Material transformations and paper engineering from Prof. Yoshinobu Miyamoto, architect, and teacher of architecture at the Aichi Institute of Technology (AIT) in Japan.
Hello Yoshinobu. You’re an architect, an architecture lecturer and a paper engineer, when do you find time to craft your paper works?
I do sketches for paper projects anytime anywhere, often on the Shinkansen (the high speed railway in Japan). I often make actual paper models during school breaks.
Paper projects are not just artworks. It’s a study to attempt to bring the exploration of material to actual design work.
When did you first learn the art of paper craft?
The arts and crafts teacher in my elementary school in Kobe was a humble and confident modern artist. I learned from the way he worked.
I learned almost everything on paper craft from a single book in the school library, Kami to atarashii zairyou. I traced photos and diagrams every other day. I never thought of getting the actual expensive book because it’s the kind of book made for the school library, not for individuals (especially when considering the living standards of the Japanese middle class of 60s). My parents finally bought me one as a birthday gift.
Is there a crossover between your job as an architect and the paper models that you construct?
The architectural projects I did were too big to do something really experimental with. I create paper models as an experiment for full-scale architecture in the future, even after my lifetime.
Your models are so beautiful. Where do you draw inspiration from for each project?
Nature is always the best source of inspiration. I also often consult with scientific literature on Geometry and Physics that I hardly understand (but I still get inspiration from at least). Natural forms are resourceful, especially when we try to see something behind them, such as force and structure.