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by G.F Smith


2 weeks (Apr'18 –May'18)



Sonobe Origami

Gravity-defying Sonobe installation for London Crafts Week 2018.

Beyond Surface is a gravity-defying installation by architect Kody Kato displayed at London Crafts Week 2018 that ran from 9th - 13th May 2018. It demonstrates the properties of folding and strength using Takeo paper. The installation, created in collaboration with Made Thought, highlights the technical aspects of the paper brand’s wares that go beyond the fold.


As a volunteer, I helped in creating and folding Sonobe units, eventually building them into an installation of over 5500 units. It was amazing how the papers stayed connected for days without any glue, through mere interlocking and friction.

folding and assembly

Folding and Assembly


The folding and assembly method became an extension of the original Sonobe technique. Rather than sliding individual units and glueing them to form tetrahedra, they are folded into one another, creating a new interlocking system. This new system meant that the 5500 interlocking papers, could only be done in series by adding a single unit of paper at a time and in a particular direction.





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Form   The methods that were developed resulted in tetrahedra that look similar to the traditional Sonobe method, since this installation was a tribute to Mitsunobu. The overall shape could deviate from purely regular geometry into the form of something more natural and unexpected.

spatial experience

Spatial Experience


The result of this new folding and assembly method also creates variations in light and shadow that are experienced from inside the installation. There are anywhere between 2 and 12 layers of paper overlapping one another at any given time.  The varying thicknesses allow light to transmit at different intensities, which in turn result in different lighting conditions that can be seen from below the installation.





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