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Interview with Ana Morgado and Maria do Carmo Caldeira from Orikomi

Interview with Ana Morgado and Maria do Carmo Caldeira from Orikomi
January 25, 2018 No comments

Orikomi was born in 2013 when architects Ana Morgado and Maria do Carmo Caldeira took an interest in oragami and found a way to develop practical pieces of lighting using this technique. They were soon fascinated by the creative universe of origami and the art of folding paper into something beautiful and environmentally responsible. Thanks to their creativity and talent, we can enjoy a catalogue of sustainable lighting created from this ancient technique.

NEW IN! Presenting Orikomi's new Table Lamp. The same elegance and beauty, now mounted on to a high quality ash wood base

Table Lamp model is available in Stripe and Plain

How did you start creating objects using Origami techniques? This is an artisanal procedure - how difficult is the production process? What advantages for you, as designers, of this technique compared to industrially manufactured lamps?

Due to our architectural background, the passion for the accuracy and the geometry of origami came up very naturally, along with the interest in the transformation process of a 2D surface (paper) into a 3D object.

From that we evolved into the idea of combining paper folding with design and lighting. It was a challenge to identify which metric to use in order to create a balanced product. The advantages of this technique are that it has to be made by hand, which makes every product unique and involves very deeply everyone who is responsible for creating it. Also, it’s a sustainable production process, since it’s handmade with recyclable paper, and this definitely one of the key advantages.

Back to basics! Orikomi Plain is available in a wide range of carefully chosen colors and two additional sizes: Orikomi Plain XL and Orikomi Plain Plus.

You aim to bring design closer to the general public, staying away from economic discrimination. An affordable and efficient design; - Do you think design today has become a luxury item? Did it distance itself from the wider audience to become an exclusive product?

Today design has a wide range of products and categories. There are products that aim to be luxury pieces and others that are more affordable to the public, and this depends on the segment your brand and product is targeted for. Our brand follows the principle that design should be economical and affordable, and our main material – paper – allows us to fulfil these requirements, but also, perfectionist and ambitious, especially considering the importance of lighting to guarantee spatial interior quality.



Orikomi with Stripe and Orikomi with Stripe XL - simplicity with a pop of color

It might seem that Orikomi Lamps, given their manufacturing process and choice of materials, could be fragile. Is it true? Or do they resist time and use the same way as any other more conventional lamps?

Orikomi lamps are handmade with high quality certified paperthat never loses itsoriginal colour. We have tested several types of paper until we reached the one that better deals with the folding technique and, at the same time, conserves the colour and appearance through time. Although it’s true that being made of paper Orikomis have to be handled with some care, the origami technique gives them more resistance that what people usual think.

NATIVE collection is the result of a collaboration between Orikomi and designer Sofia Sustelo of Homes in Colour, with an approach based on the influences of South American tribes. Available in Tupi (above) and Kayapó (bellow).

Through your architectural studio “blaanc” you created the non- profit association “adobe for woman”. Could you tell us about this project? What is your contribution to the association?

In 2011, we co-founded the non-profit humanitarian association Adobe for Women, based on tree main pillars: Construction, Sustainability and Empowerment. Adobe for Women aimed to build sustainably for those in need, and its main project was focused on 20 women in Mexico, helping them to learn vernacular construction techniques that were useful in their daily routine as well as a viable source of income.

The Orikomi brand was precisely created as a pop brand whose profits would support AFW’s projects. In 2016 the association accomplished the proposed goals of building 20 houses for 20 women, and Orikomi products were definitely a great help.

We hope that over time Orikomi can contribute to other causes.

Orikomi Tealights, choose your own color combination from the Orikomi color palette

Your professional background is focused on the field of architecture where you have developed, through the "Blaanc Borderless Architecture"; studio, works all over the world. What do you think your experience brings to the Orikomi project?

We continue to work as architects and architecture is a field of work that really promotes cross-discipline approaches. Our signature “borderless architecture” is related to this way of thinking. In fact one of our goals as architects is to explore architecture’s limits and capacity and we are very interested in exploring our work within other artistic universes, as well as collaborating with people from other areas. We believe that architecture and design are deeply connected and for that reason it was a natural impulse for us to start working in a different scale. Orikomi is a result of this approach and is all about developing products that blend origami techniques with lighting.


Bring the outside in! Wildflower Collection by Barbara Osorio Fabrics, Portuguese fabric designer with a unique style inspired by nature

Handmade, recyclable and with a clear commitment to sustainable energy consumption and low environmental impact lighting - Orikomi lamps are not just a beautiful design. What is the importance given by your clients to Orikomi’s environmental commitment? Do you think the design sector should focus more on sustainable manufacturing?

More and more the environmental awareness is reaching the population, therefore people are becoming more concerned with the impact products have on the planet. When clients become aware that Orikomi lampshades have a positive ecological impact, due to the fact that they are handmade, have low energy consumption - promoting the use of energy-saving light bulbs - and at the end of their life cycle are completely recyclable, this is a positive aspect they take in consideration when making a purchase choice.

Orikomi products make a statement as an alternative lighting solution with low impact on the environment but with a high impact aesthetically which is really appealing for costumers.

Manufacturing, in the right conditions, it’s definitely a possible approach. Sustainable innovation and design is not necessarily about new technologies, but about rethinking how we can satisfy people demands reducing negative environmental impacts.


Summer Collection (left) and Tropical Special Edition (right) bring summer to the favorite corner of your home, no matter the season.

Ekohunters has already witnessed the success of Orikomi lamps among our clients. Those who do not know Orikomi, wait no longer. Without a doubt, this is a company and a product resolved with talent, elegance, style and quality. Ana and Maria have created an unstoppable trend that will be a point of distinction in your home.

Posted in: Ecodesigners