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Fat Fringe

  • FIX GALLERY 1728 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA, 90015 United States (map)

“Fat Fringe” is a collaborative project between Materials & Applications (M&A) and the design office Layer. The project aims to explore techniques for large scale, high volume paper cutting. A die-cut paper canopy has been developed by participants in a series of weekend workshops led by designers Lisa Little and Emily White of Layer.

Through slicing, punching, and folding, paper enthusiasts spent three weekends transforming sheets of paper into all species of beautiful 3D forms. Some participants began by using templates printed out from the program Pepakura to create hollow paper boulders formed from single pieces of carefully cut and folded paper. Others used folded splines and regularly spaced slices, creating elegant sweeps of open gills across stretched or twisted planes. Several outlaws followed their own anti-cartesian logic, creating organic insectisoidal forms. Inspiration for the designs has a variety of sources ranging from 80’s hairstyles, to the suspended whale of the Natural History Museum, to ruminations about the graphic merits of vintage valentine lace and origami.

Over several weekends, we worked on constructing a full-scale module to prototype the best designs from the previous workshops. The final full-scale design was sent to the die-cutters to be precisely and uniformally mass-produced. Once we received the final parts from the die-cutters, volunteers folded, taped, and aggregated the individual pieces together to form perfect full-scale modules. We spent most of our time folding, stapling, and aggregating the individual paper building blocks into a single hanging paper structure, a conversational homage to fringe. As each block became more predictable, we altered our focus to sculpting the overall form and the interaction between canopy and space. The installation slowly evolved into a form emerging from collective imagining and experimenting.

At last, Layer and Materials & Applications debuted their collaborative project, “Fat Fringe” on the evening of March 11th at the FIX gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Hosted by Dwell Publications, sponsored by Izze beverages, with ambient music by Dobrega, it was an affair to remember. After weeks of hard work, the construction of the die cut canopy was the center of conversation. Lisa Little and Emily White, and everyone who assisted with the installation, finally saw the organic ivory-colored canopy tell a story with its swooping movement across the gallery. The glowing light above illuminated the fluttering canopy, casting a gradient of shadows on the gallery floor. Not only was the structure visually mesmerizing, but the folded paper provided a form that was structurally sound.

Fat Fringe marks the second project by Materials & Applications to be designed and built off-site. The installation was generously funded by a grant from Pasadena Art Alliance. This was all made possible under the guidance of Layer, Materials & Applications, and all you people of paper! Thank you for all of your continuing support.

Fat Fringe was open to the public at the Fix Gallery in downtown Los Angeles from March 12th to April 8th, 2010.

Watch a video about the making of Fat Fringe.

Input: The Development of the Module

“Between workshop 1 and workshop 2 we evaluated some of the characteristics that appealed to us about the multitudes of fringes that had emerged over the course of workshop 1. We loved the fluffiness of perimeter fringe; we loved how spatial curved flap fringe could be, not to mention the allure of spiny fringe. The module that we developed could host all of these fringes, was stiff enough to hold its shape when attached to a string along one edge, and had an interior void that made it possible to look through the piece. There was some serious tinkering during weekend 2, and by the end of the day Sunday, we had a module that could be sent out for die cutting.” – Emily White, Layer

Crew: Many thanks to everyone who contributed their time and effort toward a successful build. Lucas Aguero, Joe Aguilar, Jason Anthony, Katie Brennan, Marco Camargo, Claudia Carballada, Bruce Chan, Henry Cheung, Kc Cho, Juan Collantes, Raul Collantes, Jenna Didier, Mark Docdocil, Elly Dorriz, Richard Ellis, Jesse Fleming, Gabe Friedman, Marjory Garrison, Aeden, Gasser-Brennan, Matt Hartman, Oliver Hess, Melissa How, Crystal Hughes, Brent Jacobsen, Gary Kosman, Justin Lui, Lisa Little, Michelle Liechty, Jessica Lim, May Maduong, Samara Mills, Marcos Novak, Hazel Paraoan, Billie Pate, Brendan Ravenhill, Candice Sin, Samuel Starr, Charles Strawter, Jason Skonieczny, Anne Toratt, Ute Waldhausen, Jonathan West, Emily White, and Karina White. Join the fun! email us.


Fat Fringe is generously sponsored by the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Special thanks to Logical Homes, and the Sofa Company.

Media sponsorship by Dwell magazine.

Earlier Event: January 31
Extraterritorial Build
Later Event: March 20
Weaving the Wind