The Bendables: Origami Design Tackles 3D and Waste

Über-human folds in industrial and home design.

Foraying into the foldy discipline of origami design once more, let’s take a look at a few bends that have captured the design world – in both market and imagination.

The first comes care of bendables expert Pleat Farm, a perennial favorite of ours, for whom folds hold more than cornered materials. They just might hold the answer to everything, according to some. But in the case of design student Christophe Guberan of Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), it’s not entirely clear why the crinkle conjoins. In other words, it folds therefore it is…what? Cool seems the most sensible adjective for it.

He created the Hydro-Fold inkjet printer, which prints paper that pleats into 3D foms. It works by printing a mixture of water and ink that causes the paper to bend along the wet lines and humid areas.

The forms are created via a computer program that generates patterns for different configurations.

Issey Miyake, meanwhile has been avidly folding and creasing technology-driven art and fashion since the 1980s (he did Jobs’ turtlenecks, too – entirely pleatless yet visionary). The designer’s latest collection is not that of clothing or even cloth, but an LED lighting series made from recycled PET plastic bottles.

He’s working in collaboration with Italian lighting brand Artemide on the project, a forward-thinking solution for our plastic water bottle problem.

Finally, from German designer Elisa Strozyk a wooden blanket made usable from giving chips of wood the multi-faceted geometric treatment.

The blankets are among a larger Accordion Collection, which also include wood pleated into lighting fixtures and origami cabinets.

The designer states, “[the wooden textiles are] between hard and soft, challenging what can be expected from a material or category. It looks and smells familiar but feels strange, as it is able to move and form in unexpected ways.”

Images: Elisa Strozyk; Pleat Farm; Fast Company; Elisa Strozyk

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.