Colin Cobb takes paper folding to the next level, creating intricate, geometric forms. His origami inspired lamp shades are an architectural delight and would make a real statement in any home. We felt they were a perfect addition to the Christmas Design Temporium at the Architecture Centre this year. We caught up with Colin to find out more about his work...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
I’m Colin Cobb. I’m an architect working in Bath and I’ve recently been developing a range of folded paper lampshades. It came about from some experimentation with folded geometry for building facades at work. The paper mockups we made looked beautiful with light shining through them and so I started exploring idea for making lighting products from folded paper. I particularly enjoy the relationship between mathematical geometry and the natural world, the way that quite hard processes can give rise to quite beautiful forms that remind us of nature.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
Coming up with new ideas and working out how to realise them is definitely the best bit. The shapes that you get from paper folding can be a bit unpredictable so there’s often some interesting experimentation and happy accidents before I get to a final design. And then there’s the folding itself, it’s kind of a therapeutic, repetitive, but absorbing task, a bit like knitting I suppose, I find it pretty relaxing.
What is your favourite family Christmas tradition?
It has to be decorating the Christmas tree. We have a fairly rag-tag collection of non-matching and home-made decorations accumulated since we were kids, so getting them out always brings back a flood of memories of childhood Christmases.
What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list?
Well I’d love a handmade acoustic guitar, but I think I’ll need to sell a lot more lampshades before I can stretch to one!
Do you have any tips on selling over the Christmas period?
It’s my first Christmas selling so I’m not sure I have any expertise to share. Making sure you have some products that either work as gifts or have a seasonal angle seems like a good start.
If you could choose a fellow artist to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Richard Sweeney is a real inspiration. I’d love to move what I’m doing to include more art/installation type work so it would be fascinating to see how on earth he creates his stuff.
Which artist do you find inspiring to follow on Facebook or Twitter?
Ooh, I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake with social media, I’ll have to get back to you on that.
Finally if you could design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why?
Funny you should mention that, I’ve made some miniaturised lampshades into strings of fairy lights (and baubles on the way) which are going down quite well. I did have a plan for making full size folded paper Christmas Trees but that hasn’t quite come to fruition yet.
Thank you Colin! Such a great interview, we have our eyes on a couple of your lampshades (self gifting!) You can find Colin's beautiful lampshades amongst other design led Christmas gifts at the Christmas Design Temporium at the Architecture Centre.
Join us on the 21st November 2014 for the shop launch and party. More details can be found on our Facebook page.
Christmas Design Temporium
The Architecture Centre
Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm