Folded Garden

August - September 2016

3 week project


To construct a planter that would hold a small plant and protect it from the outdoor elements until the first frost. Made with piano wire and heat shrink plastic.

Important aspects learned from this project included cut pattern, joinery and curvature. The cut pattern has to be slightly bigger than the area needed to be covered to ensure the plastic can grip onto the piano wire when heat shrinking with a heat gun. The joints are held together by tying a strip of plastic (like securing intersections of bamboo scaffolding) and melting the plastic onto itself using the tip of a glue gun. This is a very important lesson learned because the only way to secure plastic is by securing to itself or another piece of plastic. With this, I was able to drape the cut pattern onto the skeleton and melt the plastic onto the plastic joints. As the skeleton is slightly twisted, the plastic creates curvature and becomes taut.


Final Model

Inspired by miniature planters, my design just fits the size of the plant yet allows for room for the plant to grow outwards through one main opening. The whole design is based on three different triangles connected at its vertices that is then twisted and further warped by the heat shrink plastic. A water drainage is included in the bottom corner based upon the centre of gravity when hung from the top corner.


Drawing Board 1

Showing the plan, sections and how the planter deals with the elements, and the design process.


Drawing Board 2

Showing the unrolled shape of the planter, the three triangles that make up the shape and elevations with a joint detail.

My folded garden (centre) in comparison to other folded gardens.