I have always been attracted to geometry, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I really got into exploring the geometric patterns that you see in our Origami Collection. In 2017 I was invited by the Baltimore Museum of Art to give a workshop related to Annet Couwenberg’s From Digital to Damask exhibition at the museum’s Jean and Allan Berman Textile Gallery.
You can go to her website to see her amazing work: www.annetcouwenberg.com
When I saw the exhibition what fascinated me the most were her textile sculptures. I felt this beautiful connection between art, patterns and nature. The intricate and elegant geometry of her organic sculptures and the transformation of a simple flat surface into a beautiful repetitive structure.
So I decided to work and explore how by folding a flat surface we can create form and volume. I folded so much paper, until I understood the different geometric patterns you can design, the relation between lines, angles and dimensions. How the flat pattern behave in a new and different way when folded, bringing to the material the ability to transform into a tridimensional object.
My guidance in this exploration was a book that I will always recommend if you want to explore this design tool. “ Folding Techniques For Designers From Sheet To Form” by Paul Jackson.
The workshop was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to continue exploring with folding techniques. I first worked with paper and then translated its properties to fabric. Paper has a memory. Once you fold it the mark remains on it, but fabric behaves in a very different way. After experimenting different textiles and process I found the balance between the flexibility of the fabric and the firmness of the paper to design a new collection of pendant lamps.
Our origami lamps are made of linen with an inner lining that helps provide a solid yet flexible structure for the lampshade fabric while also protecting it from heat emitted by the bulb. This material, also known as adhesive styrene, is the material used for the inside of many lampshades. To create this geometric lamps, we mark the creases of our patterns in the inner lining and then we fold the two material together. Our origami pendant lamps don't have any metal or inner structure to hold the shape. Just by closing the top and bottom of the folded material we create the form of the lampshade.
What I love about this family of lamps is that is always growing. A modification of the lines and angles of the geometric pattern changes the final form creating new possibilities to add a fresh piece to the collection.
Exploring with folding techniques and geometric patterns I also came across with the familiar concept of "organic geometry". Geometric forms that can grow and develop according to the principle of symmetry and proportion. We can create any form or shape without the use of measurement tools. Structure, proportion, symmetry, harmony, and rhythm can be expressed by geometry, finding the same beauty and wisdom we see in nature, its principles of growing and patterns. The construction of the ‘golden section’ is one example showing the beautiful process of ‘organic geometry’.
Image by Rafael Araujo - www.rafael-araujo.com