fold/unfold – Material as Interface

Winter semester 2017/2018

To crease, pleat, gather, drape, twist, crumple, wrinkle, or wrap – folding can be considered one of the most essential of all design and architectural principles. In the context of Vorspiel Transmediale 2018, the exhibition FOLD / UNFOLD at DesignTransfer gallery showcased projects by New Media Design students from the Berlin University of the Arts, which aim to analyse the potential of the fold as a digital interface technology.

What part does material as interface play in that matter?
How can we use smart materials in order to develop self assembling structures?
And which spacial or aesthetic opportunities do folding techniques offer us as designers?

The folding is also a thought model for time and space, as described for example by Deleuze and Leibniz. In nature, folding is a principle without which growth and metamorphosis would be impossible. The process of folding and unfolding of leaves or flowers, for example, are exciting natural interactions between a plant and its environment that could be reinterpreted for human-machine interaction. In the combination of folding and smart materials, the New Media Design students examined which possible new interfaces are conceivable.