Design learning through iterative folding of non-paper materials

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Morgan, David
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Brigham Young University, United States of America
Section: Innovation in Teaching
Page(s): 272-276
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


Iterative folding is a robust and productive way to explore product form and motion behaviour requiring few tools. Paper folding has been recognized and studied as a design method conducive to form generation for architecture and other products of design. Shifting to non-paper folding extends this design methodology by including in its scope not only form exploration, but also material properties study, promising compliant mechanism solutions and possible production approaches. Folding non-paper materials allows modelling of form and also can generate a prototype iteration that seeks to understand material behaviour, mechanical properties and other product design considerations.
This paper discusses sheet material folding as part of a design methodology in the context of two workshops given by design faculty and students with non-designer participants. The outcomes of these workshops vary depending on the degree to which folding principles are discussed and folding activity is implemented.

Keywords: Folding, design methodology, form generation, material properties, teaching approach


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