About alymai

I'm an architect, currently doing an internship at the Center for Information Technology and Architecture. Simultaneously, I'm working on a thesis about the intersection between video games and architecture. Otherwise, it's art, crafts, and cello for me.

Origami Tessellations

In continuation of the post I wrote yesterday, I will briefly describe through images an interesting exploration on origami tessellations that I did while at CITA.

Departing from the shibori experiments with fabric, I tested origami tessellations to develop folding techniques that could be used to generate patterns for laser cutting textiles. The project was in part inspired by the beautiful Le Klint lamps, shown below. Le Klint lamps are folded from single sheets into complex 3D geometries based on principles of origami tessellations. Although, I have mainly been working with the 2D geometry of the folding pattern, the potential to add structure and create form through folds is enticing. For the tests shown below, I’m indebted to Eric Gjerde’s diagrams of origami tessellations. Another book that I can recommend on tessellations is Solid Origami by Shuzo Fujimoto. Lastly, if you are interested in the mathematics of origami tessellations, In the fold: Origami Meets Mathematics, is a helpful introductory article and the blog Space Symmetry Structure is excellent. Also, of interest might be Tomohiro Tachi’s Rigid Origami Simulator.

CITA Semester

As many of you know, last semester I have been doing an internship at CITA. Over the next couple of days I would like to share with you, through images and brief texts, some of the projects that I’ve been working, as well as some of the more personal explorations it has inspired, and lastly the direction that my curent thoughts are taking as a result. I hope that the following will interest some of you.

The week that I arrived at CITA, they were in the midst of setting up a structure at the Danish Design Museum for the Copenhagen Design week. Therefore, for a week and a half I was engaged building a 1:1 prototype that was the result of two years of research. The structure was composed of hundreds of unique wood beams connected by simple wedge joints. The design took inspiration from the the Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov, who built tall free–standing towers using steel lattice structures. His towers were built from short, straight steel members, connected to form hyperboloids. Similarly, Dermoid questioned how short wooden beams can create large–spanning structures when woven together in a lattice structure. In today’s world, this question becomes increasingly relevant as material economization, environmental concerns, and transportation costs encourage us to develop new structures based on smaller but customizable pieces. During the initial tests, the fabric was folded following the logic of origami tessellations.

The next project that I begun working on was of a completely different nature. It started with experiments in shibori, the technique of folding and binding fabric before dyeing. The process begins by folding the fabric into a flat shape. The goal is to keep as many of the folded edges on the outside, like an accordion, so that they receive the dye evenly. Blocks are then placed on either side packet of fabric, tied together, and the fabric is submerged in dye. The edges become coloured and the blocks and pressure protect the inner fabric. The tighter the blocks are bound, the crisper the lines. Loosely held blocks allow the dye to seep into the bundle of fabric, creating a bleed. The pattern results from the combination of precise folding, shape of the blocks, and degree of pressure exerted. Depending on the techniques, the forms can range from crisp, geometric lines, soft bleeds, or mysterious Rorschach-esque forms.