This paper partition system was first implemented in 2004 after an earthquake in Niigata, Japan. Utilizing white cloth for partitions, joints were made of plywood, and ropes were used for braces. Simple cardboard sheets were offered for insulation and to create a border between families who craved privacy from their neighbors. Initially the cardboard was only used to cover the floor, however after the number of evacuees decreased, the cardboard was used to create partitions for night time privacy. Shigeru Ban Architects adapted and tweaked the initial honeycomb board design changing it out for a strut beam structure using paper tubes. The change in material provides a quicker response and convenience at any site. More photographs and information about Shigeru Ban Architects paper partition system following the break.
Dimensions were also standardized at 180cm, and because it is nearly impossible to forecast partition demand, low cost and high speed were the priorities in developing the partition system.
Currently the paper partition system and the Shigeru Ban Architects team are being prepared for evacuees taking shelter at gymnasiums in the Tohoku region. Donations and more details can be found here.