Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, is known through his innovative work making use of cardboard cores.
Named in Time magazine as one of their projection of 21st Century innovators in the field of architecture and design, Shigeru went on the theme of ‘invisible structure’ for his work, incorporating the structural elements of a building into the design.
Where he is most influential, and now famous for, is his work involving recycled paper and cardboard tubing in his building construction.
The advantages of using paper and cardboard in building is:
- low cost
Shigeru’s work with paper and cardboard is based heavily on the sustainability and because it produces very little waste. This makes Shigeru Ban’s work very popular and effective for DIY refugee shelters as a low cost relief housing option. Limited material availability after a disaster has strook means the disaster relief shelters need to be cheap and easily accessible.
Some of his projects include:
- Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand as a temporary solution following the 2011 earthquake
- Paper emergency shelter in Haiti, the frame is made from the cardboard tubing and the tarpauline used to keep the occupants dry
- Emergency beds, with the cardboard and paper giving the four-poster bed look for small spaces
- Paper Church following the devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan
- The Nepal project follows on from the Nepal Earthquake, in which Ban is rebuilding homes for the victims
A hugely inspirational and innovative man if you ask me, showing what can be done if paper and cardboard are recycled.