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Reverse-engineering Bauhaus paper designs (part two)

My Bauhaus reverse-engineering work has been continuing this chilly springtime, and I wanted to share a few new pieces. (New to me, anyway, but definitely not new in any sense of the word!)

There’s three different items here. One is a cone-shaped structure – part of a large, extensive family of expanding cuts (See some interesting usage of this concept by Haresh Lalvani). I’ve just started digging into this – and each tiny tweak I make changes the results dramatically. Differences in cut length, spacing, width of rings, how many of them there are, the tensile strength of the paper… there’s a lot of factors to contend with! But I keep finding interesting new behaviors so this is certainly worth more exploration.

Another model is an elegant twisting spiral – a tiny version of a larger recreation of this original piece:

I’ve been entranced with this design since I first saw it 3 years ago, and I’m very glad to have finally figured out how to recreate it! There is currently a large version of this (1m / 3 feet) hanging in the middle of our family room, where it gets much attention from our young son.

The last piece is a fairly simple set of alternating papercuts, but it creates quite a lovely effect. I re-created this using the same proportions as one used in the MoMA 1938 Bauhaus exhibition. Of course, like any of these other models, one could use an endless variety of cuts and spacing, but this particular one is a slavish reproduction of the original (to my best ability). On my refrigerator at home I have a photo magnet I picked up last year at the Bauhaus Dessau gift shop, featuring a photo of the balconies of the Dessau building. I have to say I see a lot of similarities between this paper model and the building itself… I wonder which one came first?

If you’re interested in making some of these creations, consider signing up for my summer course – at a Bauhaus UNESCO world heritage site just outside of Berlin. Well worth it, in my opinion 🙂


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