Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

Granada, Tessellations, and Other Stuff

Wormhole….Radial 12ths.

Wormhole by you.

Wormhole by you.

What I played with during siesta time in Granada.

Modified 12-6Original before bifurcation100_0081


The trip to Spain gets a 2 while Granada gets a 10/10 and was the most amazing structure I have ever seen (it just eeks out the Eiffel Tower, although that is still another structure every human should see).  The trip itself gets a two as I didn’t have luggage for 60% of my trip and let me tell you that shopping for fat girl clothes in Granada is one of the lower rungs of hell, also camera failure and severe sickness/pain on the way home sucked.  Granada itself is a maze of tiny streets and cobblestone (in the old part of the city).  Downtown different streets had different lighted designs or chandeliers and was an explosion of activity at night, when darkness fell.  I used industrial strength sun block which was like grease paint.  Gelato shops were on every corner it seemed, and I highly  recommend pistachio or lemon.  The dried ham in the region is intensely flavorful, but is very hard to chew.  I didn’t eat out much, one meal a day, as I had breakfast at the hotel I stayed at, and skipped lunch or had fruit.  Hotel Mate Leo is a great place to stay.  I was on the fifth floor and highly enjoyed my stay.  The receptionists were all very helpful and several called and tried to help me with my luggage travails.  In fact I didn’t ask them, they volunteered.  For the price and location (dead center) I loved the place and will go back again.  I realize that July is not considered a great season to visit, but I found the heat bearable since it was a dry heat.  The piece de resistance is the Alhambra a complex that is made up of the old fortress, Nasrid Palace, and the Generalife.  The fortress is amazing and the oldest of the three, boggling the mind that it is still standing after so many years.  The Generalife had gardens that bring tears to the eyes and don’t miss the water escalator, which is stairs with cold water running down troughs on either side .  The most amazing and most visited structure is Nasrid palace.  I won’t bother to describe it in detail as I am still viklempt just thinking about it, but I will say it is patterns everywhere and every time you think they have reached the apex of human design, you go into another room that leaves you breathless and speachless.  It was humbling and worth every walk up the hill (you can take a bus, but I recommend the hill.)  It was in every aspect beautiful and compelling and I hope you have a chance to visit.


100_0065100_0056What a dif 5 days makes


Structural Exploration

Daniel MacGibbon, an architecture student, has a website where he is exploring origami as an integral part of architectural design.  He has his abstract listed and has pictures of his explorations.  While not extensive I think this site is definitely worth checking out.  I think that the exploration of geometry in design (which has been significantly increasing) will radically change architectural design (along with structural integrity explorations), furniture design, etc…  Daniel is also on flickr under his own name.

Computer Aided Origami Designs

Octagonal Collapse in Three by you.

blue orb by you.

So lately I have been sidetracked from my pleating by the ingenius Polly Verity.  She has inspired me to start playing with curves.  I bought a CAD program ViaCAD and have been rather obsessed lately, although that is starting to subside, more because the last two crease patterns I made didn’t work on the first try.  I tend to discard things if they don’t work the first time around, a habit I am working to get past.  So below are two crease patterns for two units and the pictures of what the finished units look like.  I highly recommend you score with a stylus or a dead pen before you fold the creases.  These can be tessellated and I recommend you use cardstock or some heavier paper although you can do them in copy paper.  The designs make me think of futuristic architecture and are surprisingly strong.

Blue orb mod with flattened rod connectors by you.

  Eggs in Lockdown by you.


Crease pattern for Eggs in Lockdown by you.

There are more crease patterns and designs here .  Everything is as usual creative commons release.

Tangential to Origami-Sites to Browse  This is Digital Origami a site that is mostly conceptual architectural design.  It has a lot of nifty ideas and eye candy.

 I found the above site at . It is written by Michelle Linden an Architect from Seattle.  It has a lot of great finds and links.  This is a design blog and the aesthetic makes me think of Dwell magazine.  She is doing a great job.  Architecture firms entry that has a very interesting desing concept.  A company that focuses on laser cutting flat metal sheets to create stuff.  This shows students of an architectural professor from Kuwait creating origamic-architecture pieces.  I especially like the landmarks.

