with scissors, wrought not with paper, but writ large with paper-thin PaperStone.
Our first priority was to create an installation that could be assembled in several hours, and would be easily packageable for sending to other trade shows. We used the Chinese tangram puzzle as our model – ensuring that the sheets would essential stay sheet-like, and any pieces cut out would fit back into the flat sheet for packing. As the material was layered paper, we wanted to play up the layering, and had the manufacturer make sheets with alternating colours of paper so that on edge, this would be apparent. When the paper is compressed, it appears quite monolithic, so we also had them leave some edges untrimmed so that all of the layers of the paper would be seen.
Because the material is so strong, and holds such a precise edge when it is cut we had a hunch that it could be entirely self-supporting. The installation then is a series of CNC cut screens that are connected by PaperStone connectors and additionally CNC surface engraved. Shelves were keyed in with slots and wedges made from PaperStone. As there were no other materials, connectors or glue, the entire project was cut and engraved by CNC over four days, and assembled at the show in four hours and dismantled in two hours with no waste produced.
PaperStone Scissors was awarded a 2010 Best of Canada Award by Canadian Interiors magazine.
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