Derek Chen

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School
Virginia, USA

I have a great interest in geometry, and especially the Japanese art of paper folding, origami. I hope to channel these passions into my work, and attempt to create original designs with every one of my works. Aesthetics are one of my primary goals, but alongside that I hope to incorporate simple geometric designs that are beautiful in their own right.

The Walled Citadel
The Walled Citadel
2 x 9 x 9 cm
Paper, 105 gsm, Wood, Clear Acrylic

I have been fascinated by origami, and especially origami as a medium to explore geometry, since I was a child. This design stemmed from learning about Islamic tessellations in a Seminar class at my high school, and further experimentation with folding paper. I discovered a simple fold that allowed the paper to be folded orthogonally, and eventually devised a pattern that could be repeated indefinitely on a square grid. Viewed from above, the tessellation can be taken as a tiling of two different irregular octagons and a 2:1 rectangle, with squares nestled within the larger, recessed octagons. Unlike many other origami tessellations, this work takes great advantage of the third dimension, stepping up and down in height regularly.