All images Samira Boon Studio
Samira Boon dreams of building self-supporting structures from nothing more than folded fabric. With her studio’s Super Folds project, she’s getting closer and closer.
Studio Samira Boon is a textile architecture studio based in Amsterdam and Tokyo with a focus on creating flexible environments. The studio believes that adaptive textiles improve the use and experience of spaces, acoustics, climate regulation and energy efficiency.
Building on experience with paper folding, the studio – together with the Netherlands TextielLab – wanted to develop a fabric that could self-fold and be produced at scale.
Samira explains: “Folding is best known with paper and most people associate it with origami. Besides origami there is a folding technique that results in spatial structures and that can even result in creating support structures. I find this very interesting as it reflects the architectural scale and elements. My ambition grew to create a fabric that after being woven would be easy to fold along pre-programmed lines.”
Why folded? A folding structure can be compact, or extended, and flex between these two states. As a room divider it can be pushed to the side or drawn across like a curtain. Folded fabric has sound absorbing qualities, ideal for dampening the noise in office or public spaces.
Working with expert weavers, Tokyo University and TextielLab, Studio Samira Boon developed a digitally programmed weaving technique that can create a complexly folded fabric on a loom machine. It’s essentially a fabric with a skeleton and a memory of how to fold.
The technique was achieved by experimenting with tighter and looser tension in the binding, using different materials for the weft, new computerised techniques for handling the weft threads and a strong monofilament for the warp threads.
The studio’s fabric can be seen in installations in the main concert hall of Theatres Tilburg, Tilburg, Netherlands and the auditorium of the Di Yuan Gallery in Jiaxing, China.
For more information visit Samira Boon.
Blog post by Kate Grinnell
Beautiful. I am researching this topic and would love to get more details if possible.