The shapes of unfolded corrugated boxes are very fascinating. They show efficient and careful industrial design. Printing is suddenly transformed to a fragmented collage. Not that strange that kids are often happier with the box than the toy itself!
There’s some artists that use the graphical quality of these foldouts. They break down the box to it’s original flat shape and use that shape as an inspiration for their art. The picture on the left shows the knife that’s used to fold this box. It almost looks like a map of a building doesn’t it?
The graffiti artist “Mr Burns” used folded out boxes for his “one hundred cardboards”. Every piece of cardboard has it’s own shape and characteristics (due to manufacturing and wear and tear), Berni uses these as basis for his characters. An impressive series, nice and toony.
Wendy Plomp (again a dutch artist, yeah sorry) created these disposable cardboard carpets. Wendy went to the design academy, which is probably the reason there’s a lot of talk about the usefulness of these cardboard rugs. The lifespan of the box is very short and it’s a nice idea to prolong this lifespan by giving the inside an ornamental function. I can’t see it being very useful as a rug for a long time, whereas a real carpet would. But still, all our knowledge begins with the senses and a thing of beauty is a joy in itself. The shape of the boxes and the patterns on it also remind of Japanese kimonos and kites. For example this one by Uzan Kimura (1935).
Another example of an artist working with the flattened corrugated boxes is a man named Goro from Warsaw. He named his murals made of cardboard fold outs Cardboarders 🙂 You can’t go wrong there! He makes some interesting shapes with the boxes that remind of the Proun works by El Lissitzky. They share a common interest in the shapes of industrial design.