Paper sheets with wave foldings
Robotic paper foldings
Büttenpapierfabrik Gmund GmbH & Co. KG
Tracks explores new dimensions in paper craftsmanship through the lens of robotics.
Our role:
Design research
Rapid prototyping
Process innovation
Demonstrator development
Robot arm standing on a table to fold paper with paper prototypes in the foreground
● Installation at Maison & Object 2024 in Paris


Paper is often perceived as a traditional artisan material often used in product packaging, but it is an essential prototyping material for designers. Its unparalleled ability to create volume through folding, to guide shadows, and its delicate nature are at the heart of this research.

This project redefines the boundaries of paper craftsmanship and addresses the growing need for adaptable production systems through robotics.

● Parametric serires of paper lampshades produced with the robot


Tracks is situated in the realm of local and on-demand manufacturing.

The robotic arm offers a mobile process that merges the precision and versatility of robotics with paper craftmanship. By replacing expensive die-cut tools with robotic flexibility, we aim to seamlessly merge parametric design with on-demand production. The developed series of lampshades can be produced locally at the store, reducing storage space and shipping costs, while allowing people to order personalized designs.


Utilizing the potential of robotics, we developed a system that executes intricate paper folding patterns. This approach accelerates the design process, but also openes up new possibilities in material utilization and product development. A simple cutting gesture and the perforation of paper help to create simplified but volumes shapes. These paper shapes are used as lamp shades and resemble a fuid form family of elegant shadow flow.

Samples of paper foldings on a table


We envision a future where the synergy of technology and historic craftsmanship paves the way for new forms of aesthetic expression and production techniques. Tracks is a playground for innovation, exploring diverse applications from art installations to functional design products.

Büttenpapierfabrik Gmund GmbH & Co. KG

Design & Research
WINT Design Lab

Carl Bahra

Forschungszulage (BSFZ)

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