Here in the WyldeIA studio we’ve decided we’re going to be doing a creative Secret Santa again this year, so we’ve been nattering away about all things crafty – which lead to us thinking about the art of origami! The word itself comes from the Japanese words ‘oru’ (to fold) and ‘kami’ (paper) and has a vast and rich history.

Paper was first invented in China around 105 A.D. and was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks in the sixth century. Today, origami is used all over the world – recreationally but also as complex mathematical structures. As interior designers, we are fascinated by unique designs, structures and shapes, all of which are crucial to origami.

The aim is transform a flat sheet of paper into a sculpture that represents a familiar object – popular designs are boxes, birds and boats! Traditionally origami creators are forbidden to cut, glue or mark the paper – Origami folders often use the Japanese word ‘kirigami’ to refer to designs which use cuts, a process more similar to Chinese paper-crafting.

Origami can be used in the broader design world to inspire architectural buildings and large-scale sculptures. The techniques behind complex origami designs often require comprehensive mathematical principles. These principles can be utilised in engineering and structural design practices to capture both the beauty and elegance of paper-folding combined with the strength of the form created with the folds themselves.

Paper models are often used in architectural fields to create small scale models but also to find practical solutions to spatial/structural demands. Paper models are often used when designing temporary buildings such as disaster relief or emergency shelters but have also been used in space!

Bringing it back to earth – the delicate shapes, sharp folds and often bright colours of origami is enough to catch any designer’s eye! We’ve collected a selection of inspiration paper-crafts to get your creative juices flowing – Enjoy…