Tuesday, 14 August 2012

From Sheet To Form

July's session began an exploration from 2D to 3D forms and was inspired by the brilliant and gorgeous book 'Folding Techniques For Designers, From Sheet To Form' by Paul Jackson.

As is the custom for Material Knowledge experiments, the materials were kept very minimal so that the focus was on the form.

What can be achieved with the ubiquitous white A4 sheet of paper with a little time and imagination?

We kicked off with a simple exercise in learning how to fold an equally proportioned concertina from any size sheet of paper without having to use a ruler...
  • Fold your sheet of portrait oriented paper in half, unfold
  • Fold both edges to the centre line, unfold
  • Fold the bottom edge of the paper to the top crease, turn sheet around and repeat, unfold
  • Fold the bottom edge of the paper to the first crease, turn sheet around and repeat, unfold
  • Mark alternate creases beginning with the first
  • Fold the bottom edge of the paper to all 4 marks in turn, turn sheet around and repeat
  • You should now have a sheet of paper that has been equally divided into 16 sections. This can easily be folded into a neat and precise concertina or folded further into 32 or 64 equal sections or manipulated in other ways to create interesting forms.

This exercise gives a renewed appreciation for the simplest of materials such as our plain A4 sheet of paper. Through creativity it became beautiful and sculptural, capable of supporting quite heavy loads, inspiration for new and more 3D shapes, duplicated for modular construction, cut for even strips of paper or cut in other ways to create new shapes.

To make a cylinder, cut one section off and glue one end of the concertina to another. Try selective gluing of sections to make pleats. Try other materials, paper could be a first step prototype.

We discussed alternative fixing techniques as listed below:
  • Glue
  • Slotting
  • Stitching
  • Paper Clips
  • Stapling
  • Tape
  • Pins - split and regular
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Layering / Laminating
  • Folds
  • Tabs

We also discussed how this exercise could be translated into an educational workshop, identifying possible challenges and applications. Dexterity came top of the list, at what age can children manage this task? Perhaps if they were primary school age working in pairs or groups would be better so that tasks can be allocated to different members? Or working on a larger scale making it is less fiddly for little fingers and creating a sculptural piece? Maybe each team could make one or several sections of a modular whole?

Everyone felt that it could be a fun and useful activity for a range of age groups and abilities as long as the instructions are tailored to the group and paced correctly. The concertina is a good starting point and a few other techniques could be demonstrated to inspire exploration.

Other project ideas included:
  • Mobiles
  • Jewellery
  • Architectural models of a city
  • Folding images
  • Geometry and maths
  • Using colour
  • Structural exercises: how much weight can your design take?!
  • Build the tallest tower
  • Decorating your own 2D paper and then making something 3D from it
  • Never-ending book
  • Set Design
  • Story Telling
  • Paper games e.g. fortune teller
  • Modular sculpture

The next session will be on Monday 10th September 6-8pm @ St Luke's Craft Studio, Level 2 , 90 Central Street, EC1V 8AJ.

We will be continuing with the 3D theme so please bring cardboard, paper and/or collected found units such as bottle tops with you for modular construction. Alternatively if you wish to work on a personal project in this social and informal environment then please feel free to bring your own activity and a mind to share. If you're unable to attend our event why not organise your own at home? All you need is a creative activity, some tea and biscuits (I really can't stress enough how important these elements are) and to invite some friends and family round to learn, make and share together.

1 comment:

  1. what is this for? If I were a designer or an architect, I'll do a sample product made from stainless steel bars

    By the way, do you have tutorials for any type of origami?