Artist Kyla McCallum employs the ancient art of folding materials to create some complex, mesmerising and very modern designs.

McCallum was experimenting with the art of origami around five years ago when she came across the ‘Mitsonobu Sonobe’ module. It is a method of folding materials developed by Mitsonobu Sonobe in the 1960’s and is used to create a modular origami of prisms and cubes.  When McCallum began exploring the technique, she discovered the great range of shapes that can be created. The method inspired the Sonobe Collection, her latest range of origami lamps.

Each lamp design is made with between 12 and 136 hand-folded Sonobe modules. The modules are joined together with a water-based glue and attached to a steel frame. The work takes on yet another dimension when combined with light. McCallum explains, ‘Modular origami creates several different layers. When illuminated, it creates tonal variations and the colours you can get from white  paper are amazing – the first prototype was made from normal 80g printer paper and it turned out to be fluorescent pink.’ In developing her origami lamps, she tested around 50 different types of paper before deciding on Naturalis Absolute Smooth from GF Smith because of the warm glow created when light shines through it and also because it creases very smoothly and is a nice paper to touch.

Complimenting her lamps, McCallum also created a large Sonobe module wall panel from 4,917 pieces of hand-folded paper.

McCallum believes that origami is a skill that can be applied to many different disciplines. She has created a high-fashion skirt from 20,000 folded book pages and is looking to next bring her craft to the world of stage and set design.

McCallum graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2012 and runs a multi-disciplinary studio in east London called Foldability. Find out more about her studio here.

You can read more about some other fabulously folded creations such as Ilan Garibi’s metal origami here.


  1. Keith Riggs says:

    The theme and handwork fascinate me. Especially considering other materials. Glad to see the work and the commitment to exploring complexity by hand with head. Keith Riggs