Self-Structured Sliding Doors

December 1, 2009
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Self-supporting paper screens

Traditional Japanese shoji are sliding doors made of washi paper supported by wood crosspieces. The paper offers privacy and protection from wind but requires the lattice structure for support. For the Takeo Corporation’s Haptic exhibition, Japanese architect and materials researcher Hiroshi Ota set out to rethink the traditional Japanese architectural feature. After researching the Japanese papermaking technique called kami-suki (paper-scooping), Ota hypothesized that it would be possible to make self-supporting paper screens.

Ota formed a stainless-steel screen with a dimensional basket weaveñtype pattern using a rolling press. He molded two sheets of paper with this screen and attached them together after allowing them to dry. Once paired in this way, the paper sheets formed a truss capable of supporting its own weight and functioning as furniture. Although Japanese washi is typically appreciated for its lightness and delicacy, here Ota has used the paper to create stability and strength in a new sliding door.

Contact: Design Neoub, Tokyo, Japan.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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