© 2019 by Jiangmei Wu. All rights reserved

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Paper Folding is an exciting area of art and design. The transformation of a flat sheet of paper to a three dimensional form through folding is easy and yet complex.  Folding a piece of paper can be simple and doesn’t require any sophisticated tools. However, to model the morphology and to understand the intrinsic properties found in paper folding scientifically is very difficult and requires sophisticated tools of mathematics and computer science. I’m intrigued by both the simplicity and the sophistication found in paper folding. In my work, I employ the language of paper folding to understand the tectonic relationship between materiality, structure, and geometric rhythm and pattern.  

 

Paper folding is unstable and flexible. Manipulation of the paper surface to achieve depth and volume is dynamic. The folds store kinetic energy, which allows the folded form to contract and unfurl. Alternate states of disequilibrium and equilibrium can be achieved by balancing, connecting, hinging, suspending, pulling and popping up. Paper folding is unforgiving and honest. A folded form embeds the memory of a series of actions of scoring, creasing, twisting, wrapping, pressing, bending and folding. Unfolding folded paper reveals a patterned map of creating and generating. Paper folding is generative and evolving. It is difficult to describe an abstract folded form through its visual characteristics. However, it can be easily described through a step by step procedure, or algorithm, of transforming a flat pattern into a three dimensional form. The focus is therefore placed on the process rather than the product. Paper folding is improvisational and unpredictable. A simple fold has many possibilities and can generate many visual results, and it can only be discovered by folding.

 

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