This research examines how new design approaches that utilise advances in scientific origami, computation, robotics, and material experimentation, can influence the functional aesthetic of the art of oribotics. Situated in the context of contemporary electro/mechanical artworks and objects, and joining the fields of origami and robotics, oribotics is influenced by notions of folding scientifically and philosophically. Oribotics breathes movement into the static domain of origami through responsive robotic technology, and it brings to the viewer of oribotic works, a consideration of the folds found in nature, through the evocation of a state of reflection.
SpiralFold by Matthew Gardiner
Scientific fields like Soft Matter share similar material and design/engineering concerns, utilizing the function of folded surfaces. Origami artists craft works by folding paper, expressing the aesthetic of the fold. The signficance of oribotics is that both the function and aesthetic of folding are expressed by the oriboticist. New design methods for oribotics unfold expressive potential in the research field. Research is focused on the artistic thinking, design and material processes that contribute to the fabrication of robotics from folded surfaces. The processes can be understood as an extension of past oribotic research wherein related concerns are folding pattern design, fabrication technologies, and actuation specific to folding. Cultural and historical perspectives inform the research question, as the group works towards a new theoretical model of Folding as a Language of Structure, expressed as “Folding = Coding for Matter”.
The additional influences of scientific developments in soft matter, computation, genetics and synthetic biology inform the creative process. Folding is a language of nature: as a higher-level expression of genetic code it defines the sculpture of genetic expression. This analogy to genetics does not translate in a formal sense directly to sheet folding like origami, as genes are not made from paper or planar forms. However the mechanisms and the notions of programming form and function into nature is a strong metaphor that connects artistic and scientific domains.
CarbonFibre by Matthew Gardiner