TILBURG, Netherlands – What does being a textile architect entail? For Samira Boon, it means stimulating flexibility in our built environment – an endeavour for which textile proved to be the ideal medium.
Part of the Audax Zaal’s redesign in Theaters Tilburg, her series of origami textiles Archi Folds installed there unites aesthetics and practicality to enable a dynamic use of space. The folding structures can be positioned to create open or more intimate spaces by acting as room dividers.
Made out of monofilament warp, the fabric absorbs sound and is opaque enough to be a shield against the intrusive public outside, while gently diffusing sunlight from the expansive windows.
Archi Folds owes its conceptual framework as well as the techniques used to produce its folding structures to Japanese craftsmanship and spatial organization. Having lived in Korea and Japan, Boon was inspired by both traditional origami techniques and the flexible use of space achieved through systems such as Shōji doors – room dividers consisting of translucent paper mounted on a wooden frame, which can be positioned anywhere along a single track.
Boon’s folding structures allow a form of flexibility similar to the Shōji system, albeit in a different manner: every piece can be easily folded or unfolded following preprogrammed lines reminiscent of the doors’ tracks. By utilizing origami – 'ori' meaning folding, and 'gami' meaning paper – in textiles, Boon proposes a new form, 'orinuno', with 'nuno' meaning textile.
Archi Folds unites traditional craft with an innovative use of material to translate origami into a visually striking and acoustically functional textile-based spatial project.