In light of the upcoming prestigious ICON Magazine Awards 2013 taking place on Dec. 5 at the Oval Space in East London, we're excited to feature industrial design studio RoboFold, who is one of this year's "Emerging Design Studio" nominees.
Before RoboFold's establishment in 2007 at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, Gregory Epp — who was a student there — spent more than a decade researching curved folding techniques. He then discovered the mathematical methods to transform the art of folding sheet materials into an industrial process.
Keep reading to find out more.
"[Epp's] developments led to the establishment of RoboFold, a studio that translates the intuitive experience of folding paper by hand into an industrialised process that folds metal using 6-axis robots. This results in forms almost as strong as those that are double curved, but without the cost and delay of creating mould tools. "
"The ability to form without tooling also results in a process that can effortlessly create numerous variations of a design. All of this is driven by a suite of bespoke software tools that embed in-depth material and fabrication knowledge."
"The studio's largest realised project to date is the ‘Arum’ sculpture, produced for Zaha Hadid Architects as the centrepiece of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. This challenging 3 month project required the studio to provide geometry consultation and digital simulations in the early design phases, before robotically folding and installing all 488 unique curved folding panels."
"As well as providing prototypes for other leading architecture practices, such as Foster and Partners and Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A), RoboFold also collaborates with emerging designers, artists and fabricators. This work has led them to produce pieces ranging from large-scale artwork, to one-off furniture and bespoke lighting. A recent example of this is the consultancy and fabrication services RoboFold provided for the “∞” (“Infinity”) range of sculptures, by artist Stathis Lagoudakis."
Images courtesy of RoboFold.