Collective Paper Aesthetics
November 2010
Noa Haim

Collective Paper Aesthetics is a civic game in design models; reloading Buckminster Fuller Octet-truss patent to a series of explorations in objects, space and experience.

…On the contrary to a Blanc reference point Collective Paper Aesthetics is starting with a print proof. Simply take a tour around the room in your mind, fold and un-fold it, puzzle it and frame your special moments. The known and the unknown are visualized from one same yet different pre-cycled building block. Everyone can play a designer.  

Collective Paper Aesthetics is a civic game in design models – Can everyone be a citymaker? The work is translating a site specific installation made for London Festival of Architecture 2008 to a participatory activity, construction toy, household accessories and visual merchandizing.


Collective Paper Aesthetics is introducing a physical modeling tool to communicate in a playful manner complex systems. The principle tool is a paper lattice, to be fold into three dimensional polyhedral packs. The pack is closing with paper joints, which are integrated, as the instructions, in the lattice itself. The single packages can be connect one to another using the same joints; on each ‘vector’ two paper joints are positioned one is to close the package it self and the other to connect package to package. The polyhedral packs can be assembled in multiple different directions, generating varied three dimensional patterns.

Games are an interactive process, in a framed ‘storyline’ through one can explores almost unlimited number of future scenarios. Every one can play. Buckminster Fuller introduced his idea titled the World Game, in the 1961 as a tool to communicate organizational complexities toward everyone. Collective Paper Aesthetics is merging both of Fuller’s ideas, the world game and the octet truss. By using print proofs is enriching the conscious structure with random patterns provides endless aesthetics possibilities.

 Collective Paper Aesthetics explores the ludic potential of megastructure in the scale of a game.  As an object, the constructions can fulfill various usage scenarios, such as toys, household accessories, or packaging for visual merchandizing, among others. But as a model, the game has the potential to reload some of its visionary progenitors, The World Game and the megastructure visions of the sixties. Collective Paper Aesthetics most potent usage is as a means to collectively envision new models of neighborhood center development, and in turn, new models of shared public space.

Initial research idea is introducing a participatory study re-shaping neighborhood centers. The research aim to play with inhabitant in re shaping programmatically neighborhood centers. Neighborhood centers are an architectural product, contains a mixed-use program, while diverse in relation to occupant’s socio-economical situation and position. It is an intermediate urban scale, which is easy to grasp and a public – private enterprise where occupants can form a party in decision making.  By building 3d models with inhabitants in a framed time workshops, decision makers as academics can increase knowledge about the future of Neighborhood centre. Status: Pending.

Paper tales and other stories

our CONSTRUCTION TOY comprises re-usable paper building blocks. Similar to Meccano, it enables the building of working models. Unlike Meccano, the basics connect one to another by ‘click’, no glue, nuts or bolts are needed. The construction The kit is composed of A4-size paper sheets. Each paper sheet unfold three plays: Toy*, the lattice is a play for geometrically challenged people, Dust*, the confetti is a creative puzzling in randomness & Frame*, the rest around the lattice is an edge to store your special moments. Status: Active

A4 Diagram

Build the world/Toy for every child is a mini scenario to use Collective Paper Aesthetics for a nonprofit children education organization. Does anyone have Bono’s e-mail? Because the tool has educational values, as a playful way to learn complex geometry and can be massively produced in a low cost, it can be a good match with nonprofit children education organizations. Working with NGO is an alternative way to launch the product to the market. Status: Pending

In the field of visual merchandising, Collective Paper aesthetics is illustrating second life to printed promotional material. Megastructures are a good match with visual merchandizing, because both are open end systems. With Collective Paper aesthetics modular packaging, lighting, storage, ticketing and customer experience can evolve. By using tessellation to modify the original octet truss geometry, an endless series of light shades and crystal-like packaging can be modeled. While a singular unit can perform as a package to accommodate different goods in relation to perforation extent. A group of packages can form a storage unit or a display cases. Status: Pending

Cad/Cam for the People is a scenario for educational activity to experience cad/ cam technology by general public. The term CAD/CAM is a shortening of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM). In that manner we can explore via experience not only technological notions but geometric conventions as polyhedral world, tiling etcetera. Status: Active.

Christmas Forest is a modular lighting system, to use more than during Christmas simply. Made out of print errors = paper waste.  Each kit contains10 paper lattices to be composed by the playing man. Each lattice is incorporating the building instructions on it and assembled with integrated interlocks tabs. The paper is sprayed thoroughly with flame-retardant spray. No glue or additional instruction pages are needed. Made in 3 different scales which can click one to another, accommodate each other, or diffuse in the field Christmas Forest is a whole family play in polyhedral world. Status: Active.

Since architecture and design are a team work, I would like to thank but the participants in the civic games to Mr. Torsten Herbst to for the on-site prototyping. Marije van der Park, Joyce Meulepas and Niels van Marle for the lovely organization in La Citta Mobile during Dutch design week 2008. Ann Maes, Maarten Kloos, Marc Peperkamp and Flora van Gaalen for a wonderful museum night, Amsterdam. Rüdiger Sprave, Axel Hildenbrand and Michael Ebel for super opportunity and productive collaboration in imm-cologne 2009, Olivia Ponzanelli and her friendly team in Triennale Bovisa, Milan. Arik Levy for the muscle in positive comment. Frederikke Aagaard, Lizett Winberg Roneklindt and Danish design centre team for showhow. Thank you all. The show in made possible financially thanks to Yona Marcu and Francine Mendelaar while technically supported by

Architecture – product design – Merchandizing – Modularity – Participatory – Play

Winy Maas argues at a lecture given in the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam titled ‘The reality of Urban Fiction’ that “architecture should be positive and constructive”. This text is summarizing two years of work, playing with my graduation thesis model, investigating the potential of participatory modularity in and outside of conventional architectural practice. To be continue…


  1. Very nice where is your picture?

  2. Thank you for this impressive and exicting project. Are you going to
    present it in Israel sometime?

  3. hi Noa, it’s Christian,

    we spoke about the smell of burning paper

    be good to stay in touch about future projects


    | Christian Inkpen
    | Corridor
    | +44 (0) 7811 437237

  4. Dear Noa,

    I saw you made an attempt to register at Toon van Tuijl Designprijs, but you haven’t finished it. If you have any questions, please mail me at or call me on my mobile. Your design means a lot to us! Thank you!

  5. Dear Noa,
    As the co-founder of innovation consulting firm I wish to use your product in my innovation seminars in israel , however it seems like impossible to connect with you.
    How can we connect with you and get a better sense of Collectivepaperaesthetics’s ? Please contact us at
    Inbar morag

  6. […] Collective Paper Aesthetics was first created by Noa Haim for the London Festival of Architecture 2008 with the concept of “design that anyone can experience”, re-making Buckminster Fuller’s Octet Truss so that anyone can build three-dimensional sculptures by assembling things like a puzzle. It starts as in the photo above, just as paper. This is then cut out and folded to make shapes. In the series there are paper balls with which you can construct a stool or table, and paper blocks to build toys, and so on. For the workshop in Tokyo, the paper was a textured Japanese paper that was easy to fold. […]

  7. Hello to all, the contents existing at this site are really awesome for people
    experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.

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