The surface designer
Pleating, facets, and folds have long been the love of designers across disciplines, so it comes as no surprise that new materials are being used to mimic this form. One such example is stone design company Odyssey, whose Ishi Kiri collection bears a remarkable resemblance to folded paper, but its intricate pleats are engraved into white marble, limestone, and granite. When backlit or front lit, these stone surface creations take on a dramatic three- dimensionality, which can be used to cover walls. odysseystone.com
The furniture designers
Emerati product designer Aljoud Lootah’s first furniture collection was launched at2015’s Design Days Dubai. It’s called The Oru Series — “oru” meaning “to fold”. The distinctly geometric language present in her range speaks to the simplicity of creating a product with both aesthetic and functional value by folding a two-dimensional sheet. Her collection includes a lamp, mirror, cabinet, and chair made predominantly of timber. aljoudlootah.com
Canadian architects Andrea Kordos and Tony Round’s Cut and Fold series of plywood furniture takes its cue from the paper craft with two clever pieces: the Origami Chair and the Flip Shelf. Both are beautiful solutions to an everyday problem — the need for easily shipped furniture in small space applications. Using planes of plywood and piano hinges, each piece can be completely flat-packed. cut-fold.com
Swiss-born Sipho Mabona falls more under the fine art vein. His life-sized elephant, folded from a single 15x15m sheet of paper was exhibited at 2015’s Guild Design Fair in Cape Town, but it’s his acrylic on folded paper framed works that caught our attention. The subtle shadows thrown by each facet make for dramatic and singular artworks. mabonaorigami.com
So what is it about origami that has us reinventing it centuries later? The paper craft’s clean lines and angular structure are part of an aesthetic that we liken to modern minimal design especially that of the Asian and Scandinavian schools (surprise, surprise). And what could be more satisfying than creating a three-dimensional object by manipulating a two-dimensional one?