Mail Order House

Componentized Recyclable Light Weight Sheet Material System for Temporary and Emergency Use


DESIGN STUDIO:  Summer 2007, 6 Credits

LEVEL: B.Arch / 2nd, 3rd Semester Undergraduate

INSTRUCTOR: Dana Čupková

This studio aims to respond to the Lifecycle  Building Challenge competition (, which questions the general definition of efficiency within the construction industry and asks to incorporate issues of deconstruction, recyclability of materials, adaptation and component recovery into architectural design.

The goal of the studio is to propose a simple shelter assembly system from the basic lightweight recyclable materials: high density foam and cardboard.

Since the days of the Bauhaus, the issue of craft conceptually challenged the traditional definition of materiality through means of tooling. The properties of any material in its primitive form and geometry can be modified through basic tools to perform different structural functions. The softness of paper can be altered by geometric folds of deliberate patterns to withstand vertical and lateral loads. This studio operates on the same basic premise. We investigate component logic in cardboard and structural form to produce a complete enclosure, which can withstand basic structural loads and climactic conditions; it is easy to demount and ship. The notion of repetition, systematic understanding of modular logic and variation within the sequence of assembly/disassembly will be tested through physical models, drawings and computer modeling. The goal is to produce a larger scale mockup of a temporary dwelling.


Students | Siobhan Rockcastle, Cayley Lambur

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Student | Heera Gangaramani, Amanda Huang

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Student | Jaeyourl Song

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