Origami with Aluminium

A lattice girder? A metal grid? More of an origami, created like in the purest Japanese tradition but this time without paper. Ycami has worked with sheets, yes, but aluminium ones. Two mm thick, cut, folded and mechanically fastened, the sheets give rise to a collection with a rich, complex design made up of a great number of parts and subparts, combined in the beauty of a total structure. The collection realised by Ycami is completed with a chaise longue and table.

“I found inspiration in the personal story of the American architect Louis Khan, a luminary in the sector,” says architect Riccardo Blumer, who headed the project with Matteo Borghi. “A man with a face ravaged by smallpox but of great charm. So much so that after his death it was discovered he had three families, one legitimate and two illegitimate, and sundry children. One of them, fathered with his collaborator, collected his father’s letters in a book when he grew up, letters in which Khan tells about the experiments in the sector in those years. Including those of Buckminster Fuller on geodetic structures, later experimented with also by Otto Frei.

And it is precisely from these grid structures that Origami is born. Structures of great fascination despite their often being associated with purely industrial architecture and which enable great experimentation on materials. “I was working on a precise idea that I considered of value,” Blumer goes on, “and I thought that Ycami might be the right company to make it.” And in fact thanks to the great know-how developed by the Novedrate-based company in processing aluminium that it was possible to realise a collection that most resembles a sculpture, given the fineness of the work and the technology needed to realise it. A collection that is both light and tough, as it is able to exploit the laws of geometry that enable light objects to support great weights. The Origami chair, for example, weighs just over two kilos but is able to support a hundred!

Not by chance, origamis are used to solve old geometry problems like the powers or roots of a number. An ancient art with a long history, known all over the world. And if in Vietnam origami fish are hung from the trees to celebrate the new year and in Hawaii the traditional garlands are made by weaving flowers and elements of paper and fruit, in Italy paper is replaced with aluminium and creates a unique piece.