Cardboard TOPO

There are unusual architectural elements taking space in the Haigo and Irene Shen Architecture Gallery at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Architecture. The exhibit, called TOPO Dialogue, features giant topography—or TOPOs—of recycled cardboards, paper-sized landscapes of text from 3D printers, as well as gray photography of Hawaiʻi’s skyline. The exhibit runs through February 27.

These pieces aim to generate awareness and dialogue about land, architecture, new technology and Hawaiʻi’s beauty in the current technological world we live in.

Exhibit features

Section 1
Topo focuses on island landscape that is located in water, unfolding the unique location and challenges we are facing such as sea level rise, importing and food storage issues. Also, tens of thousands of items are shipped to the islands in boxes each day. The topo on the wall shows a real world depiction of a cardboxscape situation Hawaiʻi is living in.

Section 2
Textscapes use 3D printed letters to create actual cityscapes, taking words and letters and giving them life off of the page, as lively as the cities they represent. This project includes pieces in braille, different language characters, calligraphies and number systems to bridge the text and its visuality in architecture, landscape, portraits and abstract matters.

Textscape of Central Park in NYC

Section 3
Horizontal Memorial is a reminder of the reality of Hawaiʻi’s unique landscape and the extreme beauty that does exist in the vast Pacific Ocean.

This exhibition is curated and executed by UH Mānoa Assistant Professor Hongtao Zhou and students from his architectural installation and exhibition design class. The three leading student artists are Carmela Arcenas, Tyler Francisco and Elijah Lee. Other architecture students who have contributed to this exhibition include Alice Sandstrom, Sven Bradley, Jesse Francisco, Elena Lekhter, Jeff (Chin Fang Chen), Rhealyn Dalere, Ramir Belmes, Danalli Ignacio, Jonathan Quach, Branden Annino, Eva Janina Constantino, Austen Dabboul, Jason Hashimoto, Rubinson Intong, Junho Jin, Carah Kadota, Joseph Kim, Matthew Saito, Siraj Sheriff, Kris Hazen Tabaquin and Marissa Tamura.

Exhibit details

The Haigo and Irene Shen Architecture Gallery is located in Room 214 of Architecture Building. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

For more information, read the School of Architecture news release.