Gaffatape and cardboard - Extreme rapid prototyping

In this workshop we were asked to produce a physical and existing object in the scale of 1:1 using only gaffatape and cardboard. The purpose of this exercise was for us to push our projects and materialize our ideas as well as to reflect upon our investigation and field of research. The object of our selection would therefore have to link to our interests and be a part of the territory that we have been investigating.

As my area of research I have selected Canary Wharf. As a major financial and business district, the people that are being employed and work there are mainly restricted to a smart dress code. An example of forming fashion through the architecture and the purpose that a building or an interior serves.

Clothing has a significant psychological impact on people’s perceptions. It becomes a system of identification as it says a lot about the sex, preferences, status, occupation, group membership and character. The business suit conveys a respectable image. In California, the psychologist and professor Abraham Rutchick conducted a study along with the State University and found out that formal clothing does make people to think more expansively and abstractly, in the sense of a leader. Business suits and conservative clothing

are really interesting social phenomena. Smart dressing implies a form of power, different though from the one of the police uniform, a power that is associated with wealth and social manners.

Cardboard is a quite malleable material, easy to cut and use for modeling and small constructions, more suitable for fast prototyping and low res making. Experimenting with it gave me another insight into its properties. In this workshop we were only limited to use cardboard and gaffatape, which gave us a limitation to what we could achieve but at the same time it was a way for us to creatively engage with the making process.

I used an existing blazer as a making reference form which I measured out and sketched into a 1:1 scale the patterns that I had to cut in order to make the garment. I made the main body out of 4mm thick cardboard, which made it a bit stiff but soon after that I started deconstructing it into parts which left me with a thin layer of paper cardboard which I used for the sleeves. I used the black gaffatape as a sealing method and a way to give a colour to my suit, sealing it black would bring it a step closer to the real object.