Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Using indigenous paper for flexible wall partitions.

Eco-Africa is an environmentally friendly company that uses indigenous plants and African artisans to produce a diverse range of craft paper.

Maybe Eco-Africa paper or other similarly produced indigenous papers could be used to create movable and Flexible styled partition walls or furniture. By forming the paper into an accordion shaped structure the possibilities of this paper architectural interiors becomes endless as reported in this story in the Architectural weekly.

Such structures could significantly make urban and rural housing projects in Africa more affordable and sustainable. A Similar paper honey comb technique has been used to produce the expandable chair show in the video below.

Their website writes about how "...Paper-making is a relatively new craft in Southern Africa. It developed as a cottage industry to help impoverished villagers, mainly women with young families to get by and feed their loved ones. The raw materials were readily available in the form of wild plants and shrubs that grow free and plentifully around their villages and communities. Programs were set up to provide simple, basic equipment for grinding the fiber into pulp and then to form the resulting pulp into sheets. Drying of the sheets was (and often still is) carried out by hanging them out to dry, often alongside the family washing.

The artisans-to-be are taught to use as their raw materials fiber collected from indigenous plants such as river reed, elephant grass, sisal, wild fig, and sun hemp, that grow wild and plentifully near and around their homes. They are encouraged to use traditional African tools like the "duri" and the "guyo" as ecologically sound techniques. Additional paper styles are created using cotton waste as the fiber resource, which is collected from textile mills and bring bright and pastel shades to the growing line of paper styles..."

Photo courtesy of Architectural weekly


Nilla said...

I'm impressed with the expandable chair in the video.

I've worked with paper (nomex) honeycomb before, and it wasn't that flexible...

Anonymous said...

Interesting to know.