This is an exhibition display design for the Monster Exhibition held in February 2013; its purpose was to prevent diminishing consciousness of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. Monster was used as a metaphor of disaster for the artworks exhibited. Display platforms converted the metaphor into design to gain wide recognition of the event.
Recover & Rebuild Japanese art & design started its organization after the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 to maintain support for reconstruction of the Tohoku region. Attention and support tend to fade away after a few years, but the organizer believed that continuing organization and ongoing events would remind people that the disaster happened. The exhibition space design was their first event, intended to accelerate their charitable action and to help them facilitate their business model.
The platform is made of corrugated cardboard as a base structure and covered with the paper skin made of innumerable tetrahedrons. As soon as the skeleton was covered with paper skin as if to be covered with fur, its appearance metamorphosized into a monster with display functions. Once the artwork was on top of the tetrahedrons, its existence of gravity was erased and resulted in creating a tense atmosphere for each artwork. Two structures, a male and female, were placed in the center of a 10m x 13m x 3m high space to surround a whirlpool and create flowing display lines.
The overall space design was achieved by a series of studies using three-dimensional CAD, but delicate paper skin would not be as effective without handcrafted paper folding. A tetrahedron was chosen as the best fit for its geometrical followability. Approximately 10,000 tetrahedrons were folded by many volunteers. Thousands of “origami” paper cranes are often made to wish for peace in Japan, and this project reiterates such actions for the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in 2011, transformed into a skillful display design utilizing the technology of 3D CAD.
The event was held for six days and drew over 6,000 visitors in total, which satisfied the client and encouraged a subsequent exhibition held in New York. Initially, display platforms were designed with mobility so they can be used in other locations. Individual sheets of origami skin are compactly stacked in layers and a cardboard structure is assembled onsite while they are packed into compact boxes. The original mobility of this plan allowed for the project’s potential and its platform has been used as a display of photography from disaster sites at other locations.