For the designer new to modelling, the different typesof paper and cardboard that are easily available and veryeconomical make them great materials with which tostart. The versatility of uses that can be achieved withthese materials – through processes such as cutting,scoring and folding – means that they are ideal for avariety of different model types. Furthermore, becausethey are typically flexible to varying degrees (dependingon their thickness) and easily manipulated, they also offeradaptability and are highly suitable for both the initialexploration of form and for detailed design work.

The flexibility of these materials is clearly illustratedin the examples on these pages, in which a number of  different varieties of paper and cardboard have been usedto illustrate the designers’ intentions.

Perhaps a significant limitation of models madefrom paper and cardboard is that they are usually farmore delicate and perishable than those made from morerobust materials. The ‘classic’ white cardboard models sopopular with students and architects alike is susceptibleto dust and dirt, so extra care should be taken whenhandling them post-production and a soft, dry paintbrushapplied to remove any dust. Care also needs to be takenwhen using a glue to fix and connect components madefrom paper and cardboard, as any additional residue willbe difficult to remove at a later stage.

Folding in architecture has been explored by a numberof different practices as they seek to investigate fluidityof space, continuous materiality or ‘wrapped’ buildings.Compared to most other modelling materials, paperand cardboard are available in very thin thicknessesand are therefore highly suited to folding and facetedarchitectural components in models.As stated earlier, the availability, low expense andflexible properties of paper and cardboard make themideal for use in working or explorative models, throughwhich the designer investigates various possibilities andrefines the design – whether through models of the wholescheme or smaller parts of it.