Newcomer Japanese designer Hitomi Igarashi was one of 12 finalists in the 2012 Lexus Design Awards, a juried competition done in collaboration with Designboom. The designers were tasked with coming up with an idea regarding “Motion,” the contest’s theme. “Our daily lives are continuously filled with motion,” Designboom’s prompt for the contest states. “The motion of things, the motion of people. Moving people’s hearts. Shifting consciousness. Moving information, society and time. Lingering effects.”
In response to the contest’s theme, Igarashi created paper origami shapes to use as casting molds for porcelain. Her free form technique, demonstrated in the video below, creates extremely thin porcelain forms. She said when she heard the contest’s theme; she immediately began thinking of shapes that seemed to move. “The process (of casting using origami) is a lot faster,” Igarashi said. “And since the paper burns away, I was able to create much thinner shapes.”
A panel of six judges selected ten entries to be invited to Milan Design Week, two of which were selected to produce prototypes of their work. Igarashi’s work was selected to be prototyped and was exhibited at Lexus’s space at Milan Design Week in April 2013. During the production period leading up to Design Week, the finalists were paired with an accomplished designer to act as a mentor. Igarashi’s mentor for the project was architect Junya Ishigami, who worked as a special designer for Lexus. Ishigami said of the porcelain prototypes: “It seems both hard and soft at once… It’s all very stimulating somehow.”
Hitomi Igarashi is a 2013 graduate of the Tama Art University of Tokyo.
Above image: These porcelain forms were made by Hitomi Igarashi by using paper molds folded into origami shapes. Photograph courtesy of Designboom.
Hitomi Igarashi demonstrates how she creates porcelain forms using paper origami as a mold in this video. Igarashi was among 12 finalists in the 2012 Lexus Design Awards, a juried competition done in collaboration with Designboom. Video from Designboom.