Lexus Design Award 2014

Origami Chair

Origami Chair by Hiroki YoshiharaSandra McKeeIvan Aguirre from usa

designer's own words:

What can you make from a sheet of paper…..from the simplest of elements, paper and your hands? Can you create space? Can we satisfy our basic curiosity about the things we touch and our fundamental desire to manipulate space?

Despite the wide spread connotation that origami is like a stealth jet fighter; something made of many planes, where you decide on a form and then approximate it with folding our origami follows a “stricter” definition; a 3dimensional object can be folded from one flat sheet and again opened without cutting or overlapping. Random patterns on paper cannot always be foldable into 3dimensional objects; they must have mathematical rules behind them.

Rather than emulating the form of a bird or an insect, we explore a form where even the folder may not know exactly what will finally emerge at the end of their folding. The folding rules will restrict you and your form but they may also bring you to a beautiful object that you could not otherwise imagine. If you follow the rules they provide a strong guide for generating form.
Development / manufacturing
This chair is one of the results of our exploration. It was originally developed using paper models and then produced using “one” sheet of polypropylene. The material is light and rigid enough to become the structure but soft enough to bend many times. The chair can be inexpensively mass-produced, and flattened for transportation or easy storage.

This idea can be applied to different types of seating, using a variety of materials, creating sculptural lightweight forms. Once the form has been completed into a tube it becomes very solid. We are developing several types with different materials, each requiring its own folding method and design. One of the materials is metal mesh. It is too hard for human hands to bend so machines are used to provide the force required. The typical machine can not bend a fold which stops in the middle of the sheet, their blade can only bend a line that extends from the edge to edge. Any mold will stretch the sheet and distort it when pressed. To overcome these challenges we are developing an alternate method.

There is a sense of beauty that exists outside of our five senses that mathematicians and physicists feel in theories and their formulae. Often they have the opportunity to exclaim “wow, this is beautiful!!” This sense is not related to something visible so it is not easy to share it with everyone, but is it really impossible to transmit? This is our question and why we design these patterns, believing that theses forms represent the beauty of these laws and the art of folding can provide a channel into comprehending this beautiful world… Why not? All you need is curiosity.

Curiosity is the strongest motivation for the development of science and experimental art. Science is based on our curiosity about the world; aesthetics address our curiosity about our emotions and culture. Folding art is one of the effective tools to bridge them. Our goal is that this origami chair will inspire an interdisciplinary interaction between science and esthetics; their worlds may not be so far apart.


plan and elevations
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process: draw, score, bend, bind the edge and ta-dah!

material options: plastic / perforated metal or mesh

transportation, cushioning studies
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exploring form. “ If you follow the rules, they provide a strong guide for generating form”

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