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August 4, 2010

A celebration of all things impromptu and participatory, Kawamata's Cardboard Workshop at the Centre Pompidou in Paris has seen many different rebirths over the past few months. Over the weekend, I took a brief survey of this playful exhibit and its kindred architectural 'commentaries' on the exterior of the famous inside-out-building.
 

Tadashi Kawamata is a masterful interventionist wielding the use of humble materials beyond cardboard, such as discarded timber, pallets, chairs, and packaging materials, while constantly championing the concept of 'work in progress.'
Tadashi Kawamata is a masterful interventionist wielding the use of humble materials beyond cardboard, such as discarded timber, pallets, chairs, and packaging materials, while constantly championing the concept of 'work in progress.'
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The overall workshop program consists of monthly themes for children to tackle. The inaugural theme was 'landscape' in April, 'space becoming city' in May, 'village' in June, 'labyrinth' in July, and 'Tower of Babel' will be held this month, in August. 
The overall workshop program consists of monthly themes for children to tackle. The inaugural theme was 'landscape' in April, 'space becoming city' in May, 'village' in June, 'labyrinth' in July, and 'Tower of Babel' will be held this month, in August. 
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An all-corrugated-cardboard space comprises the Children's Gallery (Galerie des Enfants). With cardboard mountains and walls and spongey-feeling walkways, the space offers visitors a new frame of reference to the most plebian of materials.
An all-corrugated-cardboard space comprises the Children's Gallery (Galerie des Enfants). With cardboard mountains and walls and spongey-feeling walkways, the space offers visitors a new frame of reference to the most plebian of materials.
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With the use of adhesive tape, the children are encouraged to explore all formal possibilities with surfaces, volumes, and collaboration. In between explorations, the material is dismantled and recycled for the following month.
With the use of adhesive tape, the children are encouraged to explore all formal possibilities with surfaces, volumes, and collaboration. In between explorations, the material is dismantled and recycled for the following month.
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Six different films also narrate the philosophies behind Kawamata's works, what he calls his 'cupboards of memory.'  They catalog many of Kawamata's previous international projects through his use of wood, cardboard, and research into temporality and the
Six different films also narrate the philosophies behind Kawamata's works, what he calls his 'cupboards of memory.'  They catalog many of Kawamata's previous international projects through his use of wood, cardboard, and research into temporality and the informal.
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Kawamata's high-perched pods are intriguingly and precariously wedged into select corners of Renzo Piano's steel skeleton.
Kawamata's high-perched pods are intriguingly and precariously wedged into select corners of Renzo Piano's steel skeleton.
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I first noticed these petite nests in late June while traipsing through the Marais. The temporary pods are constructed from structural timber and lined with cardboard -- and are pretty impossible to ignore.
I first noticed these petite nests in late June while traipsing through the Marais. The temporary pods are constructed from structural timber and lined with cardboard -- and are pretty impossible to ignore.
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They cling to the Pompidou's shell like a bird's nest, similarly exhibiting the basic internal elements of their structures in a stripped-away, exposed sense.
They cling to the Pompidou's shell like a bird's nest, similarly exhibiting the basic internal elements of their structures in a stripped-away, exposed sense.
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According to Kawamata, speaking about a previous project at Le Marechalerie in Versailles: "The workshops are decided quickly. There were pallets, pallets, and more pallets.  If I want to do something, I want to do it <i>out</i>of the structure, like as i
According to Kawamata, speaking about a previous project at Le Marechalerie in Versailles: "The workshops are decided quickly. There were pallets, pallets, and more pallets.  If I want to do something, I want to do it outof the structure, like as if it were blown by the wind..."
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"Architecture has to be realized beyond the obligation.  And sometimes it is illegal.  At this place, we call it freedom."
"Architecture has to be realized beyond the obligation.  And sometimes it is illegal.  At this place, we call it freedom."
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The line outside the Centre Pompidou on Sunday, August 1, reaching all the way across the sloped plain and nearly into the cafes and gelateries of Rue Saint-Martin.
The line outside the Centre Pompidou on Sunday, August 1, reaching all the way across the sloped plain and nearly into the cafes and gelateries of Rue Saint-Martin.
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Tadashi Kawamata is a masterful interventionist wielding the use of humble materials beyond cardboard, such as discarded timber, pallets, chairs, and packaging materials, while constantly championing the concept of 'work in progress.'
Tadashi Kawamata is a masterful interventionist wielding the use of humble materials beyond cardboard, such as discarded timber, pallets, chairs, and packaging materials, while constantly championing the concept of 'work in progress.'

To see images of the project, please visit the slideshow.

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