July 12, 2018

Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture Forms Installation Out of 1,000 Cardboard Planks

Shift, part of the Wide Open Walls art festival in Sacramento, was designed by Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture’s Jason Silva and Ginger Thompson. Photography by Jason Silva.

Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture focuses on civic projects throughout Northern California. Think animal services centers and kid-friendly science museums. So it’s fitting that Jason Silva and Ginger Thompson, design principal and project designer, respectively, collaborated recently on an immersive installation that was free and open to the public. Inside a vacant Sacramento warehouse, Shift, the centerpiece of the Wide Open Walls art festival, was the duo’s 6,400-square-foot pavilion that led visitors on an exploration of discovery.

The planks’ 10-foot length. Photography by Will Smith.

A team of volunteers helped realize the structure by individually folding donated corrugated cardboard into 1,000 long planks. Thompson painted a mural in purples, reds, and oranges on heavyweight paper, which was cut up and glued to the ends of 600 of the planks. Then, all of them were stacked and angled to form a narrow entry tunnel that opened into an expansive interior, the journey layered with small apertures between the planks affording veiled views of Thompson’s segmented mural. “In addition to celebrating design and art, we wanted to change perceptions,” Silva explains.

The installation’s donated corrugated cardboard, formed by volunteers into planks, some of their ends glued with pieces of Thompson’s mural. Photography by Jason Silva.

This wasn’t the first time he and Thompson worked together like this. Over the past six years, they’ve created a dozen installations, each one done pro bono. “Stretching our creative brains, getting our hands on materials,” Thompson notes, “they add depth to our work overall.” Everyone wins.

> See more from the June 2018 issue of Interior Design

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