If you find yourself in the centre of Delft over the next week or so you would be forgiven for thinking that you had accidentally stepped into the film Donnie Darko or even the old James Stewart movie, Harvey. You might find yourself doing a huge double take because you will be confronted by a seven meter high pink rabbit. Not a real one, you understand, but an equally unlikely origami one.
Must have been a big bit of paper, I hear you say. But it only looks like origami, in fact it is made from wood (hell of a folding job, you are thinking). So just to recap – it is a giant pink origami rabbit made from wood in the Markt in Delft.
Standing proudly in the middle of the city’s main square, the edifice is there to promote the Delft Fringe Festival which is currently underway. The rabbit was designed and constructed by students at the TU – Delft’s world class Technical University.
“With the design competition we are building a bridge between young makers in technology and in culture,” says Aziza Sbiti, assistant business manager at the Delft Fringe Festival.
At the beginning of 2020, the team from the Minor Archineering (Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft) and the Delft Fringe Festival joined forces and created a special teaching program. In honor of the tenth anniversary, the students designed a pavilion for the Markt, where ticket sales, meetings and performances take place. Roel Beeftink-Funcken, director of the Delft Fringe Festival: “We are very happy with this special collaboration. This gives the relationship between culture and technology a place in our festival and we can strengthen the connection between the historic city center and the TU Campus, both iconic aspects of Delft, in the coming years. ”
15 versatile designs to choose from
Thirty students from, among others, Architecture, Industrial Design and Electrical Engineering Mathematics & Computer Science, set to work on the assignment in teams of two. “On the one hand they were challenged to choose untrodden paths, on the other hand there were concrete conditions that the design had to meet. For example, a maximum of eight cubic meters of cross laminated timber (CLT) was available.” says Roel van de Pas, Archineering coordinator at TU. The specialists of the White Shark startup familiarized the students with the technology of CLT. Cas van der Zanden: “With CLT we not only store CO2 in our buildings; this project also shows what beautiful objects can be made with it.” Fifteen different designs were created, of which an expert jury chose the origami-based design by Bartek Kotlicki and Ben Provan-Bessell, called Animal Theater, as the winner.
The winning design: Animal Theater
Bartek and Ben created an ingenious zoo from wooden origami objects consisting of “crane benches”, “butterfly umbrellas”, a “stage duck” and the seven meter high cash register rabbit. A very functional pavilion that will protrude high above the audience with its long ears. At the same time, it forms a beautiful logo for the festival that was won an illusionist last year (really, that was a coincidence!). The mega-sized rabbit will appear on the Markt for the first time this year and will be an eye-catcher for the festival in following years.
More than just a rabbit
The Origami Fringe Rabbit plays a major role in the tenth edition of the festival. It is the physical gateway to the festival, which will take place online this year. You can go there for information about the festival, the exhibition The Origami Rabbit and the festival magazine. Kids can get started with a 3D origami coloring sheet and a rabbit walk around town. In addition, the traditional public award of the festival has changed into a real golden rabbit after 10 years!
Exhibition The Origami Rabbit
If you would like to know more about the collaboration between TU Delft and Delft Fringe Festival and the rabbit’s trajectory from design to construction you can read and view all about this in the online exhibition The Origami Rabbit. The exhibition can be visited from 29th May via www.delftfringefestival.nl/expo
The Festival continues online until 6th June.