Once the poor was the emigrant with a cardboard suitcase: migration and cardboard, together, gave the idea of poverty. Yet today we know very well that cardboard is everything but a "poor" material: it has a centuries-old history that reaches as far as China, is fully recyclable and biodegradable, is produced every year by the millions and today there are no areas of our life where it's not involved in some way.

It is also a fantastic support for creativity: kids "reinvent" cardboard boxes turning them into houses, cars, robots, or a thousand other things. Some people do it even on a larger perspective, obviously much more intricately and with a different approach: PicernocerasoLab applies digital fabrication techniques to various materials, including cardboard. We spoke with Amleto Picerno Ceraso, who is CEO of PicernocerasoLab but also responsible for Mediterranean FabLab and professor at MEDAARCH (Mediterranean Academy of Architecture), two realities with which PcLab "networks" to innovate together.

The Cocoon temporary pavillion, assembled after its workshop

A very effective example of PicernocerasoLab philosophy in designing and making objects is represented, explains Amleto, by Cocoon, a temporary pavilion made of corrugated cardboard: "All work carried out so far has brought satisfaction, but what I am particularly proud of is undoubtedly Cocoon, for the study and the design and the extraordinary team with which we were able to make it."

Cocoon was created as part of the workshop GH_to Fabrication held at the Mediterranean FabLab in Cava De' Tirreni in May 2013, in collaboration with Co-de.iT. It has a ring structure made by joining together nearly 250 hexagons in corrugated cardboard, as in a three-dimensional mosaic, to achieve a "cocoon " seven meters wide and just over three meters high. The goal of the project was "Investigate the processes that start from designing architectural artifacts and lead to their physical realization. It has been quite a challenge, overcome with success and gratification thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of all participants" says Hamlet.

Vulcania lamp

PicernocerasoLab designs objects that arise from the overlap and the cutting of hundreds of "layers" of cardboard joined together. The shape of the finished object is given by the succession of forms, always different, of the layers joined together in sequence. Sometimes its "computational" origin becomes evident, as in the Vulcania lamp and Four table, sometimes not. "Actually - explains Ampleto - I do not have a fixed source of inspiration, I like to explore. However, I must say that often nature is my main source of inspiration."

In addition to cardboard and paper , PicernocerasoLab uses materials such as aluminum, polypropylene and plastic, combined with bonding, assembly and fitting techniques.

Four table

Moreover, PicernocerasoLab goes beyond objects: "We have many initiatives in the pipeline: highly sector-specific (architecture, design, fashion...) training courses and workshops, Mediterranean FabLab activities open to the public and to schools, local crafts projects, research and development activities available to companies and universities, visiting schools around Italy and abroad, new lines of furniture for shops and exhibitions... For sure there will be no lack of stuff. And surprises!"

Many of these activities can be found out directly on Mediterranean FabLab website or by following the FabLab itself on its social channels of Facebook or Twitter (@medfablab). Obviously, you can't miss a visit to PicernocerasoLab shop on MakeTank.


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