Kyla McCallum — Foldability at The Lighthouse

Posted on June 2, 2013

Kyla McCallum pushes the limits of modular origami.

Multi-disciplinary design studio, Foldability, run by Kyla McCallum, has created a 4 x 4m panel made from 4,914 squares of hand-folded paper as the centrepiece of a new show at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design & Architecture, in Glasgow. The show presents an exploration into the infinite possibilities of the ‘Sonobe Module’ and also includes a lighting installation.
The Sonobe Module was designed by Mitsonobu Sonobe in the early 1960s. Sonobe used the module to create prisms and cubes, but did not realise its full potential. Kyla McCallum says: “I discovered that there are so many other shapes you can make from it. It’s almost like a code. It’s always been in the back of my mind that I’ve never pushed it as far as it can go. The Lighthouse is a great venue because it’s such a large space – it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go and create as many shapes as possible.”
The star of the show will be the first large-scale piece Kyla has made. She says: “The panel will hold 4,914 modules. It’s going to take me a month just to make the modules. Then I’ll assemble it on site – it’s going to be really heavy so will have to be installed in sections.”
The exhibition, which opens on 16 May 2013, also includes a lighting installation; a ‘cloud’ comprising
20 – 30 lamps from Foldability’s Sonobe Collection. Kyla says: “Modular origami creates several different layers. When illuminated, it creates tonal variations and the colours you can get from white paper are amazing – the first prototype was made from normal 80g printer paper and it turned out to be fluorescent pink!” Each light is made from a number of hand-folded modules using Naturalis Absolute Smooth paper from GF Smith.
Photographs by Ross Fraser McLean from Studio RoRo.

Kyla McCallum studied a Master of European Design (User-based product, service and system design) at the Glasgow School of Art.

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