 Pictures taken of the Festival of Origami Architecture at the National Building Museum.  These show a young girl who attended and a large variety of origami architecture and pictures of a huge crane being made.  There are also photographs of huge origami-architecture pieces made in sequence.

 Depending on construction it may be pushing it to call it origami, but I LOVE IT.  The geometry is very cool.


Brian Dettmer is a Fantastical Creator

While letting time escape as I perused the vortex that is the web I encountered pictures from the Haydee Rovirosa Gallery of an artists that alters books.  Brian Dettmer takes old books and creates insanely detailed dioramas from cut away sheets.  This fascinated me as I’ve been thinking about tessellating old books and/or making new ones with embedded tessellations.  This gentleman is meticulous and creates a vision of the text in layers that harmonize and call out to be analyzed and appreciated.  Like many things I post about I advocate checking out the gallery that has this gentlemans work and if feasible purchase one of his fantastical journeys.

It’s Not Just Paper Anymore

I realize the title is misleading-origami has been more than paper for a long time, from Palmer’s silk tessellations to the utilization of tyvec for wallets.  The fashion industry, as well as architects and designers,  has increasingly been finding inspiration in origami.  Many things are only now coming to fruition/production.

Curtains that would have been at home at PCOC by Hannah Allijn, take a tessellating foundation and use it for a functional and delightful  purpose. 

Origami is structure and form, and those who are students of the craft and art are architects of structure.  The ability to find collapses, constrained or otherwise, gives us the chance to test structural constraints and give aesthetic consideration at the same time.  This rapidly evolving consciousness is wonderful as it has the potential to open up another approach to design.  The trip to Vancouver I just returned from really made me think about the changing view of origami, while I can’t afford the vast majority of these designs it is wonderful to see how widespread they are. 

Two websites that are good at finding origami trends are listed below.

 Design*Sponge: hannah allijn - curtains - home decor - blogs Stylehive BM 146297 from


Origami in Architecture, Fashion, and Production

Platform21 = Folding (I absolutely adore this dress.)

Thanks to an e-mail from Christiane Bettens I am posting some links.  There is a design exhibition in Amsterdam.  It has a cross section of participants from Robert Lang to Sophia Vyzoviti.  Fashion designers to architects with P.H.D’s populate this show in a diverse approach to an art form that I have come to appreciate in its many veins.  The second link takes you to a spot where you can find online foldables that relate to this show.

While I am not sure how I feel on the aesthetic or practicality of designer Marloes ten Bhömer, , I definitely find the approach novel and potentially revolutionary in the production of shoes.

Flexible Honeycomb Seating Structure

Eric posted a vid link recently that showed an expandable bench that was quite interesting.  Using Kraft paper and a lot of corrugating Molo has a great line of seating that folds to practically nothing and is sturdy.  I am in love with the idea and these look much more comfortable than the earlier bench.  They also have a textile wall that I suspect might intrigue the flickr corrugators.


Pdf with extensive product descriptions and codes.  Interesting to read the descriptions.

For Love of Equilateral Triangles

I would love to see this in person.  It would likely mesmerize me for a significant length of time. 

I highly recomend going to to check out the highlights of a design show in Milan.  While not everything pictured is my personal style there are some pictures that I really liked and a modular divider that is interesting (although I would prefer it in black.)  To my students-Art, design, and geometry/math are not incompatible.  In fact they are inextricably linked.  Knowing more in one subject will help strengthen your abilities in the other.

Free Origami Furniture PDFs


This website has a link to free pdfs to make this furniture yourself.  All you need to furbish the well folded home.  As I am interested in buying a home, my mind focuses on such things.  Inhabit’s website makes me think of Dwell Magazine, their focus is on sustainable architecture and design.  They have nifty links to prefab dwellings and I am a big fan of do-it-yourself projects.  Great site to check out.

I am also fascinated, because an area of interest of mine is 3-d tessellations and the inherent structural stability and strength in given collapses.