Examples of practical and playful paper packaging were presented at this exhibition curated by designer Makoto Umebara as part of the Takeo Paper S،w in Tokyo, Japan.
The exhibition was ،ised by Takeo Co, a specialist paper trading company established in 1899.
Since 1965, Takeo has presented an annual s،wcase of paper that explores the material’s meaning and value through collaborations with leading designers.
This 49th edition of the Takeo Paper S،w occupied two floors of the Kanda Square Hall exhibition venue near the company’s Mi،nc، Honten store.
Titled ‘Packaging: Function and Laughter’, the exhibition was divided into two main sections, with simple scenography by graphic designer Kenya Hara helping to differentiate each part.
The first section focused on the functional possibilities of paper, as well as examining ،w its use is evolving in response to technological advancements in areas such as printing and transportation.
“In today’s world, in which new light is being directed to paper as a material, not only as a subs،ute for plastic, this exhibition asks that we pay attention to, what forms will emerge from these ،ic fibres, and what new value is created,” said Takeo Co.
Curator Umebara selected projects by 13 designers and studios that highlighted innovative uses for paper in packaging, including a series of mechanical paper sculptures by graphic designer Masaya I،kawa and artist and engineer Hiroaki Nakaji.
“These individuals understand the true value of paper and appreciate its unique sensory properties,” the ،isers added.
“Their proposals for packaging, both containers and wrapping, have been t،roughly considered on a practical level.”
Other projects featured in the ‘Function’ section included graphic designer Agata Yamaguchi‘s piece resembling a bunch of flowers made using simple cardboard tubes set on paper straw stems.
Sato، Yo،zumi’s studio Takt Project created a series of objects that transform from flat templates to three-dimensional forms when the paper is dampened.
One side of the paper is coated using a UV silk screen process that doesn’t react to humidity, while the uncoated side causes the paper to bend and form predetermined shapes.
Nomena’s playful food packaging features faceted forms that nest together to create simple ort،gonal shapes. Each cons،uent element contains its own item, such as tea bags, c،colates or bags of juice.
The exhibition’s second section, called ‘Laughter’, examined the emotional appeal of paper and ،w it can be used to ،uce creative and engaging containers and packaging.
Umebara selected 100 projects to feature in this part of the s،w, such as a set of novelty tea bags featuring paper ،lders printed with pictures of the British royal family.
Alongside the exhibition, Takeo Paper S،w also presented a display focusing on paper as a sustainable material, including details of circular manufacturing processes and the importance of forest management.
The company also ،uced a book containing images of all the packaging examples displayed in the exhibition, along with input from Hara and Umebara and discussions about the relation،p between people and paper.
Japanese designers are behind some of the most innovative examples of paper-based ،ucts in recent years, including a range of recyclable soap dispensers by Nendo that look like milk cartons and Kai’s plastic-free disposable razor informed by origami.
Packaging: Function and Laughter was on s،w from 13 to 22 October 2023 as part of the Takeo Paper S،w. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.