Pulp Wall explores material behavior as an agent of influence in the design process. The project is a collaboration between architecture, bioproducts engineering (at UMN), and forestry (at UBC in Vancouver). It is an installation adjacent to a glass wall in the Minnesota Design Center (MDC). Tom Fisher, Director of the MDC, asked us to develop a screen wall that could lend privacy, light filtering, and acoustic remediation to the MDC’s office space. We are exploring the use of papeer\pulp as a light-weight, inexpensive, and recyclable material for the screen wall.
To develop Pulp Wall, we tested a number of different options for forming paper pulp through a moldless forming process. Rather than push the pulp into a pre-formed mold, we were interested in how the pulp might warp, twist, and bend during the drying process to form unique shapes. This was an exceptional challenge because there was very little precedent for it. Typically, we discovered through our research, paper manufacturers strive to resist warping in the drying process. We wanted to do the opposite. We wanted to maximize warpage, but also, to a degree, predict the warpage to create an architectural language through our system.
Maria Laguarda (research partner), Samuel Clausen (research assistant), Elliot Spronk (research assistant), Yong Gyun Noh (research assistant), Sarah Gastler (research assistant), Trevor Isaacson (research assistant)
Minnesota Design Center/Tom Fisher