Such is the case with Swedish firm Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture, who have designed a series of lamps based on simple paper folds.
The Paperfold lamp series was inspired by Frederik Kjellgren's grandmother, who was a sewing teacher in Sweden. Using simple paper templates, she taught Kjellgren how to make beautiful garments and introduced him to the basics of form and design. Years later, applying the same principals, KKA has developed six lamps with a folded paper form. In some iterations, like the Astrid, the fold is multiplied to make a more complicated shade, while in others the shape is a simple teardrop turned on its side. The palette is another nod to minimalism, with color options limited to black, cyan, magenta or yellow, the base colors used in color printing (CMYK).
These forward-thinking architects' functional, sustainable ideals go well beyond small products. Their 4 Unique Passive Houses received a Green Dot award, and their ideas for an abandoned structure in their home town and a super sustainable city are worth reading up on. Meanwhile click on the Slideshow button in the upper right corner to scan through the paper fold series.
Laure is a Los Angeles–based photographer and design enthusiast. When not contributing to Dwell and Apartment Therapy, she's opening too many tabs in Firefox, baking, gardening and exploring the great outdoors.