Origami table by Tian Zhen

 “It all begins with folding of a paper crane at elementary school in China”. 

Thus quotes her website the Chinese born/Netherlands educated Tian Zhen. She applies the art of origami to many of her designs. In 2006 she graduated from Academie Minerva, my own Alma Mater, and started working with various studio’s and on the side pursued a career as a solo designer. 

Paper can carry the weight of much more than we think when folded with origami. In an earlier post Homevoyeurs highlighted the paper Flexible Love Chair by Korean designer Chishen Chiu. This sofa/seat design also makes use of paper folded and formed to give it enough strength to seat up to 16 people. Inspired by this magnificent quality of paper Tian designed the LOTUS side table. The glass top is made of plexiglas, and the ‘paper’ is actually Tyvek, a synthetic woven material also used in the building- and the automotive industries. 

Lotus side table by Tian Zhen


The table can be changed from one shape to another in only a few seconds. In total there are six unique shapes. 

Inspired? The Homvoyeurs web shop sells many books about Origami and paper art and design. One of them is  Unfolded; Paper in Design, Art, Architecture and Industry
By Petra Schmidt, Nicola Stattmann.

Unfolded: Paper in Design, Art, Architecture and Industry


In “Unfolded Paper in Design, Art, Architecture and Industry” paper conquers the third dimension and demonstrates the undreamed-of possibilities it holds today for lightweight construction, product design, fashion and art. From “Paper”, the collection of bags by Stefan Diez, to Konstantin Grcic s paper models and the scented paper garments of Issey Miyake, this book presents paper as a high-quality contemporary and ecological material. An enormous selection of projects, the lavish design and numerous illustrations provide designers with invaluable inspiration for their work. The content core of the book is a comprehensive list of state-of-the-art paper products and innovative paper technologies, supporting designers in their everyday work with detailed information on the “high-tech” material paper. From Japanese washi paper and paper foam, to ceramic paper and carbon fiber paper, “Unfolded” presents the latest in research and development, as well as the most important methods and technologies in handcrafts and industry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s