We were commissioned by Selfridges to create a large scale installation for their Manchester Exchange Square store as part of their Bright New Things sustainability initiative.
Working to a brief developed by Manchester design agency Modern Designers; we were asked to produce something original and bespoke in partnership with James Cropper and The Whitworth. The installation threw a spotlight on James Cropper as an example of a company with “New Northern Heritage” – a real manufacturing heritage and sustainable credentials. The piece also needed to reflect the theme of Bright New Things.
We wanted to focus on the human touch, the idea of returning to artisan skills and making things that last. From this we came up with the concept of the human hand, crafted entirely from thousands of tiny handmade paper cubes, using high quality James Cropper paper.
Using a combination of traditional modelling techniques and 3D scanning technology, we crafted two larger than life hands entirely from 4cm paper cubes.
The hands, standing at around 2m tall, emerged from layers of grey and black cubes in their thousands. In total around 35000 cubes were used, with each element of the space telling a story about sustainability, the creative process and the art of paper-making.
A simple colour scheme of blues, greys and accents of vibrant oranges and yellows really brought the space to life while giant versions of the cubes on the central plinth reinforced the materials used.
The result; a beautiful and bold celebration of the many hands Northern Industry, past present and future.