Wicker Architecture and Cardboard Signs

The wicker basket façade of the Spanish Pavilion, designed by Barcelona-based architects MiralleTagliabue EMBT, for the 2010 Shanghai Expo has appropriately garnered awards and accolades—to the point where the cardboard signage system inside has not attracted much media attention, which it also deserves.

Designed by Isidro Ferrer in collaboration with Valencian designer Pablo Alabau and the Zaragoza Versus studio, the die-cut cardboard typography is the perfect complement to the woven willow stem structure of the building. The unbleached cardboard with its unapologetic rough texture blends harmoniously into its environment. It’s fresh and expressive and, like the wicker walls, the signage feels like it sprung from nature and will dissolve back into it when the Expo is over.

The idea of using cardboard signage for tradeshow booths also has its appeal – it is economical, lightweight enough to lower shipping and handling costs, and relatively sturdy. Plus it is biodegradable, so when you dismantle the show, you can recycle the material on the spot.