Origami - the centuries-old Japanese art of paper folding - is having something of a Moment these days in the realm of design and technology.
Origami-inspired tech projects are popping up (heh) all over the place, from tiny robots to temporary bridges. It turns out that origami techniques - with their peculiar structural and space-saving qualities - are useful for addressing all sorts of design challenges.
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For instance: How about a portable, modular office space - complete with walls, lights, tables and chairs - that folds up into a set of lightweight packs each around the thickness of a text book?
That's what the Canadian studio molo design is working on with its "soft collection" - a line of paper furnishings and structures that employs some radical paper folding techniques. From a thickness of less than two inches, molo's softwalls stretch out accordion-style to 15 feet in length. Chairs and tables spin themselves out into honeycomb cylinders, kind of like those party decorations, but with the structural strength to function as traditional office furniture.
Magnetic end panels are used to snap together multiple modular elements. Molo also offers a line of accessories to make the paper office more comfortable. Lightweight woolen cushions can be perched atop the paper chairs, and the company even has a line of integrated LED elements for illuminating your pop-up office space.
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Molo furnishings are made from recyclable, fire-retardant paper, and can be specially treated to create waterproof or UV-resistant furnishings. The technology has also been tested as a potential solution for indoor emergency shelters in disaster relief scenarios.
At the recent Greenbuild 2015 expo for sustainable design, molo set up multiple temporary meeting rooms and rest areas using its collection of paper furniture - a nice option for when you need a quick workspace in a crowded convention setting.
Just remember to fold up the office when you're done.