OpenMake Cardboard
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Cardboard volcano
The Cardboard Institute of Technology transformed the Tinkering Studio in an immersive environment

A collaboration between the Exploratorium, MAKE Magazine, and Pixar Animation Studios, Open MAKE is a monthly program highlighting the tools, techniques, and ingenuity of local Makers. Visitors are invited to participate in tinkering and making activities inside the Tinkering Studio, where Makers from around the Bay Area share their work. In addition, Dale Dougherty, founder and editor of MAKE Magazine, interviews Featured Makers in the McBean Theater.

This month's theme was cardboard. Our featured makers were interviewed in the McBean Theater, and you can watch a recording of the presentation and questions by clicking here.

What happened:

The Cardboard Institute of Technology has been building a large installation in the Tinkering Studio since the beginning of the month. They shared their progress so far, and hosted a cardboard costume building workshop.

Surfer and laser cutting artist Mike Sheldrake brought some of his amazing surfboards made with a cardboard core.

Jason Lentz’s robot suit

Los Angeles artist Ana Serrano talked about the incredibly detailed cityscapes she builds out of cardboard, inspired by real neighborhoods. She also hosted a workshop inviting visitors to make a cardboard building to contribute to a collective art piece.

Puppeteer Dax Tran-Caffee makes giant articulated puppets out of cardboard (some require as many as 6 people to operate!): he brought some of those, and roamed around the museum all day long.

Designer Amy Van Nostrand talked about her use of cardboard to build large scale structures, like the 30-foot diameter Buddhist meditation hall she's brought and assembled at Burning Man since 2006.

And making a special guest appearance, Jason Lentz showed up wearing his giant cardboard robot suit!

Event’s workshops and activities included:

  • Make flying and spinning objects out of cardboard for our Wind Tubes
  • Build delightful kinetic sculptures by making Cardboard Automata
  • Cardboard costume building with CIT
  • Build cardboard houses inspired by your neighborhood with Ana Serrano
  • How big can you go? Build a giant structures from stacking cardboard "bloxes"
  • And many more cardboard-inspired eccentricities!
Cardboard Cerberus
Cardboard shackles

Each Open MAKE event constitutes the culmination of a whole month dedicated to exploring a different theme, centering activities, exhibits, and artists around a new material. This month, we played with cardboard.

Cardboard is quite wonderful: it starts life as simple paper, but through clever folding and stacking, it becomes one of the most versatile building materials. Its availability, and ability to be recycled as well as up-cycled, makes it a very attractive solution for prototyping, building quickly and cheaply, and experimenting with ideas. It cuts very nicely in a laser cutter, too!

Throughout February, we invite the public to share in our experiments with cardboard. We decided to turn to the preeminent experts in building large scale works with this amazing material: the Cardboard Institute of Technology took over the Tinkering Studio, and over the course of the month build a giant subterranean installation!

In addition to the constantly evolving cardboard cityscape, these are the workshops we hosted for this month:

Build with C.I.T.

Wed, Feb 9 — 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Wed, Feb 16 — 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Tue, Feb 22 — 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Join in the madness: the wonderful folks from the Cardboard Institute of Technology will open the doors to their work-in-progress, and invite the public to build with them. You’ll get a chance to add your contribution to the Tinkering Studio.

Cardboard Art Workshop with Ann Weber

Thu-Sat, Feb 10, 11, 12 — 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to create your very own cardboard sculpture with the amazing Ann Weber. Learn how a simple cardboard box can turn into an animal, a boat, a person or modern art. The sky is the limit! You’ll staple, glue or sew pieces of cardboard together to create whatever your imagination can come up with.

Workshop with Ana Serrano

Fri, Feb 18 — 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Join Featured Artist Ana Serrano in building delightful sculptures made of cardboard.

Costume-building workshop with C.I.T.

Sat, Feb 19 — 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Beside building large cityscapes, the folks at the Cardboard Institute of Technology are also master at making costumes out of cardboard, and they will be sharing their expertise and inviting the public to make their own papery exoskeletons.

Cardboard tops

Sat, Mar 5 — 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Make your own cardboard spinning top while enjoying the film Tops, by Charles and Ray Eames.