Though this looks like some kind of insane mushroom growth, it's actually special, die-cut cardboard strips put together by the Ball-Nogues Studio for an installation at Rice University. The artists created a digital mockup of the shapes they wanted, ordered 20,000 strips of cardboard cut to the perfect prefab sizes, and put the whole thing together in four days. It's strong enough for people to stand on. Want to see more of it?

Say the artists:

The fabrication processes used to make the natural brown surfaces are in the lineage of those Gehry employed in his legendary "Easy Edges" line of furniture in the 1970's. Expanding on this knowledge enabled us to create architecturally scaled cardboard structures and introduce double curvature. We used the properties and limitations of the material - determined through building full scaled mock-ups during development combined with a parametric digital interface - to shape the cardboard "ribbons." The project required laminating over 20,000 strips (weighing approximately eight tons) of curved, industrially die-cut corrugated cardboard in twelve days. Incredibly strong and capable of supporting the weight of several people, the cardboard laminates operate as semi-monocoques with an intermediary plywood armature.

Here's what it looks like underneath, where you can see the plywood armature.

And here's a kid running around on top of it.

Rice Canyon [Ball-Nogues Studio]