Roborigami: Giant origami robots transform public spaces into playful Zen gardens

UK-based Japanese artist Coco Sato reinvents classic Japanese craft origami in uniquely modern ways. Her collaborative project Roborigami creates an interactive and moving robotic origami installation to transform public spaces into playful Zen gardens.

Sato takes her inspiration from ancient Japanese legends and symbols of Buddhism such as foxes and the flowering lotus. Foxes are considered to be a messenger of a higher spirit, and a white lotus in a pond signifies the Land of Bliss, a mental state purified of all poisons. Her work alludes to an increasingly fast-paced and stressed-out world and investigates the relationship between space, human interaction and psychology, and how visual and auditory stimulation affects feelings.

As you might imagine, creating these giant origami installations is no small feat. Sato first starts with standard sized paper and gradually scales it up, simplifying the pattern so that she can apply the paper folding technique to plastic sheets. Robust electronics are then concealed within, and the installation can be run entirely from a car battery. Roborigami is enjoyable to view from both near and far. Up close, you can marvel at the subtle sound and movements, while the entire wonderland is revealed at a short distance.

She explains: “I was born and brought up in a megalopolis, as a child my life was chaotic in many ways, filled with skyscrapers, neon lights and noise. Overwhelming visual and auditory stimulation exhausted me. I found a retreat in a temple garden or quiet park. I hope my work serves as a retreat to the audience, and continues to allow me to connect with people around the world.”

More information can be found at or via her Facebook Page.

Via direct submission


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