Ankon Mitra believes that folding is the cornerstone of existence, whether in nature, architecture, the paper craft of origami, or life itself. The Co-Founder/Director (Landscape) of New Delhi-based Hexagramm is as much an architect and landscape designer as an origami artist, and he blends these multiple roles into a hugely satisfying professional journey.
“Origami and folding is all around us. – he says. The Himalayas are ‘young-fold’ mountains, formed by the tectonic friction between the Indian and Eurasian plates. Sound and light reach our ears and eyes respectively by folding through space – what we call waves. You and I are born from processes of folding – DNA and protein structures must fold in specific and exact sequences to make us possible.”
Currently his studio is busy finalizing drawings for Yum Yum Cha at Khan Market, the third in the chain of origami-themed Pan-Asian Restaurants in Delhi, envisioned by the restaurateurs Varun and Prathna Tuli. Side-by-side Ankon runs the Oritecture initiative (Origami + Architecture) to document his workshops, research and explorations. The facebook page has over 2,100 likes and this community of origami enthusiasts is ever-growing. His long term goal is to open an Origami School or Multidisciplinary Polytechnic that immerses its students into the multi-faceted applications of origami in design, architecture, biology, medicine, engineering, art, physics, space-science and robotics.
“From the first origami session at the flower shop where I folded paper flowers and leaves, to a membership of the British Origami Society and Origami USA, it has been a momentous journey with many folds, – he recalls. “From tessellations in copier paper to tessellations in sheet brass, from magic balls the size of my palms to a proposal for a private airport roof inspired by origami (at Shimoga, in Karnataka), from early experiments in curve-folding in cardboard to an entire array of curve-fold installations in powder-coated metal at the prestigious St. Regis Hotel and Spa in the Maldives, from my first lecture-demonstration at my alma-mater to the TEDx talk last year, the learning curves in the journey have been breathtaking and the support from friends and family ever humbling.”
Ankon believes, that “we may have foldable and flat-packable boats in the future (prototypes already exist) and foldable wings which we can simply attach to our bodies and then fly off into the sky. We might solve the low cost housing paradigm with affordable, foldable and flat-packable housing modules. The possibilities are endless. Origami is endless.”
Read this story in POOL 77.