Lazerian + Cardboard Box Company

Chromatogram, 2017

During his residency, Lazerian’s founder, Liam Hopkins, discovered that the workforce of the Cardboard Box Company depended entirely upon each other – yet worked largely alone, in distinct sectors. His vibrant cardboard structures evoke this modern predicament of ‘individual detachment’, whilst suggesting the colleagues’ essential connection to one another.

The pods’ use of irregular and organic forms further challenges perceptions by skewing the expected, strictly angular form of the cardboard box and embracing exuberant colour schemes – a direct result of Hopkins’ research into the company archives of colour palettes. Each tone in the range has been used by the manufacturer at some stage in its production history.

Housed in the tainted grandeur of Blackburn’s Cotton Exchange, Lazerian’s walk-in cardboard pods represent a record of the company’s stunning gradient of colour through time as well as the ‘close isolation’ of modern factory workforces.

In Focus

Audiences were invited to put on a hard hat to experience the pods in all their modern, alien glory in the semi-dereliction of the historic Cotton Exchange. Now a staple location in arts programming, Liam’s commission was the first time the building had been used in this way since becoming derelict.

Liam recalls that it was –

“An imposing space with such history, and presented more inspiration. The result is a stark contrast between modern and archaic, meticulously planned design and that which only abandonment, nature and time has created.”

Audiences and journalists alike were wowed by this incredible installation that was a key turning point in the future of a historic building.

Read more about Chromatogram here.

“My experience of the Art in Manufacturing programme was an extremely positive one. I grew as a designer and maker due to the partnership and skills I learnt from the Cardboard Box Company… The opportunities that have come from being a part of Art in Manufacturing have been amazing.”



Lazerian is a multidisciplinary creative studio founded in 2006 by Liam Hopkins. Based in a workshop and design studio in a former hat factory in Denton, Manchester, Lazerian creates large scale artworks, public art installations, bespoke sculptural commissions and brand promotional objects. Combining traditional handcraft techniques with more modern cutting edge technologies gives Lazerian the opportunity to explore new concepts in, and boundaries between, the world of art and design. These are used to tell a story and produce pieces that are site-specific and unique.


Shortlisted for The Telegraph ‘SME of the Year’ award, Cardboard Box Company designs, prints and manufactures corrugated board for industrial and retail packaging solutions. Their state-of-the-art plant has seen fast growth in recent years through an incredible story of investment and invention. Whilst creating more than 25,000 solutions for customers, the firm remains an inventive, creative and people-centric company, committed to the local area.

“An artist he is, but he made us aware that Art and Manufacturing are surprisingly closely linked, a different methodology maybe but we both make things.”



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