Lots of dirt, earthmoving equipment and workers are milling around the grounds of the Walker Art Center this summer, while the arts institution renovates the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. As director Olga Viso explained in an interview in Architecture Minnesota, the campus renovation will better connect the Walker with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, reinvigorating a multi-year partnership between the Walker and the City of Minneapolis. In addition, the project includes rebuilding the museum’s Vineland Place entry and re-landscaping the former site of the Guthrie Theater while retaining the ever-popular Open Field.
Meanwhile, inside the Walker, visitors are invited to participate in a lighter, more ephemeral sort of construction—the first of its kind in the United States. Through August 6, Paper City, a project of the Walker’s Art Lab designed by artist/architect Noa Haim of Collective Paper Aesthetics, is taking shape. Part Buckminster Fuller exploration of shape and space, part reflection of the construction occurring outside, part exploration of collaborative city building, Paper City engages visitors of all ages in architecture and design—no experience necessary.
Participants simply punch out the triangles on pre-printed sheets of paper, fold the sheets in any variety of shapes, slide the tabs together, and add to the objects already under construction. Or you can start your own addition. Think building with Legos, only with sheets of paper that are white and light under your fingers. Think modern, as the white folded sheets are structurally unadorned with airy openings. Think model building, without the glue or gazillions of tiny plastic parts.
The Walker estimates upwards of 25,000 sheets will be assembled by August 6. As it changes every day, Paper City will bear the fingerprints of innumerable visitors. One of them could be you.
By Camille LeFevre
Photo courtesy of Noa Haim