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Origami in Architecture & Interior Designs

What is Origami?

Origami is the paper folding art without cutting, sticking, glueing or checking. The word is gotten from the Japanese word "ori" signifying "folding", and "kami" signifying "paper"

Origami art is emerging mainly in Japan and later was introduced in America and Germany. It was also practised at the renowned Bauhaus school of design (1919–33), it was used as a way of teaching architecture by the abstract artist Josef Albers

The origami isn't only appropriate for paper yet likewise it might be pertinent for still things too moving articles. The moving articles called "Action Origami" consolidate models that fly, or, when finished, uses the dynamic energy of a person's hands to move another crease or member

Types of Origami

Modular Origami- involves fixing a number of pieces/ paper together in order to form a complete model

Wet Folding- This design procedure is utilized to make the delicate bend, paper is to be hosed/wettened and can be formed to acquire the required shape

image: By Emre Ayaroğlu

Pureland Origami- kind of origami can be workout only through mountain and valley folds.

Origami Tessellations - shapes are orchestrated one next to the other to make an example without any holes or covers in the middle to frame decoration.

Origamic Architecture- kind of three-dimensional architectural models, using cut-out paper, usually thin paperboard, although visually similar to "pop-ups“.

image: origamic architecture 01 | designed by Masahiro Chatani | Flickr

How we can incorporate origami in designs?

Origami can be incorporated in Architecture as well Interior designs through the basic concept of Static/Rigid, Deployable Fixed and Deployable Kinetic.


in static form remain the same with the same configuration of time. this state is chosen due to aesthetical and structural reason. It can be used in Building Designing for aesthetics as well structural stability through folded plate It can be used in façade design in which façade typology can be fixed to the building.


Tridimensional Facade for Expo 2020 Dubai

The concept is based on a cooling system and incorporates environmentally-friendly techniques through origami façade design. The fine material of the façade resembling Japanese paper protects the pavilion from direct sunlight.

image: Facade of Japan Pavilion_expo2020-©dubai.go.jpenarchitecture

deployable fixed

it has self-supporting capabilities of rigid origami surfaces and ability to be folded into flat and compressed objects it can be used in temporary structures for events, disaster management (it also can be used for homeless and site workers also.) Can be used in interiors for foldable and movable furniture's which tends to be mobility and is easy to carry. Also used in decorative artefacts.

Deployable kinetic

in this concept the system act independently to create transformable structures, it can be used in shading devices, reconfigurable walls etc.

- Can be used in automated façade i.e. for shaded devices, reconfigurable walls, acoustical treatment etc.

Al Bahar Towers, Dubai

with the help of parametric design for the geometry of the actuated facade panels, we can able to simulate the operation in response to sun exposure and changing incidence angles during the different days of the year.

Al-Bahar Towers – Andrew A. Shenouda photography

Achieving Origami through Computational Design

Origami shapes for the structural parts in architecture and interior design can be achieved through Computational Design with Rhiono and Grasshopper software. At the concept level, we use Sketchup and 3Ds Max.


Design – For Rigid Frame structures like cement, blocks, steel outline and for Deployable (portable) structure gentle steel, polycarbonate sheet, PVC sheet and Tensile texture.

Interior – Regular material like wood, compressed wood, overlays and so forth Can rely on a plan. Additionally, we can utilize overlaid clock for foldable furnishings.

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