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Cardboard Workshop

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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.
 

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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.'  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.'

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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.   Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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. 

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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 informal.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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  Kawamata's high-perched pods are intriguingly and precariously wedged into select corners of Renzo Piano's steel skeleton.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    Kawamata's high-perched pods are intriguingly and precariously wedged into select corners of Renzo Piano's steel skeleton.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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 outof the structure, like as if it were blown by the wind..."  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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..."

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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  "Architecture has to be realized beyond the obligation.  And sometimes it is illegal.  At this place, we call it freedom."  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    "Architecture has to be realized beyond the obligation.  And sometimes it is illegal.  At this place, we call it freedom."

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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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.  Photo by: Tiffany Chu
    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.

    Photo by: Tiffany Chu

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