Housed in the tainted grandeur of Blackburn’s Cotton Exchange, Lazerian’s walk-in cardboard ‘pods’ present a striking, physical expression of the unusual semi-isolation of workers in the modern factory
“My ethos as a designer, maker and artist is to combine digital technologies and handcraft – you can’t have one without the other
During his residency Lazerian’s founder, Liam Hopkins, discovered that the workforce of the Cardboard Box Company depended entirely upon each other – yet worked largely alone, in distinct sectors. His vibrant and exotic cardboard structures evoke this modern predicament of individual detachment, whilst suggesting the colleagues’ essential connectivity. The pods’ use of irregular and organic forms presents a further challenge to perceptions by skewing the expected, strictly angular form of the cardboard box. eemingly simple things had an enormous impact during Jamie’s residency. He recalls hearing an off-the-cuff remark about a store of “old paper” which led him to unearth a treasure-trove of heritage tissue made at Roach Bridge on machines built in 1875; the last paper to be made at the site.
And this is not to mention Chromatogram’s exuberant colour schemes – a direct result of Hopkins’ research into the company archives of colour palettes. Each tone in the range has been used by the manufacturer at some stage in its production history and their realisation in the work represents a record of the company’s stunning gradient of colour through time. You are invited to pull on a hard hat to experience the pods in all their modern, alien glory in the semi-dereliction of the our vast heritage space. e has illuminated this fragile, antique tissue paper with the words of Blackburn poet William Billington, to be mailed to employees of the firm and Billington’s own descendants.
Overseeing creative design for a wide range of clients, as well as a series of industry-acclaimed conceptual projects, British designer Liam Hopkins has seen Lazerian grow in capability and reputation since its 2006 inception. The firm combines traditional handcraft techniques with modern, computer-based modelling to explore new concepts in multi-dimensional design. Preoccupied by the inherent strength found in paper, wood and carbon fibre, Hopkins finds strength and beauty in the most ubiquitous of materials.
Shortlisted for The Telegraph ‘SME of the Year’ award, Cardboard Box Company designs, prints and manufactures corrugated board for industrial and retail packaging solutions. Their state-of-the-art plant has seen fast growth in recent years through an incredible story of investment and invention. Whilst creating more than 25,000 solutions for customers, the firm remains an inventive, creative and people-centric company, committed to the local area.
“Working with Liam revealed to us the close link between art and manufacturing. We have different methodologies, but we both make things.
KEN SHACKLETON, CARDBOARD BOX COMPANY