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To qualify as a master craftsman, or Takumi, Lexus engineers are required to demonstrate their dexterity by folding an origami cat – in their non-dominant hand – in under 90 seconds. For the Japanese car manufacturer to commission a model of their new UX 300e electric car in paper, therefore, is perhaps not quite so incongruous as it might first appear. The model car, complete with a paper city through which it cruises, features in a promotional video created by Lexus in tribute to Takumi craftsmanship. The paper car model was built on top of a remote controlled chassis, on a 1:10 scale and included over 100 individual parts.

To qualify as a master craftsman, or Takumi, Lexus engineers are required to demonstrate their dexterity by folding an origami cat – in their non-dominant hand – in under 90 seconds. For the Japanese car manufacturer to commission a model of their new UX 300e electric car in paper, therefore, is perhaps not quite so incongruous as it might first appear. The model car, complete with a paper city through which it cruises, features in a promotional video created by Lexus in tribute to Takumi craftsmanship. The paper car model was built on top of a remote controlled chassis, on a 1:10 scale and included over 100 individual parts.

Creation of the Lexus UX 300e replica and paper city

The car and cityscape were created by London-based Scottish paper artist Kyla McCallum of Foldability. Kyla explains, “When Lexus first got in touch, they were open to creating either a miniature or a life-sized model of the car. It was a collaborative process, and it took a few months for us to pin down the style of the paper art, the scale of the car and the decision to also create a paper city for the car to drive through.”

Lexus UX 300e case study

Crucial to taking the project from concept to reality was the choice of paper to be used. Kyla was already familiar with Antalis, having used many of their  creative papers for previous projects, so she approached Antalis Paper Consultant Emma Davison to discuss which papers might be best suited to this project. Emma provided Kyla with a selection of papers in a variety of weights, textures and shades of paper to trial.

The Solution

From the samples provided, Kyla chose three of our papers from which to craft the paper city and Lexus UX 300e:

•    Curious Alchemy Silver, 300gsm
•    Curious Alchemy Titanium, 300gsm
•    Curious Metallics Electric Blue, 120gsm

The car: Curious Metallics Electric Blue was chosen as it is almost an exact match to the real Lexus UX 300e car featured in the video.

Curious Metallics and Curious Alchemy City Scape

 

Kyla originally planned to use a heavier weight paper for the car, but once she started testing out the shape, she realised that something lighter weight was needed to be able to incorporate curved folding and to achieve the geometric angles of the car’s bodywork. Kyla comments. “The Curious Metallics Electric Blue was really easy to cut and mould into shape, and it didn’t pucker easily, which was great.”

The city: Curious Alchemy Silver and Titanium were chosen for the paper city to create a ‘Metropolis’ feel. The tallest building was over two metres high and therefore required a sturdy and robust paper; 300gsm Curious Alchemy proved ideal. Kyla comments, “It’s a particularly thick 300gsm paper so was tough to cut, but performed well and gave the rigidity needed for the larger structures."           

The Technique          

The paper car took five and a half weeks to make and the entire project took over four months to complete, from the initial concept through to filming the final set. In the end the car was made from around over 100 parts! In this video Kyla McCallum talks through her thought processes, the challenges, techniques and papers behind the creation of the immaculate paper art.

 

The Result

Kyla explains why this was such an interesting and satisfying brief, “I love working on large scale, but also including detail, so it was an enjoyable brief for me to undertake. Usually, my projects last weeks rather than months, so it was a unique opportunity to be making one thing for a long time – making is my favourite part.” Not surprisingly, the client was delighted with the result! Watch the intricately detailed paper car cruise the handcrafted paper city in this promotional video created by Lexus, in tribute to Takumi craftsmanship.

 

Product Information

Curious Collection: An innovative range offering designers one-of-a-kind, striking papers. Arjowiggins' most iconic range offers various finishes and colours, from the silky Curious Skin and tactile Curious Touch, to the vast array of shades of Curious Translucents and Curious Metallics, and the uniqueness of Curious Matter, with an unusual texture somewhere between silk and sand.  

 

Find out more about Kyla McCallum’s work here.