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Paper Packaging Goes Travelling ‘Dan Dan Style’

Paper packaging is typically used for protecting goods whilst in transit or storage and for holding various objects and materials. Polar architect Yusuke Murakami has been exploring the unlimited potentials that paper and cardboard have to offer.

Picture the scene; you’re walking through a forest and come across a clearing in the trees. Something catches your eye that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to see outside in the middle of the woods. It’s a tent made entirely of cardboard. Yusuke’s architectural masterpieces are soon to be readily available and are fit for all eventualities and ages, so spotting one out in the woods may soon become reality.


The Dan Dan Dome project has been developed by Yusuke (polar architect) and the Tokyo Seikan Group. Its aim is to help promote sustainable and better ways of living. The innovative concept also gives sustainable solutions that contribute towards a more hopeful, positive society.

It has been designed so that anyone can build them; from children to adults. The teamwork and sense of community that you would get from having to build the tents as a group, family, or colleagues is also something they wanted to draw attention to.

The Tokyo Group has been very conscious about packaging and ‘wrapping’. They aim to produce new products whilst being aware of not just the production process, but the end-of-life discarding process too. They favour all things cardboard as corrugated card boasts a record recycling rate of 85% in Japan, and seeing as it can be discarded properly, it can be used for a number of things without being damaging to the environment.



The Dome itself is constructed through various folds and grooves in the board. The only thing to note is that they do require cable ties to keep the structure together firmly. However, we would recommend using compostable twine or even string to tie the sections together as not only are these options a strong substitute, but they are also environmentally conscious and biodegradable.

They have stated that they wanted every part of the paper cycle to be considered; for instance the consideration of disposal and recycling options of the cardboard which is designed to minimise environmental impacts of the creation and build of a new product.


Types of Dome

The Domes are scheduled to be released in the autumn of 2021. There isn’t going to be just one dome that ‘fits all’ though. All Dan Dan Domes, come with a ‘Dan Dan Guide’ that shows a visual guide of how to put it together. However, not every Dome has the same purpose.

  • The STANDARD Dome: 
    • The STANDARD Dome is a water-resistant model designed for outdoor installation. These can also be disassembled and reassembled with ease as the sections are easy to separate.
  • The ART Dome:
    • The ART Dome is a white model which is based on the STANDARD Dome. It is designed for indoor and outdoor use. It has an inner roof design that has no protruding cardboard on its interior which allows for the user to use a projector to cast entertainment onto the ceiling of the Dome. The white exterior has been designed to allow for the cardboard to be painted and personalised by the individual.
  • The LITE Dome:
    • The LITE Dome uses standard cardboard for its construction. It can be used outdoors and is primarily intended for indoor use in places such as gymnasiums, public facilities, event spaces, and shelters in the event of a natural disaster.


As well as the few uses outlined above, Murakami states that there are no rules on how you use Dan Dan Domes as there are infinite possibilities. A handful of these include:

  • Humanitarian Aid:
    • Not only do these cardboard structures help when there has been a local natural disaster and provide shelter, but they can also provide privacy to those having to evacuate a potential disaster.
  • They Can Be Constructed Wherever You Are:
    • From your back garden to mountain peaks, the Domes can be built and will withstand the weather, come rain or shine (depending on the model of the Dome).
  • Self-Expression/Art:
    • The ‘Art’ model of the Dome’s has been designed with the specific purpose to be painted, printed on, and can look exactly how the owner would desire.
  • Sense Of Community:
    • As well as being great for teamwork and can create a great team-building exercise, if the structure is being built outside it allows for people to not only connect with each other but nature too.
  • Childs Play:
    • Children can not only build these domes, but they can also use them as their secret den, use it as a place to relax and let their creativity out.
  • Pet House:
    • As well as using it as somewhere for your children to hide away and play, you can also let your furry friends hop in and explore the tents.

Yusuke Murakami is not the only person to come up with a creative and sustainable way of using paper-based packaging materials in their work. Paper and paper-based packaging is becoming a popular material of choice for many creatives. Artists such as Chie Hitotsuyama and Yuken Teruya have incorporated the material in their works to make comment on the sustainability and usability of paper-based packaging.

So the next time you are out traveling or simply just want to give the family a challenge, consider constructing a Dan Dan Dome of your own. Or even building your own tent out of cardboard and paper packaging that you have to hand. After all, the possibilities are endless.

The Paper Fact File

Paper and paper-based packaging are one of the most sustainable and recycled materials in the world!

Visit the Paper Fact File to discover the facts about paper’s sustainable attributes. Some might surprise you!