• 07.13.11

Zim & Zou Build Replica Game Boys And Walkmen, Out Of Paper

The colorful sculptures perfectly encapsulate the trends toward ’80s nostalgia and papercraft.

At Co.Design, we devote a fair amount of space to technological breakthroughs. With innovation seemingly outpacing our ability to write about it, it’s easy to forget where we stood just a few years ago, with our film cameras and cassette players. The elaborately constructed paper replicas of outmoded gadgets, by the French duo Zim & Zou, bring it all back in vibrant colors.


Thibault Zimmerman (Zim) and Lucie Thomas (Zou) spent almost a year painstakingly building the eight-piece “Back to Basics” series, which includes a Polaroid camera, an old Leica, a Walkman (with cassette), and a Nintendo game control. “We decided to use a paper process to transform an industrial object into a handmade craft,” Zimmerman tells Co.Design. “The fact that the objects are not working places the user in a spectator position, a way to see the object out of its function.”

The project is clearly inspired by ?80s nostalgia, but it’s also a reminder that even the most cutting-edge pieces of technology will soon become quaint relics.

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.