5th MINT Challenge

Best practice award for university projects teaching sustainable developments in MINT studies.
all about the project
About 5th MINT Challenge

  • Presentation of the BWP – Building with Paper Project by Oskar Gerspach-Wolf



Application Abstract

The BWP „Building with Paper“ project has developed at the Department of Plastic Design in the Department of Architecture from a long-standing examination of the use of paper and cardboard in construction and architecture.

The aim is to search for a new, more sustainable architecture that can make a contribution to resource-saving construction through alternative materials.

Here, the topic of circular value creation in the construction industry is paramount, as is the search for new building materials that consist of renewable raw materials, can be separated according to type and can thus be returned to recycling cycles. In addition to good strength properties and constructive joinability, paper as a building material can meet the increasing demands on buildings with regard to changes in function and use due to its recyclability.

The FGPG has been working on paper materials for use in architecture and design since 2012 and has been able to acquire its expertise in this area in a wide range of projects and collaborations.

The focus here is on experimental research into the design and handling of paper as a material for architectural applications. The creative process is conducted through analogue and digital design processes in a scientific context, with the experimental „try and error“ principle serving as an aid to abstraction; the resulting variants provide the basis for comparison, analysis and narrowing down to find direct solutions as „case studies“. The research and development of models is carried out in experimental set-ups, scientific test models and component studies from laboratory scale to application scale in 1:1. The research into materials extends from industrial products and partially refined raw materials to the further development and optimisation of papers for applications in architecture.

The competences and approaches developed are to be bundled in the BWP project and passed on to students and the non-university public as science communication in the form of courses and exhibitions.

In several exhibition contributions on the topic of „Building with Paper“, the research content and results were presented to a broad public in the form of a science transfer. The exhibitions constructed from paper materials themselves contribute to the topic, they become part of the project’s science communication and explain how to build with paper. 

Within the framework of courses and workshops with students, the BWP project carries the approaches from experimental research into teaching. It aims to enable students to learn through research, to train them in dealing with sustainable solutions for a circular economy and to make active building and construction more tangible for them through realisations on a 1:1 scale. But also vice versa, the project generates interesting new solutions for the students for the further development of the material towards a sustainable building material – paper.