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News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Make Your Own Origami Cube: An Introduction to Architecture 101

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Nov 13, 2019

The cube is an essential building block of architecture when it comes to understanding the built environment. In this hands-on activity we blend the geometric forms Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by with the Japanese art of paper folding.

The introduction of the cube to architectural students is a key part of the architectural science. It is essential that architectural students have the ability to imagine and understand represented space. The students need to imagine space to have minimal control of basic variables that define the space, such as light, color, texture, and rhythm. (The Cube: An Initial Tool for Teaching the Architectural Space, Luis Gonzalez-Boado, Lino Álvarez)

Cubism is an abstract style of art that emphasis a two-dimensional form of art using geometric shapes on canvas. The style began in England in the 1900s. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were leading artist in the movement, which utilize geometric shapes in depictions of human and other forms.

Like cubist artists, geometric shapes also influenced and inspired Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. Wright incorporated these shapes into many of his designs on the low-pitched roofs, low-boundry walls, and combined geometric shapes with a Japanese architectural influence. This activity combines the cube and Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.


How to create an Origami cube:

  1. Using a 15 cm x 15 cm piece of paper, fold the paper in half diagonally to create a triangle. Repeat going both ways.
  2. Unfold the paper and then fold it in half downwards to make a rectangle. Fold in half again.
  3. Fold the corners up to meet at the tip. Flip over and repeat.
  4. Fold the corners in to meet at the center. Flip over and repeat.
  5. Now fold the top corners down to form small flaps. Flip over and repeat.
  6. Insert these flaps into the pockets you created in step five. Flip over and repeat.
  7. Blow a small amount of air into the hole at the top of the box to inflate your cube. Fold edges to make it more cube-like.
















Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions


Video courtesy Von Malegowski

We use Frank Lloyd Wright’s revolutionary design concepts and buildings at Taliesin West to educate and inspire people of all ages, challenging them to understand and embrace innovation in their own lives. We offer a wide variety of fun and educational field trips, summer art & architecture camps, and more.


News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation