Digital Kirigami

March 12 - June 19, 2021

Visual Arts Center | Everist Gallery 

Artist Names:
David Umemoto (Open Design Artist), Brian Lee (Instructor), Hermela Aboye, Alec Berg, Matthew Edwards, Madison Hoffman, Molly Jensen, Kara Kassa, Kyle Kueper, Paul Monson, Nick Romano, Cody Sadler, Mitch Woldt, Becca Ymker

In March of 2020, artist David Umemoto started posting his series of Paper Works on Instagram and made each of their corresponding patterns available to everyone online. This presented an opportunity to translate these original 4”x4” paper patterns into 4’x4’ CNC plasma cut sheet steel through digital fabrication. Working in pairs, architecture students at South Dakota State University studied the original patterns and digitally re-created them to fit the scale and materiality of the steel. These patterns were then cut on a CNC plasma cutter from continuous steel sheets in an intentionally low waste process. No pieces were removed from the continuous sheets. In phase two of the project, students were challenged to stretch and elaborate on their digital pattern in order to use an entire continuous 4’x8’ sheet of steel and incorporate a seating element into the final piece. Descriptive assembly diagrams and animations were also developed for each piece made by the class. 

Several of the pieces displayed in this gallery are available for purchase. For more information, please contact the Visual Arts Center at 605-731-2493 or

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David Umemoto is a sculptor and architect from Montreal, Canada. In his artistic approach, he states that his miniature concrete works stand as studies about volume. Each piece evokes temporary buildings or monuments based on far away lands, thus conveying numerous images in the mind.

Brian Lee is a registered architect, furniture designer and fabricator. Brian produces interactive furniture that operates at the intersection of architecture, furniture, body-scale and urban-scale. He approaches his work as functional small-scale experiments for larger architectural applications.