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A Dazzling Neon Tower Made From 30,000 Post-Its

Count ’em, 30,000!

A Dazzling Neon Tower Made From 30,000 Post-Its

Ah, Post-its. They’re great for grocery lists, reminders, “kick me” signs. But who knew that these tiny squares could form the building blocks for innovative architecture? At the ARTZONE Gallery in Kyoto City, Japan, Tato Architects managed to construct an intriguing and (remarkably) structurally sound installation using 3M’s wonderful invention.

Tato was commissioned to create an art installation that set the backdrop for six public dialogues, which took place in the gallery. After each conversation, the audience was instructed to write their impressions on Post-its. So naturally, Tato principal You Shimada tells Co.Design, he and his team of students from Kyoto University of Art and Design just had to use Post-its as their building material.

Over 30,000 Post-its were assembled into a series of “bricks” and joined together into layers which were stacked on top of each other to create fluorescent towers. Amazingly, the pieces are only secured with their own adhesive; there’s no additional glue in the entire structure. Even Shimada was surprised by how strong the Post-its were when united. “This is a kind of architecture — paper architecture,” he says. “Considerable strength with affluent flexibility was confirmed.” It took about a week to turn the Post-its into towers.

After the piece was completed, a performance by renowned calligrapher Miss Kasetsu gave another dimension to the project, as she picked a few cells on which to draw characters. Shimada and his team then reoriented the entire sculpture around these cells, re-assembling the pieces like Legos.

The neon honeycombs that make up the piece are a stunning example of the power of using a simple, flexible material. But what’s really surprising is how high you can stack Post-its without killing their structural stability. While the circular pattern each Post-it bends into gives the piece considerable strength, there’s also a lovely fluidity to the piece, allowing it to move ever so slightly depending on movement nearby.

Of course, the best part of a building made of Post-its is that it doesn’t create any unnecessary waste. “Parts of the sculpture were shared by several students who helped me construct the sculpture,” says Shimada. “All Post-its could have been recycled.”

[H/T Frame Magazine]

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.