Eye of the Tiger

Tigers berlin Here’s one tiger that won’t mind if you catch him by the toe. In celebration of the Chinese New Year (2010 being the year of the Tiger), international architectural and design firm LAVA Laboratory designed two, large origami tiger structures, commissioned by Customs House, for the World Wildlife Fund. Standing on display until August 30 at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof central station, the artistic creations will serve to raise awareness for conservation, as there are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild, according to a WWF representative.

Each tiger stands at over 8 feet high and 22 feet long. Each is constructed with aluminum and barrisol (both recyclable materials—extra points here for sustainability!) and illuminated with sustainable LED lights, drawing inspiration from the ancient tradition of Chinese paper lantern making.

The display has already appeared earlier this year at Customs House Sydney in Australia, and at the KL design week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in May. Next the tigers will be pouncing in on Singapore’s Smart Light Festival this October.

Tigers berlin6I’m absolutely in love with this display. As a child who made valiant attempts at creating origami paper cranes (which usually wound up looking more like mutilated ducks), I think the creativity, materials, and even theory behind the design is fantastic. The crouching stances, and not to mention giant toy ball under one of the tiger’s feet, offers a light-hearted playfulness to a serious issue, as well as demonstrates the flexibility and innovation available from green materials.

As Tony the Tiger would say, “They’re Grrrrrreat!”

–Stacy Straczynski

Comments are closed.