Emily Werner: Origami Hyperboloids


Artist Statement

This work is a pair of origami sculptures that capture the connection between two-dimensional design and three-dimensional curvature. These sculptures are defined by mathematics and inspired by hyperbolic surfaces. In both sculptures, negative Gaussian curvature exists on every point on the outer surface. The geometry and curvature of the sculptures are dependent on the two-dimensional folding pattern. The origami folds create features and properties that the material otherwise cannot exhibit. The curved behavior of the sculptures occurs when opposing sides of the pattern are wrapped around an axis to meet. This pattern is wrapped in two orientations: top meeting bottom and left meeting right. The difference in orientation creates two appearances from the same rhombi tessellation.

My work focuses on creating foldable structures to evaluate mathematical models. I am intrigued by the transformation from flat design into three-dimensional construction. In my work, I use a laser to etch the patterns and then fold the origami tessellations by hand. The mechanical behavior and movement of each pattern is unique and inspires me to try new variations. My work excites me because it brings engineering into a new light, serving as an intersection between mathematics and art. This work connects my artistic background with my technical engineering skills. Through my work, I want to demonstrate the creative possibilities that engineering has to offer.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: Origami Hyperboloids
  • Medium: Two origami sculptures folded in oriented polyester 10" in height.
  • Student's Name: Emily Werner
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2022
  • Hometown: Festus, MO
  • Student's Mentor: Hussein Nassar
  • Mentor's Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Linda Blockus

Great artist's video!   Congrats!



The best!!!!