Cardboard: The Perfect Artist Tool! An Interview with Dosshaus

August 30, 2016


We first became aware of the artist collective Dosshaus after seeing one of their installations in Santa Monica not far from Ernest HQ. Needless to say, it was love at first sight.



Yup! That is a scale-model Austin Mini made out of cardboard, paint, glue and a hefty bit of ingenuity. This and other equally impressive installations come from Zoey Taylor and David Connelly, who began their paper-based art projects four years ago with a stop-motion animation starring paper dolls.

02_BanquetWe Buzzed with Zoey and David recently about their moment of inspiration. Zoey recalled, “[David and I] had this joint thought of ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in this paper world we were creating?’ You can really make anything you want; nothing is impossible.” She continued, “Using cardboard kind of naturally took off from there because it works as a construction item. It can take weight, hold any form and you can sculpt it and it works really great as a canvas for paint.”

(We couldn’t agree more! This is why we love paper as a package design material too!)

The result is a three-dimensional environment with a two-dimensional aesthetic that feels like you’re walking inside of an illustration.

And it’s oh so intriguing.

The other half of Dosshaus, David, said of the decision to use cardboard as their medium, “We work in so many different types of art: photography, painting, sculpture, fashion, and so on. Cardboard is the one medium that allows us to do all of those things at once.”

When Dosshaus began crafting their corrugated creations, most of the material was just scrapped together from nearby alleys. Though they will still scrape together what they need through foraging and donations, Zoey believes they are getting pickier. “I will say that we appropriately call ourselves cardboard snobs now,” she said. “Working with different types of density, treated or non, we’ve really narrowed down the different types of cardboards we use in our pieces.”

David chimed in, “As these sculptures have got bigger, we have maintained that we only use cardboard, paint and glue. Those are our materials. So every new sculpture becomes it’s own design challenge which has been very fun. We want that feeling to transfer to the audience as well.”

While all of us at Ernest may not be artists in the same sense as Dosshaus, we greatly appreciate the challenge of creating something unique with just a pile of corrugated and some imagination. That is what has driven us and our Cardboard Chaos series where we made everything from a surfboard to a Fender Stratocaster out of this humble material. It’s even achieved rock star status when it upstaged Nick Jonas on television.

Cardboard is everywhere; it is easily recyclable and it is the ultimate lightweight engineering tool.

“Every kid has that experience where their parents get a new appliance there is this big box,” said David. “For however long that box survives it becomes their creative world. It becomes a castle or a fort or a spaceship or a racecar. We’re doing the logical extension of that and taking those things and physically making those objects with the same sense of whimsy and wonder.”

Some people never grow out of their whimsy and wonder. And we’re happy to be in that boat with David and Zoey! See more of Ernest Packaging Solutions stuff by checking out our Ernest to the Rescue series including Flower Packaging that really blooms! Learn more about how we keep packaging moving forward with innovative designs and a lot of creativity.

Images used courtesy of Dosshaus

Their next show will be in Taos, New Mexico in September 2016.

Find out about upcoming shows on, their Facebook page, Twitter (@leDosshaus) and Instagram.