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Paper Folding Structures

Here is a quick model we made for an internal project, showing a proposed structure for a public space, made out of a folded structure. The model itself is made from a piece of letter-sized paper that we took from our printer’s recycle bin, a foam core base, and hot glue.

The fold pattern makes only triangular surfaces. When the feet of the structure are glued to the base, the triangulation is complete, and the surfaces are remarkably rigid.  No printouts or fancy guidelines were needed; we just started folding and experimenting with various configurations until it behaved appropriately.

This combination of architecture and origami has been around for a long time, but the possibilities of what can be made are practically endless.  And because the form can be created from a single flat piece of material, fabrication, transportation, construction, and reusability are all benefited.

We’re also thinking of a few different applications for this approach, including dynamic structures, robotics, and sustainable product lifecycles.

See Richard Sweeney’s work and Do It 101’s Origami Links for some more inspiration and ways to get started.  Why not grab some paper and try it out yourself?


  1. When I was very young I ran across a book of folded paper designs in the same vein as what is here. I found it remarkably interesting, and did several creations that served as hanging lamp shades. As an architecture student in college, I always hoped to utilize this concept. Alas, I didn’t pursue that career, instead becoming an ID influenced product designer/mechanical engineer. Good to see this concept still being considered.

  2. hey we are working in some structure exploration with paper and this example would be excellent for our research, is there any way that you guys can facilitate us with the \instructions\ for this one. thanks so much.

  3. The space would look really cool. Would love to see this deployed as a temporary green alternative to modern tents and standing buildings that sit empty.
    Have a look at

    all shapes are possible!

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