Stunning laser-cut paper sculptures inspired by ancient Islamic architecture

Nature is full of various intricate geometric patterns, which have inspired many decorative traditions throughout history. While the earlier civilizations worked with these complex patterns using hands, modern-age humans are merging these handmade crafts with machine automation.

One example of this creative amalgamation between human and machine are these stunning laser-cut paper sculptures by Abu Dhabi-based Ibbini Studio. Headed by visual artists and designer Julia Ibbini, and computer scientist Stephane Noyer, the studio has been creating intriguing paper crafts since 2017.

Symbio Vessels

Symbio Vessels is the latest collection by the studio, which emphasis on the three-dimensional possibilities of patterns. Through modern advances of the machinery, the designers have created an experimental play with patterning on the flat, two-dimensional plane, but that vigor is stretched beyond as these sheets of patterns are stacked on one another to form a tangible, projected structure out of them.

The studio wanted to explore the notion of a traditional vessel and to contrast that by introducing abstract modifications, intricacy, and detail attainable through algorithms and computational geometry. Pushing the boundaries of possibilities in terms of medium, the studio experimented in paper with its beautiful and delicate qualities.

Paper cut works

Inspired by the rich geometric traditions of Islamic art and architecture, the duo first drew patterns by hand and then refined with a suite of digital design tools. Thereafter, these are tweaked with an interactive parametric design tool to refine the shapes of the curves even further.

The resulting digital files are then polished with a laser cutter for more accuracy and efficiency. Afterward, these machine-zapped sheets are cleaned out by hand using a scalpel, meticulously assembled, stacked and glued manually. Any colorful parts are hand-painted, in addition to other detailed specifics like crystals or pearl accents.