These Miniature 3D Structures Are A Mix Of Meditation And Maths

Sometimes you need hundreds of pounds worth of equipment, a digital camera or a studio space and sometimes, you jut need a sheet of paper. Robby Kraft needs only his hand and a keen interest in maths for his craft: complex, delicate and stunning origami creations.


From intricate optical illusions, which would not be awry on the walls of a prominent gallery, to the everyday objects that clutter our hallways. Robby has always been a fan of origami, in fact he has been creating paper structures his whole life. “I see it as a nice blend of creativity and math”, the Texan-born artist explains, “origami is a way for me to relax and meditate”.

Robby creates the worlds, and objects, he wishes existed. He see’s the earth around him from many different perspectives, not just as an artist but as a musician, a mathematician, a scientist and a coder. The strings to his bow are endless and so too, are the limitations to what he can do with paper.


As the case is for many artists, origami feels like therapy of sorts for Robby, something he can lost in. There is something simple and innocent about sitting down and folding paper, yet there is also a depth to it: it needs patience, forethought and an understanding of how things fit together and how the medium of paper works. “Usually I fold in one sitting, even it if takes a whole afternoon, I just get lost in the folding”, Robby tells us: and isn’t that what we are all looking for in some sense: something to get lost in without losing ourselves?

We spoke to the man of many talents, currently dwelling in New York, about paper, projects and patterns.

The Plus: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Robby Kraft:
I’m from Texas, used to live in Portland Oregon, recently moved to New York City. My background is math and physics, computer science, and classical music. My creative time is split between origami, code, and music. Most of my living comes from coding, I work on creative code projects, digital installations, hardware, and iOS apps.


TP: Was it difficult to create the folded animals?
As far as folding origami, I only seem to be limited by time, I haven’t found a piece that was too difficult for me to fold. What I do find difficult is design, I still consider myself a beginner at origami design.
The creative process begins by looking at paper. At any time I am wanting to fold a number of different origami designs, but I wait until the right kind of paper matches the colour and texture to how an origami feels to me.


TP: Any favourites?
I’m inspired by all origami artists, every one I’ve encountered contributes to my understanding of the art. Right now I have the most respect for the works of Eric Joisel, Giang Dihn, and Hoang Tien Quyet.


TP: You shared some paper art lately, they look as if they were 3D printed, what’s the reason behind designing them?
With many of the pieces I’ve been recently folding, no diagram or instruction exists, so I’ve had to reverse-engineer the crease pattern. This is a process of trial and error until the folded form is within a margin of error that I think is acceptable.

With certain pieces, especially the curved creases, it requires some technology component to plot the lines since their geometries aren’t easily obtainable by the traditional ways of origami. Recently I’ve been using a pen plotter, with vector software, and my own code to generate new shapes. This is one area I’m excited about, the origami becomes a collaboration between me and a computer.


TP: Are you going to continue making the animal series? Any upcoming projects?
These days I’m very insistent with myself that I learn how to design origami. I’m interested in making more animals, but more interested in understanding how they are made. I continue to fold animals but these days it isn’t so much as to make a finished product but to learn about the shape and design as I fold it.

I’m also very excited about origami and fabrication and the collaborations that are arising between me and my computer, that are realized with the help of my pen plotter.