Miniature Paper Architecture That Moves by Charles Young

In his spare time, Edinburgh-based Charles Young creates these miniature paper scenes that move. With a Bachelors and a Masters in Architecture from Edinburgh College of Art, he studied the way buildings are constructed for six years. Though he’s been using different materials and techniques to form his miniature models, he always comes back to watercolor paper. “In my design projects I used model-making as a way of sketching and developing ideas,” he said.

Collectively, he calls these models, Paperholm, a growing paper city. His project was started in late August, as a way for him to make something every day. Depending on how complex his pieces are, they can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to make. “Over the last three months I really got to know the material that I’m working with a lot better,” he tells us. “By trying to make different shapes with the paper you get to learn its limits in terms of how much it will bend and how finely you can cut it. The paper that I’ve been using is just ordinary watercolor paper but it has a good balance between its flexibility and its strength. The most important thing is simply to use a sharp blade to cut with, this allows you to get good straight edges and to pick out fine detail.”

Paperholm website



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