Thursday 26 December 2019

Self folding structures: the future of packaging?

Haruki Nakamura, the origami artist and paper engineer from Japan, is perhaps one of the most under rated contributors in the field today. His works are amazing, especially how he brings 2 dimensional structures into 3D, and 3D ones alive by adding the component of time to them. You can check out his work on YouTube.

What is more intriguing, is when we take this conversation towards further automation as explained below. This has far reaching implications on interactive packaging- on creating a whole experience out of how the user interacts with the paper packaging. This is exactly what the next level is - experiential economy.

If you have a look here, you can check out the amazing work done by MIT Media labs. Using really simple base materials such as paper, plastics, and fabrics, the designers adequately stitched certain folds and used inflation and resulting pneumatic pressure for the material to automatically fold over itself - resulting in a unique 'alive' origami structure.
Their developed software creates a sort of a key-line that dictates the degree of bending, the geometry etc. that the 2D structure will morph into.

Speaking of work done in the packaging sector by MIT Media labs, another unique publication (follow link here) is where they have introduced wireless sensors (which are of-course really cheap and consume very less power) in labels to identify how the consumer behaves around the product. For example:  a children's milk bottle can play a soothing baby music whenever it is picked up, and whenever the quantity is reaching lower than specified  it can send an order automatically for refill.