Yoshinobu Miyamoto is popular on Flickr. The Japanese architect and paper engineer has a strong following on the site, due to the beautiful images of his intricate paper creations which he frequently uploads. His regular job is as a professor at the Aichi Institute of Technology, Aichi, Japan where he lectures on spatial design, but his other passion lies in furthering his application of paper design.
Yoshinobu will soon be in Australia as part of the Paper Convention Collective’s A4 Paper Festival at The Paper Mill in Sydney from 31 May to 5 June. desktop caught up with him to find out more about his background, inspirations and what he loves most about the medium of paper.
Hello Yoshinobu. You’re an architect, an architecture lecturer and a paper engineer, when do you find time to craft your paper works?
I do sketches for paper projects anytime anywhere, often on the Shinkansen (the high speed railway in Japan). I often make actual paper models during school breaks.
Paper projects are not just artworks. It’s a study to attempt to bring the exploration of material to actual design work.
When did you first learn the art of paper craft?
The arts and crafts teacher in my elementary school in Kobe was a humble and confident modern artist. I learned from the way he worked.
I learned almost everything on paper craft from a single book in the school library, Kami to atarashii zairyou. I traced photos and diagrams every other day. I never thought of getting the actual expensive book because it’s the kind of book made for the school library, not for individuals (especially when considering the living standards of the Japanese middle class of 60s). My parents finally bought me one as a birthday gift.
Is there a crossover between your job as an architect and the paper models that you construct?
The architectural projects I did were too big to do something really experimental with. I create paper models as an experiment for full-scale architecture in the future, even after my lifetime.
Your models are so beautiful. Where do you draw inspiration from for each project?
Nature is always the best source of inspiration. I also often consult with scientific literature on Geometry and Physics that I hardly understand (but I still get inspiration from at least). Natural forms are resourceful, especially when we try to see something behind them, such as force and structure.
What do you love most about using the medium of paper?
I like paper for its lightness and casualness.
On my Flickr page, photos of paper models are far more popular than the computer generated images. People seem to respond with honest amazement at seeing something made with paper that hasn’t been seen before.
Where do you usually put the paper creations once you’ve made them – what happens to them?
I keep most of them in boxes at my office in the college (after I take photos of them). A few of them are on display on my office door. I’m actually looking for design gallery shops that would want to keep the works on display.
What is your involvement with the A4 Paper Festival? What can we expect from you?
I want to see and talk with artists and students who love paper. I want find someone who would collaborate with me in paper and architectural design for education and practice.
What paper projects are you working on at the moment?
I have a few ideas based on further study of the elastic nature of paper. I am working on commercial applications with my paper design.
Visit Yoshinobu Miyamoto on Flickr or catch him at the A4 Paper Festival from 31 May to 5 June.
All images copyright Yoshinobu Miyamoto.